“Basketball is an escape,” said Tylor, who played college basketball at Grace College in Indiana. “When I was a kid, when I wanted to get away from anything, I just went and played basketball. I’m a basketball fanatic.”
Chase hasn’t always been as keen on the sport as her father. Her mother, Kelli Jo, played college basketball, too, but never forced the sport on Chase.
When Kelli Jo died unexpectedly in 2010, basketball took on a new meaning. It was a way of coping for the Coleys, which includes Kendall, a budding fifth-grade star.
“When her mom was alive, she always said Chase didn’t have to play basketball,” Tylor said. “They bonded over volleyball. But basketball is the sport I know. I’ve tried to ingrain that in her and her little sister, but kids are all different.”
With a coach at the kitchen table, Chase’s learning curve has been steep. And as she improved, basketball became more important.
“I remember asking him about blocking shots,” Chase said. “He went out and worked with me on blocking shots and staying out of foul trouble.”
That work was not always fun. On many occasions, Tylor’s demands met with resistance.
“He’d tell me to do something hard like spin a basketball, catch it, then turn and shoot,” Chase said. “Then he’d say ‘Do it again 50 times.’ Sometimes I’d get so mad that at practice, I’d be like ‘I don’t want to see him.’ But then I’d just end up forgetting about it.”
The results of Tylor’s guidance have been exceptional. Chase earned a scholarship to play at Iowa next fall, a level she barely dreamed possible.
“I look back now and see it’s all been worth it,” she said. “It gets frustrating at times, but at the end of the day, I don’t think I’d want to play for anyone else.”
Mikayla Hayes and Dana Joubert-Hayes
A broken heart forced Dana Joubert-Hayes out of coaching high school basketball.
A former Gophers standout, Joubert-Hayes coached at the collegiate and local high school levels until her young daughter, Mikayla, asked one night, “Mom, are you ever going to make it home before we go to bed?”
This season, the duo is sharing their basketball dreams.
Hayes, a promising freshman forward who averaged 9.5 points and 7.7 rebounds per game, helped Park Center to its first state tournament berth. Joubert-Hayes, in her second year as the Pirates’ JV coach and varsity assistant, gets to share in every moment.