Holy Redeemer Elem. (Span Bay)
Jacqueline Rideout is far removed from her days as the male basketball team’s coach at Holy Redeemer Elementary in Spaniard’s Bay.
Speaking from her desk at the Newfoundland and Labrador English School District head office at Atlantic Place in St. John’s, where she serves as a French program specialist for grades 7-12, Rideout has fond memories of her time at the school.
“I loved my time at Holy Redeemer,” said Rideout. “It was home to me.”
She taught there from 1992 until 2003, winning a number of championships along the way. Then, Rideout moved to Manuels and Villanova Junior High where she patrolled the sidelines for the intermediate girls and Grade 7 boys teams.
She doesn’t coach anymore. Her job at the department means her schedule is busier than it was as a teacher.
Despite not coaching, Rideout is still a fan of the game. A huge New York Knicks fan, she holds a disdain for Indiana Pacers’ legend Reggie Miller.
She’s not sold on the Knicks’ star rookie Kristaps Porzingis yet, but she desperately wants to see New York become a winner again. That fandom for one of basketball’s most famous franchises seeped to her players as well.
“I’m still a New York fan to this day because of (Jacqueline Rideout),” said former player Patrick Whalen. “I even like college ball better. That’s what I like to watch.”
Building a program
Basketball wasn’t high on the agenda when Rideout first started teaching at the school in the early ’90s. There were no lines painted on the floor in the gymnasium located at the front of the school and the basketballs in the equipement room were deflated.
She set to work on fixing all of that. It was necessary if she wanted to build a solid program.
“Getting the glass backboards was a big deal,” said Rideout.
Rideout wanted to teach the game and the children of Spaniard’s Bay wanted to learn. The players showed an intense dedication to getting better.
They showed up for recess-time shooting during the day, took step aerobic classes and made sure to learn the ins-and-outs of the game.
“Everyone was so into it,” said Rideout. “It was the best years for me, coaching-wise.”
Basketball soon became a part of the culture at Holy Redeemer and in the community at large.
“It was a culture in the school,” said Rideout. “There was plenty of community sport. During tournaments, families were bringing me food.”
That’s not all. Rideout routinely had former players come back to help out. They officiated games when she needed them.
Hoops started popping up all over the town.
“It’s a process game,” said Rideout on basketball. “It’s a thinking game. We preached fundamentals. They were fantastic, excellent kids.”
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