How Chelsea Newton became vital coaching asset for basketballs Lady Bulldogs (USA)
A number of picture frames and jerseys hang across Georgia assistant coach Chelsea Newton’s office. There was no opportunity to pick the decorations or decide where they would go. Everything was pre-designed on her first day in 2015.
The names of Ashley Houts, Teresa Edwards, Katrina McClain are emblazoned on red, black and white alternating jerseys and perched above the workspace give Newton a reminder of basketball’s legacy, a sport she has been connected with for a lifetime.
“You look up there and see all of those great names,” Newton said. “It shows you how special of a place this is at Georgia. You see all of the memories that have taken place.”
Newton has always been connected with those other names, in uniform, and didn’t envision that changing. She saw herself moving onto another venture after shedding the jersey. Instead, she now sits behind a red-and-black nameplate and a cluttered desk full of paperwork. Welcome to the coaching world.
“I had no desire to go into this,” Newton said. “(Rutgers’ head coach C. Vivian) Stringer is the whole reason why I’m here.”
Newton’s devotion to basketball started when she was five years old on an outdoor court in her hometown of Monroe, Louisiana. She would always play pickup games or have a ball in her hands, but little did she know it would take her to coaching.
Years later, Newton’s name is well-traveled across the landscape of women’s basketball. She has collected the accolades as a four-year contributor at Rutgers under Stringer, a second-round WNBA draftee by the Sacramento Monarchs (in which she flashes a championship ring won in her rookie season, no less) and a four-year pro career which featured two All-WNBA honors.
“I was always the guard on the floor telling people where to go,” Newton said. “I always thought it was what I was supposed to do … be the extension on the floor. I never thought of it turning into any of this.”
Then, after a season with the Chicago Sky, Newton got her first taste of the field as the Rutgers’ Director of Player Development in 2006.
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