Article, 2009-2010 Season - Ohlone College Renegades Women's Basketball

Small college notebook: Ohlone Renegade coach Julia Allender may be JC's renaissance woman

By Matt Schwab, Oakland Tribune.

Friday, December 11, 2009—Reprinted from Contra Costa Times.

If the Ohlone College women's basketball team looks fit to the finish, Renegades fans can probably thank the squad's new head coach.

Julia Allender has a master's degree in human movement from Southern Utah University, where she excelled as a basketball guard after starring at San Jose City College and Santa Clara High.

Specifically, human movement study relates to a combination of kinesiology, exercise fitness and sports conditioning, she said.

"It's along the lines of being able to take a team or an individual and run them through tests to develop them on an athletic level in regards to speed, quickness, power, and strength, depending on the athlete or sport," Allender said.

Then again, it never hurts to have one of the region's top junior college guard tandems in Ohlone sophomores Jasmine Rubin (James Logan) and Ganeaya Rogers (Milpitas).

Ohlone, which hosts its first Winter Tournament on Dec. 18-19—a four-team field that also includes Diablo Valley College, San Diego City and Irvine Valley—was 2-1 record and ranked No. 10 in Northern California, through Thursday.

Rubin is a "top scorer who can make tough shots and get to the basket extremely well," Allender said, adding that Rogers basically can't be guarded off the dribble.

If opponents focus too heavily Rubin and Rogers, "R&R" as they're known, Ohlone's Beatrice Conejero (Leigh-San Jose) and Ashley Valenzuela (James Logan) can make them pay.

Rubin's older brother Janou, who played basketball at UCLA after breaking scoring records at James Logan, is having an immediate impact as a new Ohlone assistant coach. Jasmine's other older brother, Jawaan, is a senior forward at Cal State East Bay.

Last season under former coach Elizabeth Stanley, Ohlone won the Coast Conference South Division title with a 12-0 record and advanced to the Sweet 16 of the state JUCO playoffs. But Stanley's contract wasn't renewed, and Allender, 27, was hired April 20 after spending the past three seasons in charge of the school's recruitment, player development and offensive strategies.

In Allender's first season in that role, the Renegades won the 2006-07 conference title.

Ohlone athletic director Chris Warden said Allender's transition to head coach has been "great" so far. He is thrilled about Ohlone's 63-62 home win over Foothill on Nov. 24 that avenged a loss to the North Division conference foe last season.

Allender describes her coaching style as follows: "I'm more a teacher of the game rather than a controller of it. … I like to see what I got and exploit their talent. I don't follow a lot of strict rules with regards to 'You can't do this. You can't do that.' "

Agreeing that her relative youth and elite playing experience are huge coaching assets, Allender has been plotting out her course for a long time.

"The big thing is I've wanted to coach since I was very young, so I took every playing experience as a coaching experience," she said. "I think that helped the transition (to Ohlone's head coach) even more."

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