Coach Monica Hang led her team to an undefeated season and another WSC championship.
by Kevin Buckles, Staff Writer
Three-time Western State Conference Coach of the Year Monica Hang has led the Monarchs to back-to-back conference championships including a 12-0 conference record and a 26-5 overall record in the 2013-14 season.
“It’s not just me; it’s my staff. It’s the players. It’s the administrators on campus who support us,” Hang said. “The honors and awards are not just for Monica Hang, it’s for everybody who contributes to women’s basketball and who supports what we do on campus.”
She credits her Mark Keppel High School coach, former Los Angeles Laker Richard Marcus, for helping her develop as a player.
“He taught me the game of basketball, the fundamentals, how to play at 5’2” and how to play like I’m 6 feet,” Hang said. “He helped me to be one of the best point guards in the state.”
She won an array of awards in high school, including Almont League MVP, Pasadena Star News San Gabriel Valley All-West Player of the Year, LA Times San Gabriel Valley (East & West) Top Eight, and First-Team All-CIF.
Her success did not stop after high school. She joined the women’s basketball team at Ventura College as starting point guard, where she led her team to three straight state championships (2000-02), losing only six total games over that three year span, and was a First Team All-Conference and a two time All-State Tournament selection.
She then earned a full athletic scholarship to Cumberland College in Kentucky, where she helped her team reach a Mid-Conference Championship including an appearance at Nationals. Hang sustained equal achievements off the court, having earned a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Leisure Studies and Physical Education. That is the kind of work off the court work she has instilled in her players.
“That’s my number one priority,” Hang said. “To help them help create opportunities for themselves. It’s not about the winning and losing on the court. Getting that scholarship for the student-athlete is winning to me.”
Sophomore forward Myangel Johnson credits Coach Hang for pushing her to succeed while playing for Valley and in the classroom.
“She’s made me want it more, as far as school,” Johnson said. “She’s pushed me to do good in both aspects, on the court and off the court.”
Hang has infused an adage into her team that dates back to her college days to help them succeed not only on the court, but also in everyday life.
“Nothing is impossible, that is our motto,” Hang said. “When somebody tells you, you can’t, we’re going to do it. When somebody says we’re going to lose, we’re going to win.”