Kari Pickens - Ashland University Head women's basketball coach
August 21, 2018
Kari Pickens shared with us the timeline of her basketball career over the past 10 years as well as lessons learned along the way. Kari is a graduate of RV high school where she discussed the recruiting process that started when she was just a freshman. Her sister Kristen signed with Dayton before her, so she also signed with them her Jr. year. She graduated in May of her Senior year and 2 weeks later began work-outs at the collegiate level. It was during her freshman year that she became a Christian. The summer of her sophomore year, she feels she worked harder than anyone else, but one of many life lessons led her to the understanding that sometimes life is taking a different turn. Before her Jr. year of college, she was wanting to be closer to home and have a better environment for her faith to grow. Ashland University isn't where she really wanted to be, but she felt God was calling her to that place at that time. She was offered an athletic scholarship and accepted on the spot. From that calling, she met and married her husband, her younger sister went to Ashland (whom she was able to coach all 4 years), and she now has gone from assistant coach to head coach for their women's basketball team. She acknowledges God's faithfulness. She has been able to be a part of several NCAA tournaments and even win a National Championship her senior year. She played abroad in Australia for a year as well. All the success and faith didn't isolate her from hard times. She unashamedly speaks to her mental health challenges that caused her to contemplate suicide. She was able to get help and see to the other side of this all to common illness. She finds comfort in knowing that her challenges have helped her to talk with young ladies who may be confronting the same things. She wants to help them find value and learn that your life isn't defined by a single game or moment, but the impact you can have over your lifetime. She works on 5 core precepts as she coaches. She wants the girls to be a good team mate, have fun, work hard, communicate, and have gratitude. She has learned to enjoy the moments before her, learned that God can teach anyone at any time, if called- go, pray - as everyone has value, and to make the most of every opportunity we are given.