Youngstown State senior Heidi Schlegel has been selected to be part of the 13th annual Women's Basketball Coaches Association "So You Want To Be A Coach" program, the WBCA announced on Tuesday.
Schlegel and the 57 other members of the 2015 class will participate in a three-day workshop held April 3-5 in conjunction with the WBCA National Convention in Tampa, Florida.
"I've had coaches throughout my career who have had a very positive impact on my life, and I want to be able to share my experiences and be a positive influence on young girls," Schlegel said. "I'm excited to learn about how to coach student-athletes, learn from many coaches and make connections at the 'So' program."
YSU head coach John Barnes said he is excited about Schlegel being able to take part in the WBCA convention and develop her already outstanding leadership skills.
"Heidi is not only a great player and a hard worker on the court, she is also a leader, mentor and all-around good person off of it," Barnes said. "The game will be in great hands with women like her coming up the coaching ranks. Heidi will be a great will be a great ambassador for YSU and our women's basketball program for years to come."
The objectives of the "So" program are to increase the understanding and application of skills necessary to secure coaching positions in women's basketball, increase the understanding and awareness of competencies necessary for success in coaching, introduce female basketball players to coaches and administrators, raise awareness of the existing talent pool of female basketball players who have a passion and interest in coaching the game of women's basketball.
"The interest in the 'So You Want To Be A Coach' program has been incredible this year, and we are ecstatic to see the numerous benefits this program has had on so many young, aspiring coaches," said WBCA Executive Director Danielle Donehew. "Each year, the WBCA works relentlessly to improve and develop this entry-level program, and we look forward to seeing these student-athletes develop into great leaders and ambassadors for the game of women's basketball."
"So" participants will learn about recruiting, the administrative side to coaching, how to get hired, skill development, the importance of knowing the rules, and how to balance work and life.
Qualified candidates must have exhausted their final year of basketball eligibility at a four-year institution or have graduated within the past year. In addition, the candidate's head coach has to nominate them and must be an active WBCA member. Each participant is selected based on her academics, contributions to women's basketball on and off the court, professional resume and a written recommendation from their head coach.
Sponsors for the "So" program are the WBCA and the NCAA Matching Fund for the Advancement of Ethnic Minority Women Coaches and Officials.
Schlegel has been a star both on and off the court in her career at Youngstown State. This season she ranks in the top five in the Horizon League in scoring (16.4 points per game) and rebounding (10.0 rebounds per game) and has twice been named the conference player of the week. She was also one of 30 Division I players in the country to be selected as a candidate for the 2014-15 Senior CLASS Award for excelling both on and off the court. Last year she was named First-Team All-Horizon League, Horizon League All-Tournament Team and Academic All-Horizon League.
Off the court, Schlegel graduated Magna Cum Laude in 2014 with a bachelor's degree in middle childhood education, and she is working toward a master's degree in interdisciplinary communication. She is also among YSU's most active student-athletes in community service.