Former Washington basketball star Sami Whitcomb is still with the Huskies, but now it's as video coordinator as she makes transition from playing to coaching.

Share story

Sometimes Washington coach Tia Jackson has to resist the urge.

One of her best players is still on the bench, but Sami Whitcomb isn’t eligible to play. She graduated last spring but is back on the sideline as the Huskies’ video coordinator.

Whitcomb began as a coaching intern while playing her final season. After a quick stint in the Chicago Sky’s training camp, Whitcomb opted to take the open position to begin her coaching career.

“It’s definitely different on this side,” said Whitcomb, who led the Huskies in points (13), rebounds (5.6) and assists (2.5) as a senior. “I’m still incredibly grateful for the opportunity I had with the Sky. It was awesome and I’ll always cherish that, because I know a lot of people don’t get that chance.”

Cut by the Sky, Whitcomb thought about playing in Switzerland last summer. The lack of strong competition in those leagues to prepare her to break into the WNBA ultimately led her to end her playing career.

Well, Whitcomb still plays. She joined a men’s recreation league and pops in on open gyms when free. But her time is mainly spent splicing tape for scouting breakdowns and videotaping practice for Jackson.

“There was this bittersweet, ‘I’m closing this chapter and beginning another,’ ” said Whitcomb, who played in one NCAA tournament game in 2007 under coach June Daugherty. “That was tough. For 10 years of my life, it’s been complete devotion to playing. But I’m still part of the game. That makes the transition a lot easier.”

Jayda Evans: 206-464-2067 or