Coach Alex is defying the odds as a FEMALE basketball coach for a MALE team

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Kimora Moore

During their games, Coach Alex intently watches her travel team, SOCAL HEAT, ensuring that she helps every player on the court to compete at the next level. “I feel very accomplished to be the female voice in a male-dominated sport like basketball.”

Coach Alex is strong, dedicated, and knowledgeable about the game of basketball. As a coach, she emphasizes to her players the importance of passion, hustle, and hard work every day. Coach Alex is currently the assistant coach for Don Lugo’s Boy’s Varsity Basketball team and the head coach for her very own travel basketball program, SOCAL HEAT, as well as Don Lugo’s Boy’s Junior Varsity team.

Imagine this: You are a small, 5’2 guard in high school grinding EVERY SINGLE DAY. EVERY DAY. You have worked hard to show your coaches, teammates, and even yourself why you deserve to be on the court; you would be the first player to arrive and be the last player to leave; you would give 150% effort every time you stepped foot on the court; yet with this all in mind, your coach never gives you playing time, never gives you the recognition that you deserve, never gives you the opportunity to play even if your team is winning by 60 points. Ladies and gentlemen, Coach Alex was that small, 5’2 guard who worked incredibly hard day after day, week after week, but she was NEVER given the chance. Never being given that chance to show her talent, her drive, and her potential was Coach Alex’s WHY for becoming a basketball coach: “I want my players to know that I am here for them every step of the way because I never want them to feel like they are NOT good enough; they are good enough, but with dreams comes hard work as well.”

Coach Alex made a vow to herself to become a basketball coach so that other players would never feel as though they are not good enough or not capable of competing at the next level. She is ALWAYS there for her players, each and every one of them. (Photo Courtesy: Kimore Moore)

It is not often to see female coaches leading women’s sports teams; even rarer is the opportunity for female coaches to lead male sports teams. Well, why does gender bias plays an active role in the coaching hiring process? Why do women now hold less than half of the head coaching jobs for women’s teams, and only a handful of women coach men’s teams?

Head coach for Don Lugo’s Varsity Boy’s Basketball team, Mr. DeLeon, overlooked the gender roles that are found within a male-dominated sport like basketball, believing that Coach Alex was just the right PERSON for the program. He claims that “Coach Alex is driven with an extremely dedicated work ethic where she is here for varsity practice, junior varsity practice, and even sometimes freshmen practice.” It is the connection, the strong relationship that Coach Alex has with her players that is essential for an effective basketball coach; she chooses to convey her message through COMMUNICATION and LEADERSHIP.

Coach Alex believes that communication is KEY for not only a strong coach to player relationship, but also for the team to cohesively work together on the court. (Photo Courtesy: Kimora Moore)

Alongside coaching high school, Coach Alex became the owner AND head coach for her travel basketball team, SOCAL HEAT, in the year 2017. After making the move to Chino, SOCAL HEAT has “gathered together many local home-grown guys from the Neighborhood Activity Center (NAC), National Junior Basketball (NJB), and other organizations in order to help these athletes reach the next level.” In fact, multiple players from Don Lugo’s basketball program are also playing for SOCAL HEAT, ultimately helping to put Chino on the map.

Senior and Varsity Captain Cade Silva appreciates the connection that Coach Alex has with her players in which “she understands where you are coming from as an athlete, and she will never give up on you.” In fact, Coach Alex helped Silva to become a starter for the Boy’s Varsity Basketball team during his junior year by effectively communicating with him, showing his great potential as a player, and teaching him to become a leader on the court. For that, Silva claims that he would “like to give Coach Alex a big thanks for EVERYTHING.”

Coach Alex has the BEST coaching style because she is involved with the team on and off the court, and if you do make a mistake, she’ll be sure to correct you over and over and over again.”

— Samuel Montenegro

Unfortunately, gender roles in sports fail to recognize that gender does NOT define a good coach. In fact, a good coach is defined by recognizing a player’s potential; a good coach is defined by inspiring their players to work hard; a good coach is defined by their grit, determination, and vision. Coach Alex is more than just a female coach; she is a mentor, a leader, an inspiration. She alongside other female coaches deserve an equal opportunity to showcase their talent and knowledge about the game. Female coaches deserve equal representation.

At a time when women were perceived as incapable of officiating a professional basketball game, Violet Palmer becomes the first woman to ref an NBA game, with Dee Kantner making her debut six days later; at a time when women were perceived as incapable of dunking a basketball, Lisa Leslie‚Äôs first WNBA dunk was a stepping stone for the league; at a time when women were perceived as incapable of coaching for a male basketball team, Becky Hammon becomes the first woman to coach an NBA team, the San Antonio Spurs- women have continued to prove the male chauvinists of this world wrong as they achieve new heights in the sports industry. Continue to watch Coach Alex lead Don Lugo’s basketball program to victory as they focus on heart, hustle, and hard work!