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WNBA Champ Teaches Basketball, Life Skills

August 20, 2012, 10:22 PM by Matt Holsen

WNBA Champ Teaches Basketball, Life Skills
SIOUX FALLS, SD -

She's the first woman to win two WNBA titles with two different teams but recently she hung up her sneakers to share her basketball knowledge with youngsters in Sioux Falls.

Olympia Scott, a four-year starter for Stanford and WNBA champion with Sacramento and Phoenix, has set up shop in town with her family.

It's not everyday kids get to learn from a WNBA champ in Sioux Falls, but for these lucky youngsters at the Sioux Falls YMCA, it's more like two times a week.

"That's pretty cool. I mean, I've never got to meet one in person. So that's just great," Taiya Jorgensen said.

After years of travelling all over the world playing hoops, Scott made her way to town thanks in part to her husband, Rachman Crable, a former defensive lineman for the Storm and a football coach at Augustana College.

While the retired basketball star enjoyed her pro career, she's having fun settling down in South Dakota even though it's a long ways from where she grew up in L.A.

"Well, you know we were a travelling caravan already because of my basketball career. I also played 11 seasons in Europe. We're used to moving around. It's really nice here. Family town. You can tell money is spent in the school system, parks and recreation for the kids. It's great," Scott said.

Instead of letting all of her past experiences on the hardwood go to waste, Scott has hooked up with the Y and is part of its Basketball Club program.  She enjoys helping out because when she was growing up, she didn't have this opportunity.

"I definitely wish there was a program like this.  I didn't develop a lot of my skills until late high school, or even into college for some of the skills I acquired, then even later into my pro career. I wish I had some consistent way to build my skills and build on what we learned previously," Scott said.

That consistency seems to be working out for several of these young hoopsters. Rod Woods' daughter, Taiya, has been participating in the program and he's impressed by what he's seen.

"I think we're very lucky to have her in this area. I actually wish we'd have more families and more parents who would bring their kids out and be a part of the program," Woods said.

"It's great. I love coming here. It's so fun. I get to learn stuff everyday. New things. I get to try it at home. My family has just bought a basketball hoop. So I get to practice at home with my family members," Jorgensen said.

Learning is the name of the game here. While much of what's taught has to do with certain skills on the court, Scott plans to mix in off-the-court principles as well.

"I do believe that each and everyone of us has gotten to where we are because someone gave back to us, someone cared. For me, I'm really interested in reaching the kids young in their basketball careers because we know that maybe they won't play college or pro, but they are learning life lessons playing basketball. I'd like to help instill in them those lessons that I know I learned in my long career. Helping them to build character through basketball," Scott said.

Basketball Club membership at the YMCA ranges in price from $25 up to $110 for non-members Kindergarten through ninth grade. On top of working with the YMCA, Scott also does private sessions.

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