King’s Way Christian boys basketball coach Daven Harmeling knows a thing or two about “pack line” defense. As a player at Washington State from 2004 to 2009, Harmeling was immersed in the now famous man-to-man defensive philosophy of coaches Dick and Tony Bennett.
Harmeling has used everything he learned at Washington State to turn King’s Way Christian into a perennial 1A state tournament team. The Knights have advanced to the Yakima SunDome all five seasons under Harmeling, and they have a great chance to get there again this season. King’s Way (13-7, 8-2 Trico 1A) hosts Hoquiam Thursday night in a 1A District IV Tournament opener.
We recently caught up with Harmeling and asked him six questions:
Why did you get into coaching?
I got into coaching because of my love for the game. I personally experienced how transformational a good coach can be for an athlete’s development and life off the court. After I got done playing for Coach Tony Bennett, I knew I wanted to pour into players the same way he poured into my life during my time in Pullman.
What are your coaching aspirations?
My coaching aspiration is to stay at King’s Way Christian until I lose my effectiveness.
Who is your coaching mentor?
Tony Bennett is my coaching mentor. My best coaching resource is Dick Bennett. He is the most wise man I have ever met.
Best coach you’ve matched X’s and O’s with?
Roger DeBoure (Lynden Christian) and Kevin Johnson (formerly Castle Rock High School, currently Clark College).
Best player you’ve coached?
Kienan Walter, currently playing at the University of North Dakota.
Best player you’ve seen and or coached against at the high school level in Washington?
Corey Kispert, currently playing at Gonzaga University.
Hometown: Grand Junction, Colorado
High School: Fruita Monument High School (Colorado)
College: Washington State University