After a hiatus of three seasons, girls basketball is back at Mammoth High School.
In the first tryouts for the new program, 33 girls took a stab at the nets under the watchful eye of new coach William Bauman, a 26-year-old long, tall—really tall—drink of water from Minnesota.
“Basketball is turning a corner in town,” said Bauman, who was recently married to Mammoth local John Eastman’s daughter, Danielle.
“It’s just the greatest sport ever invented.”
Bauman said he played a bit of college hoops before arriving in Mammoth, and is familiar with women’s basketball in particular.
His sister, Kate, played Division I college basketball at Iowa State and UC Santa Barbara, and he’s not shy about why he’d rather coach girls than boys.
“I think with girl players, there’s a little bit more sensitivity and patience on the court,” he said. “It seems like they’re more in tune with the game and their teammates, and they pick up more on instilling confidence on a team.”
Of the 33 girls who signed up for tryouts, Bauman said there were no seniors and just five juniors. When the season begins, he said, he plans a practice roster of 15. Of those, 10 to 12 would travel, owing to transportation constraints.
He said he will work alongside Jason Patterson, the coach of the boys’ team, on a volunteer basis.
“As soon as I got here I wanted to be part of the basketball culture,” he said.
In addition to volunteering his coaching duties at the high school, Bauman said he also is working with the Recreation Department’s John Connolly in town-sponsored hoops.
“This,” he said, “is a lifelong dream.”