The Skyhawk Women’s Basketball team will have a new head coach on the sidelines for the 2019-20 season. Local basketball legend Jamie Russell heads up the squad after returning home to the Sauk Valley area following several years of playing professional basketball in Europe. Russell, a Rock Falls native and 2008 RFHS alum played college ball at the University of Wisconsin and Illinois State University before making the journey to play professionally. After graduation from Illinois State with a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice in 2013, Russell played for the USA All-Star team that toured China. She was named the World Tour MVP. She then played professionally in the Czech Republic from 2013 to 2018.
“We are beyond excited for Jamie Russell to join our staff” said Director of Athletics Michael Stevenson. “She brings a wealth of basketball experience to the table, and has a great connection to this area. She is passionate about the game, and her knowledge of the sport is going to bring a unique perspective to the players here.” Russell replaces Michele Kreczmer following her second year as the head coach, who chose to step down to meet other time commitments. “Michele did a nice job for us as head coach” added Stevenson, “and it is possible that she will be able to remain on staff as an assistant.”
“My basketball career has taken me all over the world” said Russell. “This sport has given me so much insight, about the game as well as life in general, and has instilled a lot of character in me. I am beyond pleased to be back to my home roots to coach and mentor the young athletes from this area.”The Skyhawks take to the court on October 12th with preseason action at the Rock Valley Jamboree and open regular season play at home on November 2nd versus Rock Valley.