When the Grand Rapids Galaxy open the 2018 Women's Blue Chip Basketball League (WBCBL) season there will be a new voice in charge of the sidelines. Nikki Thompkins, a 1990 graduate of Creston High School in Grand Rapids, will take over the reigns as head coach.
When asked about the future of the Galaxy, Thompkins hopes to 'build on the success of our inaugural season last year. We have revamped the staff but still bring a winning attitude to the new season. We look forward to a new style of play, increased sponsorship, great attendance and more community involvement.'
New GM/VP of Operations for the team, Darnell Hollis, made the move official today, announcing it on social media. Hollis, also a Creston HS graduate, spent last season as an assistant coach with the Galaxy.
'I loved playing for Creston High School. I'm a proud Polar Bear!!'
Thompkins starred for the Polar Bears before heading off to Central Michigan University (1991-1994). She ranks 12th on the Chippewa's all-time scoring list with 1,258 points, averaging 12.0 points per game. The Galaxy will surely be practicing their shooting and rebounding early and often this season. Thompkins still ranks at the top of the list on CMU's field-goal percentage rankings at 54.3% for her career. She holds the 10th place spot for rebounds at 780, or 7.4 boards per game.
Thompkins played alongside Grand Rapids Sports Hall of Fame recent inductee, Carla Sterk, during her time at CMU.
She then spent eight years as a professional player in Israel, Portugal, Switzerland and Turkey. After her experiences working out with WNBA teams and training with UTS Sports Training, her passion for the game shows she is ready to lead the team to a successful season.
During last year's City League Pride Weekend, an event put together by former Union High School All-Stater Michael 'Pops' Sims (Marquette University), Thompkins led the Polar Bears squad to a tourney championship and was named MVP. When asked about the weekend, Thompkins showed her inner spirit and competitiveness, 'That was awesome. It was great to represent my school and win. Bragging rights!!! I loved being the only female and dominating the guys! haha'
Hollis knew he wanted Thompkins to coach this team from the very start. 'I wanted Nikki to be the coach when I was offered the job. My number one goal was to bring a coach that has passion and love for this game. When you want a team to win and have the passion it starts with the coach. I couldn't think of a better person than Nikki,' Hollis told us in an interview. 'I watched her in practice last year and listened to her talk about the game. I new she could lead a team and help develop a team to continue their career of playing professional basketball. Not to mention both of us being Polar Bears (Creston High School) helped a lot.'
The Galaxy are in good hands on the floor and in the office. Maybe a WBCBL championship isn't so far, far away after all.
Beer City Hoops