Hemric Brothers make Girls Basketball a Family Affiar

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Leigh and Rick Hemric discuss strategy before a game against the Blake School on Jan. 25. “I would say we have a very similar coaching style. Off the court he has strengths where I have weaknesses and vice versa,” Rick Hemric said.

After an unexpected turn of the season, players and fans of the SPA girls’ basketball team attribute their rising success to Rick and Leigh Hemric: brothers, best friends, and co-coaches. The Hemrics grew up in Blaine, Minnesota playing basketball on their driveway together, and cherished their competitive yet supportive relationship. Their mildly combative natures carry into their coaching careers, and in their opinions, do so in what they believe to be a very positive way.

Rick Hemric, the head Varsity coach and older of the two, sees no challenges when it comes to co-coaching with Leigh. “I wouldn’t say there are any challenges…we really complement each other and since we grew up playing basketball together with our dad as our coach, we tend to read things the same,” Rick Hemric said. “I would say we have a very similar coaching style. Off the court, he has strengths where I have weaknesses and vise versa,”

Leigh Hemric, the C team coach,  is grateful for the opportunity to coach alongside his older brother, and loves the perks that brotherly love supplies: “I love that I’m getting to spend more time with him. Now that we’re older we don’t get to spend nearly as much time together as we used to, so it’s actually helped us become a lot closer,” Leigh Hemric said. “Now that we’re older we get along a heck of a lot better, so it’s easier to be around him on a daily basis… I’m having a lot of fun doing this,”

Leigh Hemric enjoys the challenges his brother brings him, both on and off the court, “Of course we’re competitive, it started at a very young age. There were quite a few battles with the driveway basket. We’re always trying to push each other and make our team better,” Hemric said.

Although Rick playfully refers to himself as the superior player (“on the court I always dominate him”), he sees his brother as essential to the team’s future success: “we were originally looking for another coach to bring in this year, but I knew right away who I wanted to bring in. It was a no-brainer,”  Rick Hemric said. He sees a huge amount of potential in both his brother and their players. “I’m hoping for us to work through the trials we had earlier this year. There’s a lot of talent on this team, so I hope that can rise to the surface and we can make a strong push to the playoffs,” Hemric said.

Both brothers love being a part of the team, and both think highly of the girls they consider a privilege to coach. “What’s so rewarding is getting game experience and getting to know the girls. We have a great group of girls on both C and Varsity. I’ve had a great time getting to know a lot of them,” Leigh Hemric said. “Most of them are characters, and they’re just a great group of girls. It makes it a heck of a lot easier to go to practice every single day. They make it fun.”

“I really enjoy connecting with the team through basketball…it’s my favorite sport, and being able to connect with such a great group of girls beside my brother is very fun; it’s a dream,” Rick Hemric said. As the conference tournament and sections loom in the next few weeks, the girls’ season is looking like it will continue down the successful road it is on, thanks to their dream team coaching duo.