Atchison high school alumnus Nic Rebant recently took the head coaching position for the Atchison girls basketball team after spending one season as an assistant coach for the program.
“To come back and be able to coach in the school I came from means something to me,” Rebant said. “Coaching has always been one of my favorite things to do.”
Rebant said his experience under Blaine Clardy will pay dividends during his upcoming first season as a high school head coach.
“I’m sure there are going to be moments that come up that I’m just not prepared for but I’m going to work and get better at it,” Rebant said. “Coach Clardy really opened my eyes to how you need to scout and prepare for these teams. He brought a lot to the table that is going to help me be ready.”
The girls have several useful pieces coming back for next season, including senior Katy Harris, who averaged 18.1 points per game and 9.5 rebounds per game.
“I see the talent that is there and I see what we can become,” Rebant said. “I’m going to come into this year with some great senior leadership, but I’m also going to have some young pieces who are going to build off that and become leaders for me in the next couple years.”
Sophomore Presley Simpson will be returning and she averaged 9.6 points per game last season.
Rebant said he was encouraged with the time he had to coach the team this summer.
“We had a really good summer and when it was all said and done we had 18 girls in the gym,” Rebant said. “If we can have 20 girls to come out for basketball we’ll be sitting pretty good.”
With players like Harris inside, Rebant said he hopes for his team’s offensive success to run through the paint.
“We’re going to work on becoming an inside-out team,” Rebant said. “I like to get the ball inside and capitalize on the skills we have there and take advantage when teams start to adjust.”
Rebant also said he wants his team to be more aggressive on defense.
“I feel like if you pressure teams you get easy turnovers and you get easy baskets,” Rebant said. “I know it’s going to be a process, but eventually that is what I’d like to become.”
Rebant looks forward to putting the program in a position it hasn’t been in for a while.
“I think it’s a program that we can build up and people will start to respect again,” Rebant said.