The Central Valley girls basketball team accomplished a lot on the court this season and are reaping the rewards during the award season.
The latest: coach Freddie Rehkow was named the 2017-18 National High School Girls’ Basketball Coach of the Year by the National High School Coaches Association (NHSCA) on Monday.
Rehkow said he found out via Twitter on Monday morning and was honored for the recognition. “This is the cherry on top for me personally after such a magical season,” Rehkow said.
“I’m just so appreciative of all of the players, our staff and my family. Without all of their contributions none of this would have been possible,” Rehkow said.
“I preach a ‘we before me’ mantra and these honors are the culmination of that and belong to everybody.”
Rehkow and Central Valley capped off a perfect 29-0 season by beating Hamilton Heights Christian from Tennessee for the GEICO High School Nationals championship, which landed the Bears No. 4 in the nation in the USA TODAY Super 25 national rankings.
Rehkow was also named the Tacoma News Tribune’s Coach of the Year.
Rehkow is the first coach from Washington to win the National Girls’ Basketball Coach of the Year.
“We are extremely pleased to honor Coach Rehkow,” said Eric Hess, Executive Director of the NHSCA, via press release. “Freddie has done an outstanding job of elevating Central Valley to national prominence with a great record of leading his student-athletes on the court and in the classroom.”
Asked if he still has long-range goal or specific achievements to accomplish, Rehkow provided evidence of the drive and passion he brings to his position.
“Every day, you learn something new,” he said. “If you get comfortable you get passed.”
Rehkow said the postseason has been almost as busy as the season, with awards and banquets and board meetings, but this past week he was able to take some time to reflect on the season and spend some time catching up.
“I’ve been able to take a little time with my family. It’s been the greatest week in a long time.”
Proteges ready for next step
At the conclusion of the season, Lexie Hull was named the Associated Press girls state player of the year, Gatorade state player of the year for the second consecutive season, Ms. Basketball by the Washington State Girls Basketball Coaches Association and shared the Seattle Times’ state player of the year honors with twin sister Lacie. Lacie joined Lexie as a first-team AP all-state.
On Saturday, Lexie scored 27 points with 10 rebounds to lead a group of Washington all-stars over Oregon 97-74 at the Northwest Shootout at Liberty HS in Hillsboro, Oregon.
Hull went 11 of 14 from the field, including 2 of 3 from beyond the arc, and added three assists and four steals in 25 minutes.
Lacie Hull added seven points with five rebounds, four assists and three steals in 23 minutes. Lakeside’s Sienna Swannack chipped in three points with an assist, steal and blocked shot in 17 minutes.
On March 17, Lacie scored 16 points and Lexie added 14 as the 4A all-state team knocked off the 3As 104-59.
Rehkow said Lexie has even stepped her game up in the postseason tournaments after winning the state title and he’s looking forward to watching the twins play for Stanford next season.
“I’m super excited for them,” he said. “Lexie has improved even after the season and she’s ready for the transition to Division I.”
“Lexie is one of the most unselfish players I’ve ever been around,” Rehkow added. “She’s put these (all-star) teams on her back and carried them. She’s ready to go.”
G-Prep’s Watson, McIntyre honored
USA Today announced its 2017-18 ALL-USA Washington boys basketball team on Monday.
Gonzaga Prep junior forward Anton Watson was named to the first team and coach Matty McIntyre was named state coach of the year.
Watson, who was named to the Associated Press all-state first team and the Class 4A state player of the year, led Gonzaga Prep to a state title and averaged 21.9 points and 8.2 rebounds.
McIntyre, the ninth-year head coach, guided the Bullpups to a 26-0 season and a 54-52 win over Federal Way in the state Class 4A title game.