Getting To Know: Kasondra Foreman
Coach Foreman Is Entering Her First Season With Mean Green Women’s Hoops
Head coaches are at the front and center of every college athletic team. Their assistant coaches are tirelessly working behind the scenes, juggling multiple things at once. What are their stories?
Every Wednesday during the summer, MeanGreenSports.com will be featuring an assistant coach from a North Texas team.
Kasondra Foreman has seen her share of basketball. A former collegiate player herself, Foreman earned all-conference honors at Weatherford College before lettering with the Mean Green from 2010 to 2012. Most recently, Foreman served as an assistant coach with a Northwestern State Demons team that set a program record in wins, won back-to-back Southland Conference championships and made its way to the NCAA Tournament.
Mean Green Sports caught up with Foreman to discuss how she got into the coaching game, her unique relationship with head coach Jalie Mitchell, and her North Texas roots.
How did you get into coaching?
“Really it was my junior high coach that inspired me. I was young and didn’t know if I wanted to coach, but she planted a seed. I’ve always played basketball and been around the game. I remember my mom buying my first pair of shoes and an Allen Iverson basketball when I was five. When I got to North Texas and developed a good relationship with Coach Mitchell, she made me want to coach. So my junior high coach made me think about it, but meeting Coach Mitchell made me want to follow through with it just because of the relationship we’ve had since she recruited me. We’ve been friends now for about seven years and here I am.”
Can you tell us more about the relationship between you and Coach Mitchell?
“It’s actually a blessing. When she recruited me I felt really close to her instantly. I felt like I could talk to her about anything, and she didn’t really have to call me because I called her. We really enjoyed speaking with each other to the point that I forgot I was being recruited. I think that I just really trusted her and I didn’t feel like I was being sold a fake dream. I knew I was going to come here the moment I started speaking with her. I didn’t really care about what the campus looked like or anything like that. All I really needed was some support, a staff that really cared about me, teammates, shoes, a basketball and a court.
That’s how I got here, and over all this time we remained good friends. She actually helped me get my first coaching job at Northwestern State. It’s funny how that worked out because the coaches there were Brooke and Scott Stoehr, and Scott had actually coached her when he was at North Texas as an assistant coach. It’s crazy how it all worked out but I’m happy to be here and I’m definitely in good hands.”
What does it mean to you to be back here at North Texas?
“It means a lot to me. I feel like I’m at home. I think the best thing about being here, especially when I’m recruiting, is that everything I’m selling them is real. I lived it, I’ve been here and I was recruited here. I’m really familiar with Denton and the administrative side. Rick [Villarreal] is definitely a good friend, and there’s just a family atmosphere here. I feel at home, and I’m only 45 minutes away from my real home in Arlington so it’s just a good fit. I love to tell recruits and their parents that this school pretty much made me who I am today. I would be lost if I didn’t come to North Texas. This was actually my first and only visit when I was an incoming athlete. This was a one stop show for me and I have no regrets.”
You’ve had your fair share of success on the court as a player. How has that success translated into your coaching?
“Well my mentality is just to play hard. When I was coached by Karen Aston it was hard for me to understand what she meant when she would say ‘you don’t have to be the best, just give your best.’ So that was the type of mindset that I had as a player and that’s the mentality I have as a coach. I’m not asking for much out of you. I’m just asking that you give your best.
In a lot of ways I take the same approach that Coach Mitchell took when she coached me. I’m not an overbearing, over-the-top type of person. I’m warm-natured and I like to joke around with the players, but most importantly they know when I’m serious. I try to create that relationship with them so that we can talk, we can figure this thing out, and we can make you a better person on and - most importantly - off the court. This is only four years and I’ll be the first person to tell you it’s pretty hard after you graduate. I just try to keep the same mentality, work hard and show the kids that I care. I think once you develop a relationship with them and show that you’re loving, it’s easier for them to play for you and play hard for you.”
What was the next step for you after your playing days were over?
“That’s actually a funny question. My very first job was at T-Mobile. I was basically a sales rep. It was my first job and it was a way to fill a void because I didn’t have anything else to do. That was a tough moment for me because I remembered always being on schedule, going to play basketball or working out. I had that job and it actually ended up helping me in recruiting. You know when you’re selling phones you deal with customers that can be pretty rude, and I just overcame that. I would sell to everybody. At one point I was making more than the manager from commission, so I think that helped me with recruiting because it gave me confidence when I started coaching that I wouldn’t take no for an answer. I’m not very pushy, but I keep things going until we get a kid on campus.”
What kind of stuff do you like to do in your free time?
“I love to eat. I’m a huge ice cream fanatic; I eat it just about every day. I’m very family-oriented and I love to be with family. A good day for me would be sitting around with my family, talking, watching ESPN and reminiscing about fun times. I’m kind of a loner because I like to spend time around the house. I also love to shop. It’s probably one of my worst habits, but I’ve been so busy lately that I really haven’t had time. Really I just like to relax and be around a good group of friends or family.”
What makes coaching worth it for you?
“It’s worth it because it doesn’t feel like a job. I love coming to work and I love my staff. I won’t say it’s easy, but it’s just an instant connection that I have. I don’t feel like it’s extra, this is just what burns in me. I love to help individuals out, and basketball created that mold for me and got me to where I am today. All I want to do is give back.”
Getting To Know Archive
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July 1 - Brittany Sayler