Allison (Bickel) Shirey

On the UCC Women's Basketball home page there is a section called "Dave's Diary" where I have tried to share a few thoughts on some things that are important to me. At the suggestion of a few friends and alumni, I've decided to try my hand at blogging. I'm hoping that what's written here will help keep all of our alumni more closely connected to our program and at the same time give anyone else who is interested a greater insight into Umpqua Women's Basketball.

Here's a "Dave's Diary" entry from last Spring:

As I was driving to the airport this afternoon, I began to reflect on this past season (for about the 1000th time!) and on all of its highs and lows and everything in between.

Dozens of things ran through my mind but one instance stuck like glue.

While trying to recover from an unusually tough weekend, I received a phone call from Allison (Bickel) Shirey who played on our team at Golden West College in Huntington Beach, California from 1990-1992. Even though Allison and I had a very good relationship we lost touch when I moved to Oregon to take the UCC job in 1994. Neither of us could remember the last time we had spoken.

Practically the first thing that came out of Allison’s mouth after I answered the phone was “What the hell is going on up there? How could you possibly lose last weekend? You haven’t lost to them in 12 years!!” I was stunned. “Why do you think we should be able to beat them? How do you know we hadn’t lost to them in 12 years?”

Then Allison said some things that reminded me why I coach and at the same time reminded me what separates good teams from great programs. “Even though we don’t talk very often I think about the things you taught us almost every single day. I have followed the team for the past 12 years. Go ahead, quiz me! Just because I’ve never set foot on Umpqua’s campus doesn’t mean I’m not tied into the program. You will always be “my coach” and your teams will always be “my team.”

I asked Allison why she never called me earlier. “Because you’ve been doing great all these years. But after this weekend I figured you could use a call from someone who believes in you and appreciates what you are doing!” It seemed like we talked forever that night and we’ve talked several times since then.

Fifteen years after our last game together (Allison hit two free throws in the final seconds to help us win our second California Community College State Championship) Allison still “gets it.” She knows that the relationships are meant to outlast the wins and losses. She knows that the journey doesn’t end when the season does. She knows that true teammates are always there in times of need. It won’t show up in the stats but that call from Allison might have been the biggest assist of her career.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the ink Dave. You were more then a coach, you were my best friend and mentor. Thanks for two awesome years at GWC. Good luck this season. I will be cheering you on from California.