Article by Sacha Bindra
Photograph by Anjo Nagallo
Behind each hard-working sports team at ISM lies a coach who works tirelessly to support and lead their student athletes. Through every practice, meeting, win, and loss, they stand beside their players. Mr. McQueen is one of these coaches, who many Bearcats may know as a dedicated high school counselor. Mr. McQueen coaches the varsity girls basketball team as the team’s’ assistant coach, along with head coach, Mr. Juteau. He has coached basketball for all of his seven years at ISM, starting with the middle school boys, then spending the next six years with the varsity girls. Throughout these years, he has worked alongside a wide range of students and athletes, helping them to achieve their collective sporting goals.
Having coached both girls and boys, Mr. McQueen says that differences between the two genders exist “to a degree,” but that it doesn’t affect his coaching technique significantly. Instead of relying on gender-based stereotypes, Mr. McQueen aims to understand each player on a more personal level.
“Regardless of gender, I do my best to get to know each of them as players and more importantly as people,” he says. This information allows him to more effectively coach each player, and the team as a whole.
As the most recent IASAS basketball tournament was held in Manila, both the players and coaches received an outpouring of support from the entire community. The boys and girls alike were immensely encouraged by the packed stands. Mr. McQueen agrees, saying, “It was amazing to see the gyms full of our fans cheering on both varsity teams, and for me to watch our girls play so well.”
Of course, the experience was bittersweet, with this being Mr. McQueen’s last year coaching the girls. In addition to this being his final IASAS, Mr. McQueen adds, “I also witnessed my son’s last games as a high school basketball player and so that was emotionally very tough for me.”
Having six years of experience at IASAS, Mr. McQueen recalls three of his most memorable experiences. The first would be during his first year of coaching, where the girls won bronze after a few years of minimal success. He says, “It was a great feeling to help those girls believe in themselves and each other.”
The following experience was IASAS 2013, where a team comprised primarily of freshmen and sophomores won silver for the first time. At the time, Mr. McQueen said the coaches predicted that “the varsity girls team was going to be pretty special for the next few years.” Fortunately, their prediction came true, most notably when ISM knocked out SAS at IASAS this past January. Yet above all victories, Mr. McQueen says, “Most important are the girls. I will miss them all dearly.”
It’s clear that over the past few years, Mr. McQueen has been a coach that has dedicated his time and passion to ISM basketball. The entire community is beyond grateful for his work, and wishes him and his family the best of luck moving forward.