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Heather Seely-Roberts – PE/Boys Basketball
September 30, 2021
Coach Heather Seely-Roberts has big plans for the varsity boys’ basketball team. Coming off of her first boys basketball state title at Yamhill Carlton High School last year, where her team went 13-4– a big change from their 3-21 record from three years prior, before she was their coach– Seely-Roberts is excited to work hard with her new team at Lincoln.
“I’m hoping for the same [turnaround] here [that happened at Yamhill Carlton]. That’s the goal,” she said.
Seely-Roberts has had the goal of working with a basketball team since she was 10-years-old, when a player on the Oregon State University (OSU) womens’ basketball team signed her popcorn box.
“At that point, I knew I wanted to coach,” she said.
Now, after 16 years as a varsity girls head coach, four years as a college coach for women, and three years as a boys high school coach, she feels ready to coach the boys team at Lincoln.
Seely-Roberts played high school basketball at Crescent Valley High School, before there was even a women’s ball or a three-point line. After high school, Seely-Roberts played a year at Lewis and Clark College.
“[Eventually, I] went back to Crescent Valley and started coaching,” she said.
The biggest thing Seely-Roberts has learned from her time as a player and coach at Crescent Valley is her coaching philosophy. She teaches her boys to be coachable, to work hard and to be committed.
She knows what it’s like to work hard too, as she spent the majority of her junior year in high school on her team’s bench. She realized that, in order to play, she needed to put in the work.
And so she did. Working hard all offseason, she was able to earn a starting position the following year.
“I got everything I did through hard work,” she said.
Another thing Seely-Roberts took away from her time at Crescent Valley was something her coach, Craig Ellingson, demonstrated: how to treat players like athletes, not just boys or girls.
“[Ellingson’s coaching style has] helped me when I switched over to the boys’ side, [because] I treat the boys just like I treat the girls… I treat them all like athletes,” she said.
Junior Blake Johnson, who played varsity last year, has a good impression of his new coach, even though he hasn’t seen her in action yet.
“I think she seems serious and… she thinks pretty similarly to how I do,” he said.
Johnson is optimistic about what Seely-Roberts could bring to their team.
“I’m just really excited,” he said. “I just think she is [going to] be the first good coach we’ve had in a long time.”
With all of her players, Seely-Roberts likes to see their potential. She describes how kids can put limits on themselves, but her job is to push her players out of their comfort zones and get them to perform better.
One thing Seely-Roberts doesn’t like is being told what she can’t do.
“[Sometimes] people say, ‘oh, girls can’t coach boys,’” she said. “But I’m like, ‘Well they can. Because I’m doing it.’”
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