Basketball Sunset

Karen Aston—Head Coach, University of Texas’ Women’s Basketball Team

Posted by on Tuesday, May 14th, 2019 in Blog

Reported by Girish Altekar

President Julie called the meeting to order.  Jim Innes led the pledges and Carl Noble gave our invocation of the day.  Jon Yates led us in saying the Four Way Test.  Nick Hesselsweet greeted each member and guest as they arrived and Carl Noble stepped back up to the podium to introduce our guests and visitors.

Congratulations to John Fox (PHF +2), Pauline Gubbels (PHF +8) and Debbie Simmons (PHF +2)!  We
appreciate your continued support of The Rotary Foundation!

Past President Sara Pantin described her Rotary journey that started 26 years ago in California during the Membership Minute.  She joined the Silicon Valley Club as a corporate executive to network and stayed on for a decade after she found herself attracted by service and the people, ending as the President of their Club.  She came back to Austin around 2001, joined our Club and has served in many roles, including Club President of the Rotary Club of Austin in 2017!  She currently serves on our Foundation’s Board of Trustees.

Tillery Castillo reminded us about the Spring Garden and Membership Party that the Benkoski’s are hosting at their house this Saturday.

Caroline Valentine announced our Club’s inaugural Global Perspectives Dinner which will be held at Napa Flats Wood-Fired Kitchen on May 23rd.

President Julie reminded us to check-in on Meetup and Facebook, and she also reminded us about the Mastermind Group Meeting coming up this Thursday morning as well as the EarlyAct FirstKnight (EAFK) knighting ceremonies coming up at Pecan Springs and Dawson Elementary Schools on Friday.

We heard about two SAVE THE DATE events coming up soon – Our annual Changing of the Guard Party will be on June 26th at Matt’s El Rancho and the Back-to-School Splash Bash that we host every year at the
Helping Hand Home for Children is coming up on Saturday, July 27th!

Basketball Coach AstonAfter several minutes of Fellowship, Judge Sylvia Holmes introduced our speaker, Coach Karen Aston, who spoke about her team building responsibilities as the UT Women’s Basketball Coach.  Sylvia remarked about Coach Aston’s practice of wearing 3-inch heels, even while coaching at the games.

Coach Aston acknowledged that she does wear 3-inch heels, not just to overcome her short physical stature, but also to ensure that her team knows that they are being taught by a professional woman coach who brings a tough package in a small body.

She mentioned that her team members are all outstanding young ladies who work hard at their two jobs
(as students and as basketball players).  They are engaged in their sport for nearly the entire year, including the summer months when they also take extra courses to catch up with their academics.  Coach remarked that this year her team has been fun to watch with an attractive playing style, and next year they will be even better as three potential starters recover from their injuries.  She invited us to come see them at a game and get to know the players!

Coach Aston’s coaching philosophy is that being a part of the team must be something that you are passionate about because it will change your life.  Her job is to teach “her girls” about the 4Cs:

Commitment, Communication, Care and Character as the driving characteristics of a successful team.

She concluded that it takes special kids to succeed both in UT academics and basketball, and she would like to work with us to involve her team in volunteering in some of our community service activities since they enjoy “giving back” in addition to playing basketball.

President Julie previewed our next speakers/programs:  On May 21 we’ll hear from Derek Tinker and Bill Hays from Switch Energy Alliance, and on May 28 we’ll be joined by Jonathan Coon with 1-800 Contacts.

President Julie thanked our featured newsletter sponsors for the day: Rick Ravel (Karavel Shoes) and Michael Abelson (The Abelson Group).  She closed with a Thought of the Day, and adjourned right at 1:00.

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