Our second coach for 10 questions is our girls varsity basketball coach, Kate Blanken! Coach Blanken is one of our longest tenured and most valuable coaches, enjoy!
Growing up, I lived in both Duxbury, MA (for a few years) and then Gaithersburg, MD. I have 3 siblings, and we share many fun childhood memories.
I graduated from Richard Montgomery HS, where I earned an IB Diploma. At RMHS I played Varsity Girls Basketball, Varsity Girls Field Hockey, and Track and Field during my high school career. I was a proud 3 season Captain. I do want to note that I played in the OLD RM gym, which was voted the most advantageous homecourt in the county! The friendships I made during my high school athletic career were the highlight!
I attended McDaniel College for my freshman and sophomore year of college. I then went on to graduate from Ursinus College, a small liberal arts school in PA. I played Women’s Basketball and was a part of 3 Centennial Conference Championship teams, and played in 3 DIII NCAA Tournaments. I later earned my Master’s Degree from McDaniel College.
I have always been close with my family. My father, Pete McMahon, has coached with me for 13 years. My mother, Beth McMahon, has kept the Girls VBB scorebook for 13 years. Prior to moving, my sister Lauren announced the Girls VBB games for 8 years. I have coached girls bball for 13 years at Churchill, but have also coached JV G Lax, JV softball, and Track and Field.
I now live in Germantown, MD and have a 20 month old son, Reid, whom I love to pieces! Reid loves basketball, but enjoys team dinners even more 🙂
- What motivates you to work hard?
I was raised in a family with a strong work ethic, and it has become part of my outlook on life. In teaching and in coaching, I work hard so that my students and athletes can achieve their potential, have fun, and hopefully learn something that impacts their life in some positive way. I also work hard every day to provide and take care of my son, Reid.
2. What did you want to be when you grew up as a child?
I actually knew that I wanted to be a teacher and coach, from a very young age. However, I first thought that I wanted to be a Spanish teacher! I then had a very impactful Social Studies teacher in high school, Mr. Hines. From then on, I wanted to teach Social Studies. I taught Social Studies at WCHS for 13 years, and now teach PE and Health at the middle school level. My dad and I agreed to coach together when I was still in middle school, and we would constantly talk about basketball. In college, my college coach would review game strategy with me; I learned a lot from these experiences.
3. What is your favorite childhood memory?
That is a really tough question – I have many amazing memories from my childhood. However, one of my favorite basketball memories occurred during 8th grade AAU. At a really big national AAU tournament, WCHS Hall of Famer Alis Freeman (and our AAU team’s star player) trusted me to take the last shot. Her confidence in me as a teammate instilled the belief in myself to make the shot! Another favorite is learning how to do a lay-up. My father, Coach Mac, taught my sister Lauren and I how to do this together. We were able to pick out our own 7-11 Slurpee flavor for mastering it 🙂
4. What is the last book you read that you absolutely couldn’t put down?
Other than the Myers AP Psychology textbook (ha!), I’m a big fan of Malcolm Gladwell. Tipping Point and Blink are two of my Gladwell favorites.
5. What’s your all-time favorite movie?
This might be too obvious, but… HOOSIERS! It is a classic sports film that has the best of everything – drama, humor, the bond of teammates, the underdog story, etc!
6. Who is your favorite band?
I honestly don’t have a favorite band. I do prefer live music, and if it’s quality, enjoy listening to really any genre of music live. Just so that my team can tease me a bit, in 9th grade, I was a BIG fan of N Sync.
7. What is your favorite holiday?
Does March Madness count as a holiday?!
8. If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life what would it be?
Easy – dark chocolate and peanut butter, with iced coffee as my beverage of choice.
9. Which famous person would you like to be best friends with?
Maybe Lebron James? I’d love to hear more about what motivates him, learn more about his school and work with education, and hopefully – get access to many games! I think being best friends with Serena Williams would be pretty awesome, too!
10. If you could have a superpower what would it be?
Easy – I want to fly! I figured out a long time ago that this would be my only chance to dunk, too…