Back in the game: Kathy Adelman Naro returns to coaching - KPTV - FOX 12

Back in the game: Kathy Adelman Naro returns to coaching

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Her father was one of the original Portland Trail Blazers, now she's back in the game. FOX 12's Nick Krupke recently sat down with the first-year head coach at Beaverton High.

Rick Adelman spent 11 seasons as a coach in Rip City with more than five of those as head coach when the Blazers made the NBA finals in 1990 and '92.

Rick's oldest daughter, Kathy Adelman Naro, got the coaching bug when helping out at dad's kids camps when she was in high school. After missteps in the game of life off-the-court nearly a decade ago, Naro is now back in the game. 

“I love being part of something where you take all of these pieces and gifts from kids and put them all together,” she said. 

Kathy Naro has pieced her life back together. 

“I’ve always just loved basketball and had such a passion for it and love being around kids so to have the opportunity again, I am grateful,” she said.  

A language arts teacher at St. Pius, the University of Portland alum is in her first season as head basketball coach of the girls program at Beaverton High School.

“The thing about Beaverton, back when I played at Tigard, is there is such a feeling of community here. I remember I hated coming in here and playing because I knew they were going to be tough and back each other up. There was just a strong sense of community so to be a part of that is just amazing,” Naro said. 

Naro was an amazing player herself, a state champion with the Tigard Tigers in 1988. Now coaching for Bucky, Naro feels lucky to be in such a place after stepping down from her job at Jesuit High back in 2009 following two drunken-driving arrests. 

“I really struggled and made some poor decisions and had a difficult time and disappointed a lot of people,” she said. “The amount of forgiveness that people have given me and then reaching out now that I am back into it, I am just grateful.” 

Kids can just Google and learn of Naro’s DUIIs, which she doesn't shy away from.

“Straight on and with honesty. Just about the different struggles that I had and the decisions that I made in my life and my unwillingness to ask for help. Thinking I can figure this out. I am not afraid to talk about what I went though. I have two choices, I can wallow in my pity or I can use it as a learning tool,” she said. 

She’s learning again to coach alongside her husband and assistant, John. 

“We work well together. Sometimes I think we have a little too much time together but we are working it out,” she laughed. 

Two of the Naros' three daughters suit up for the Beavs: sophomore captain Mary Kay and freshman Mackenzie.

“I try to tell them, in the gym, yes I am your mom but I am your coach and I am going to treat you the exact same way as the other players but I do have very high expectations for them as well as all of the kids,” Naro said. 

Her dad has high expectations as well and Coach Rick is on speed dial. 

“I love talking basketball with him. He has such an amazing mind about the game. He'll see things that I go, why didn't I think about that?” Naro said. 

The Beavers even draw up some inbounds plays that Adelman used to run with the Blazers and Kings. 

“Sometimes I will have to remind him when he says different things like, ‘Dad, I don't have Chris Webber catching the ball or Vlade Divac,” Naro said. 

Learning from past mistakes to live in the present. 

“I think i have more of an appreciation for all of the little things in life. I really do,” she said. “Different things that I have gone through have made me appreciate doing the next, right thing and living in the moment. Before in the past, even though I didn't know I was doing it, I had a lot of anxiety of worrying about what happened yesterday or what's coming up. I really think stepping away and coming back, just enjoying each practice, enjoying my moments, my moments with the girls, just living in the moment.” 

Naro's brothers are also into coaching. Pat is head varsity coach of the Lincoln boys while David is an assistant with the Denver Nuggets. 

The Beavs are off to a 13-1 start, 7-and-0 in the Metro League. 

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