They love basketball.
And more importantly, they love their school.
That’s why Kristen Teklinsky, Megan Decker and Kacy Peyton have returned to St. Hubert High School as coaches.
And it couldn’t be working out any better for them, the school and, most importantly, their players.
Teklinsky is the assistant varsity coach, working with head coach Dave Schafer. Decker runs the junior varsity squad with Peyton serving as her assistant.
All three have coaching in their blood.
They also have Hubert in their hearts.
“I take a lot of pride in being a St. Hubert’s grad and coaching there,” said Teklinsky, a 2000 graduate who is in her second stint as a coach with the Bambies. ‘My aunts, my sister, my mom. I love the brown and gold, the sisterhood, it’s like no other. I can’t say enough about the experience.”
For Peyton and Decker, it’s nice to be back together representing their alma mater,
Both played for the school before graduating in 2011. They both went on to play college basketball — Decker at Cabrini, Peyton at Delaware Valley.
Now they are teammates once again, although this time it’s on the bench.
“It 100 percent means more that I’m coaching at St. Hubert’s, I’ve coached other places and I’ve loved that, but this is really special because it’s home,” said Peyton, who joined the squad this year after coaching at St. Tim’s the last six years. “I’ve always loved it. I would always help out here and there if someone needed me, but being back here is special. When I started coaching, I was hooked, I fell in love with it. And it was special to be at St. Tim’s, and now it’s special to be back at Hubert’s.”
“I love it so much,” said Decker, who is a fourth-grade teacher at Maritime Academy Charter. “I enjoy being around the girls. I love it. I think being a teacher definitely has helped me become a better coach. And I have flashbacks of being in their shoes. I’m not that much older, I just played here 10 years ago. It’s fun to watch them grow and learn.
“Being back here makes me very sentimental. I loved it here, but now I’m back and it’s just as exciting. I like being around the girls. I love when we win. I still get excited when we play Ryan. It’s fun. It’s just great to be back.”
It certainly means more because of the team they’re representing, but it helps that basketball is their passion.
It also means a lot because they’re having fun.
Peyton and Decker were teammates before becoming rivals in college, where they played each other twice and split the series.
But they always remained friends and when the opportunity came up to work together as Bambies, it was something they both jumped at.
They thought it would be fun, and they were both right.
“I’ve been teammates with her forever, at St. Tim’s, I played with her there, played at St. Hubert’s together and we played AAU for the Northeast Rockers,” Peyton said. “We’ve been playing together for years. Even Mr. Schafer says we’re so funny, we’re laughing and going crazy together.
“It’s been really great helping her. We have been close friends since fifth grade. It’s great, we can be honest with each other. If I think of something, I can say, ‘Yo Meg, why don’t we try this.’ It’s a trust thing.”
“I’ve known her for so long, so we click,” Decker said. “I get her, she gets me and the trust is the most important part. Dave asked me if I wanted an assistant, and I said I can’t do this alone! She came to my mind.
“I was a three swing kind of guard, and she’s a shooter. I think the best type of coaching staff has players who have played different positions. I see things she sees, and we put our thoughts together. But she’s great, she’s a natural, and we have so much fun with the girls.
“We haven’t been out that long, we’re still young, so we get a lot about what they’re going through. I think that helps.”
Like the JV coaches, Teklinsky thinks she’s right where she belongs.
She has been coaching for most of her life, and was most recently the lacrosse coach at Nazareth Academy, and she loved the girls she had there.
But there is a different feeling of coaching anywhere else and being home with her Bambies, and this year has been exactly what she wanted.
“When I was asked by Dave to help with basketball, it was a no-brainer,” Teklinsky said. “Anything to be back at St. Hubert’s. I love the school and I love the game. It worked out with my work schedule, and I’m so happy here. I love coaching with Dave, and it’s where I belong.
“The parents, the kids, the fans, how involved everyone is. They love the school. They help with fundraising. It’s an all-around family. How much they are about sports, academics, everyone at the school cares about the girls. It’s great. It really is home. My mom will still come to games, my sister will be there when we’re allowed to have fans. It just works.”
This year has been great, but it’s been anything but normal.
Crazy schedules, no fans and the Bambies compete in the Blue Division, which doesn’t even have playoffs this year.
It’s a shame because Hubert is 10-0 in divisional play with one game to play. But there are better ways to judge how a season goes other than championships, and in that way, this year has been a banner one.
“It’s just fun,” Teklinsky said. “It’s a great group, and I’m glad I’m around them.”
“I hope to be around, I love it,” Peyton said. “When it was time to order gear, we bought as much as possible. We are proud Hubert’s grads, and you can never have too much Bambies stuff. This is my home.”
“We’re getting better, it’s been a good year,” Decker said. “It wasn’t a normal year, but we’re learning. We jumped right in and didn’t have a chance to practice a lot, but I’m proud of what we did. I love being here. It’s my school.”