Stevens steps up at the Jets

Monique Stevens (Supplied)

Tara Murray

When Monique Stevens arrived at the Sunbury Jets in 2016 she never imagined that a short time later that she would be the side’s Big V state championship women’s coach.

A three-time championship player with the Jets, Stevens was recently announced as the Jets coach, replacing Simon Nicholson, who is departing the club.

Stevens was assistant coach last season and was set to have that role again this season.

Stevens said the opportunity wasn’t one she was expecting so soon.

“I’m super excited,” she said. “It felt like a natural progression and where my basketball journey is going.

“I’m very honoured. They called me and asked if I would be interested and I was.”

Stevens said while the late appointment wasn’t ideal, being familiar with the club made things a lot easier.

As well as being an assistant coach and past player, she has worked for the Sunbury association, with many familiar faces still about..

Stevens said after her playing days she had always been keen on coaching.

“I’m learning my way into a coaching role,” she said. “I thought it would be three to five years before a head coaching role.

“I was an assistant last year and again this year. I was building myself up, but it has been fast tracked.”

Stevens got a taste of head coaching last season, taking the reins when Nicholson was away with state teams.

She said it was a good way to get her feet wet and she thought that head coaching was something for me.

Since her appointment, Stevens said she had been busy working the phones to try and complete the squad.

“We have got a few players that were signed by Simon,” she said. “There’s still some money in the budget to have an import and a couple of other players.

“I’ve been straight on the phone to players, especially imports, to get that locked in as quickly as possible and get on the court.”

Stevens said the squad would still have a local feel, with several local players locked in to be part of the squad.

For Stevens, it will be a reunion with some of her former players.

“We’ve got some transitioning up from youth league and some coming back from college,” she said.

“Some Sunbury locals. It’s nice to see that career progression and some are locals that I coached in under-18s all those years ago.”

Tara Murray