Koehn Listens to Dad’s Advice

June 18, 2008

Laurie Koehn is in her fourth year with the Washington Mystics, having carved out a reputation as a solid long-distance shooter who’s dangerous from the three-point zone. But she’ll always remember a small thing her father taught her about shooting many years ago.

Koehn was in elementary school when she and her siblings would shoot at a basket that stood just eight-and-a-half feet off the ground. Her neighbors had a 10-foot bucket, the height of high school, college and pro hoops, but Perry Koehn made his kids wait until giving them that kind of basket.

“He said he wouldn’t raise the goal to 10 feet until we showed we had the right form,” she said with a chuckle.

That’s one way Koehn’s father helped his daughter, one of many stories to be told this Friday when the Mystics host Atlanta and celebrate the relationships between Dads and Daughters.

Even though Koehn’s been a star at Kansas State and played in the WNBA plus Turkey, France and the United Kingdom (in the off-seasons), she still connects with her dad on a regular basis. Her parents are Perry and Cyndi Koehn and they still live in Hesston, Kan.

“He’s always been a big part of my life,” Koehn said. “Both of my parents have been, but for sure my dad was always in the driveway with me and my brothers, teaching us how to shoot right and how to do other things. He…is probably the biggest reason that I love sports so much.”

Perry Koehn was his daughter’s track coach in high school. She was a distance runner and her dad supervised her workouts throughout the track season.

“I have a lot of memories in high school when he was my coach,” Laurie said. “He really pushed me.”

Laurie Koehn said her father follows her teams very closely. She said he knows everything that the teams she plays on – whether it’s the Mystics or overseas – is going through, and that’s why they have little trouble picking up conversations about basketball.

Koehn uses her father’s advice to try and become a better basketball player. She’s known as the great long-range shooter who can break down the defenses of other teams, but Koehn also is trying to get better at other things so she can get more playing time with the Mystics.

That’s why she works hard in the off-season on different skills.

“I need to be more versatile, and I need to show that I can do other things,” she said. “It’s definitely something that I’ve worked on a lot and hope that I can continue to show [improvement in].”

Koehn has had some good games this season, scoring a season-high 12 in the May 25 victory over Houston. She also scored six points three times off the bench, giving the Mystics some needed offensive punch.

But all of that goes back to the great teaching Koehn got as a kid from her dad, who never stopped working with her and still knows everything that’s going on with his favorite player.

“Even when I’m overseas, he knows more of what’s going on than I do,” she said with a laugh.