Nov 28, 2012 4:28 PM by Andrew Masuda

Laurie Decker set for historic debut Thursday with Tigers basketball

Laurie Decker will make Central Coast history on Thursday. Decker will coach her first game as San Luis Obispo High's boys basketball head coach when the Tigers open the season at home against Independence out of Bakersfield at 5pm.

Decker previously coached girls programs at San Luis Obispo High and Nipomo High, but she will become the first woman to coach a varsity boys basketball game on the Central Coast.

The players admit it was a little unusual at first. "It's kind of different for us because a lot of us haven't had a girl coach growing up and playing club and everything. But we kind of adjusted to it, over summer and it's going pretty good so far," said senior guard Blake Shapazian. "She has experience and she's teaching us a lot of new stuff."

Decker was a former basketball star herself. She was the first two-time winner of the Miss Basketball award in Minnesota. She won the award in 1986 and 1987 while playing for Rochester Lourdes High. She went on to play four seasons on scholarship at Iowa State before taking a job as an assistant at Cal Poly for two season.

"She's great, she's really pushing us to make sure we're going a hundred percent all the time. In her room at lunch watching film all the time," added senior forward Parker Lauritzen.

The Tigers finished one game above .500 last season. Once again, they don't have a lot of size on the team.

"We're really excited about how hard the boys have worked in the offseason. We're excited about the leadership from our senior class and we're just establishing something that the community can get behind and that we're proud of putting on the floor," said Decker, who insists she's not about making history and is about winning games and teaching her players on and off the court.



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