Anna Prins has played many roles over her basketball career.
At Broomfield, she was the dominating post player who outsized the competition in the early days of a historic run. At Iowa State University, she became the lanky outside shooter who could knock down a 3-pointer when the Cyclones needed it most. And even recently, she was the aspiring rookie angling for her spot in the pro game.
But with her playing days behind her, Prins is attempting to find a new purpose in the game, one in the coaching ranks. And at the end of July the local standout aims to take some initial steps down this path by hosting a basketball clinic.
“I’m really ready to start my coaching career, it’s always been a dream of mine,” she said. “And it’s also a shot to give back to a community that has given me so much.”
Prins is holding her girls basketball camp at July 22-25 at Broomfield High School in conjunction with club coach Geoff Golden. The focus of the week of hoops is to ground young players in the fundamentals of the game.
It is a sure bet, however, Prins might have a few other pearls of wisdom for the aspiring players, especially given her recent run.
The post was the 23rd pick in the WNBA draft this past spring, landing her an audition with the Connecticut Suns. And while things did not work out for Prins on the East Coast, it was still a vital experience in her playing career.
“I’m glad I tried it and have absolutely no regrets,” she said. “Just to say I was drafted is something special.”
Prins got a crack at the pros after a strong second half of her senior season at Iowa State. She finished the year averaging 12.3 points per game and highlighted the run posting a career-high 32 points March 10 against Oklahoma.
Prins could not keep the head of steam she built in college going through the early May camp with the Sun. She made it five days into the camp before getting pulled aside by head coach Anne Donovan.
“She called me and the third-round draftee up before practice and you could see right away something was wrong,” Prins said. “She said we both needed more experience. One thing I know I struggled with was the pace at that level — it was very fast.”
Donovan encouraged Prins to think about playing in Europe to fortify her game. But with her wedding to her fiancée Ryan De Hamer set for December, that was not an option. And she was ready to move into her teaching career and coaching.
While she has yet to step into a classroom, Prins does have some experience coaching basketball. Iowa State hosted a number of player-staffed youth clinics for the very young to high school age athletes. And though Prins aims to teach kindergarten someday, she found a connection with coaching older players.
“The reason why I love high school is because the players love the game,” she said. “They listen to you and are hungry to learn.”
High-profile players such as Prins build a certain amount of excitement for the game by hosting clinic, in Golden’s experience. But there are more benefits to holding the events than just encouraging youth.
The coach ran a clinic a year ago with Monarch graduate, and current New Orleans Pelicans player, Louis Amundson. And from Golden’s perspective, the young athletes had a huge takeaway with what Amundson had to say about his personal success.
“He really hit upon how hard he had to work every day to get to where he’s at,” Golden said. “To me, that’s an important message.”
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