Jumping at an Opportunity
Cy Springs’ Mansa El takes leap into coaching boys
Mansa El wasn’t supposed to be a Cypress Springs’ boys’ basketball coach when the school year began.
After being hired as an English teacher in September, El heard about an opening for the Freshman A head coach and varsity assistant positions. She nailed the interview for both.
“It kind of just happened,” El joked. “I’m not one to back down from an opportunity, so I went ahead and took it.”
El was a good fit for the roles because she played at Cy-Fair High School, and later North Texas, Tallahassee Community College and South Alabama.
She was also an assistant coach for West Virginia Wesleyan College and the University of Houston girls’ basketball teams.
She hopes her past experience guides her players to individual and team success, whether it’s winning district titles before high school graduation, or being recruited and playing in college.
“I was happy to share that with them, having been there in the past,” she said.
Even with a transition period, El found early success in year one.
It started with her competitive nature, which implemented the necessary winning mentality that will help her players make the jump to varsity. She also used her straightforward, tell-you-how-it-is coaching style to critique her players’ games. She made adjustments for the faster boys’ game, as well as developments in player mentality and athletic abilities.
It resulted in a winning record for the freshman A team, which went 14-11, and the varsity’s second-straight playoff berth.
“It was really fun for me to be so hands-on with everyone,” El said. “Once [varsity head] coach [Sam] Benitez told them that I was going to be there, they all bought into the idea of me being there. Varsity has really taken advantage of me being around. I think the freshmen are still getting used to me.”
This article appears in the March Issue of VYPE Magazine. Pick up your copy when issues hit stands next week!