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Family Battle on Saturday

By Martin Barrett

Ricky Frazier Playing for the Rainier Beach Vikings

This Saturday the Burien-based Highline Pirates team will travel to Franklin High School in a men’s basketball match-up. This game is special! This is the “student vs. the mentor”. This is also “a battle of cousins”.

Highline High School is coached by Rick Frazier. This is Frazier’s first season as a Head Coach. On the other end of the court is Rick’s older cousin, Franklin Head Coach Craig Jackson, in his 22nd year of coaching and his 4th year as Head Coach at Franklin. During those years Jackson mentored his cousin as an assistant for four seasons.

Both coaches come from winning traditions. In 1982 Coach Jackson was the Metro MVP on the Washington State Championship Roosevelt basketball team. Coach Frazier had success as a lockdown defensive guard on the 1998 Rainier Beach State Champions. Jackson remembers watching Frazier play in the Kingdome. “Frazier is a defensive coach, just like me. He was a lockdown player on defense in his playing days,” said Jackson. Frazier agreed that “hard and hustling defense” wins games. Jackson said he anticipates a hard-played game with players from both teams intense on defense.

Both Jackson and Frazier are cut from the same coaching philosophy, something Frazier gratefully learned from Jackson. “Being professional as a coach is about building character. You must know how to run a program and conduct a great practice. You must view your kids as student-athletes,” said Jackson. Frazier echoed these words and added, “We teach kids how to grow in their emotional and social intelligence. We focus on grades before basketball.”

Coach Jackson

Both teams had a slow start in the season. Franklin is 3-8 this year. “We have a lot of young players this year, kids who have never played organized basketball. We’ve lost 7 games by a combined 30 points. We are always in the game; we just have trouble finishing.” according to Jackson.

The Highline Pirates have picked up momentum in the new year, going 3 – 0 in January. “We started playing better in the Christmas tournament. Our guys have grown to like each other and therefore are playing well together. The guys are diving on the floor after the ball. We are finishing games. It’s how you finish that matters,” said Frazier.

Both coaches are looking forward to the game. There is a deep respect for each other. There is also a great desire to win. Bragging rights at the family summer bar-b-que mean a lot!

We at Highline have much to be grateful for in our new Head Coach.

Coach Frazier mentioned two people without whom he would not be a Pirate. Coach Jackson helped make him the coach he is. “I owe him so much, I would not be here without him,” a grateful Frazier said. Coach Frazier also glowed about his wife. “She stuck with me even when I did not get the jobs I wanted. She kept me from giving up. And now here I am!”

The game is 7:00 PM at Franklin High School on January 14.

The Rainier Beach Vikings including Ricky Frazier #3

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