The basketball journey for Kristen Rasmussen the last 15 years has taken her from Okemos to all around the United States, and even internationally.
And now that journey in the sport is bringing the former Michigan State and WNBA player back to her roots.
Rasmussen was named the new girls basketball coach at Okemos on Monday, landing an opportunity to lead the program she played for two decades ago.
“I’m really looking forward to it,” Rasmussen said Monday evening. “It’s really quite exciting to come back home. I haven’t been home for a while. Now that I’ve got a 2-and-a-half-year old daughter and am eight months pregnant and due next month, it just seems like the right fit for us to be close to home and be in a community that is as wonderful as Okemos is. I’m super excited about the opportunity that has presented itself.”
The 37-year old Rasmussen never imagined being back home coaching her alma mater. But the former Chief all-state forward and all-Big Ten performer is looking forward to bringing her knowledge to her new position.
Since completing her playing career in 2011, Rasmussen has spent the last five seasons coaching at Simmons College, a Division III school in Boston. She also had a stint as an assistant at Division II Western State Colorado during her playing career.
“It’s been very interesting,” Rasmussen said. “As everybody knows, college is more time consuming. Now with baby number two, I really wanted to be home with the family and be around my kids a little bit more than I have been the past two years.
“It will be a very welcomed change of pace for me.”
Rasmussen hopes her extensive basketball background can help the Okemos program on and off the court. The Chiefs, who return all-state guard Laya Hartman, are coming off a 7-14 season and fourth-place finish in the CAAC Blue.
“There is a lot in my background,” Rasmussen said. “It’s been so fun to be able to play professionally and play college. The knowledge and the experience that I have from all different types of coaches that I’ve had in the past, I’ve kind of been able to create my own philosophies both offensively and defensively. It will be a little tricky to start out with just because I have the mentality of what I want out of my college players.
“The passion and love that I have for the game will definitely be able to help me out in any situation that may arise with working with the high school players. I think this is the perfect opportunity to come in and coach and help them both on and off the court.”
Contact Brian Calloway at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @brian_calloway.