Berkeley High School named Cheryl Draper as its new girls’ basketball coach Monday. Draper replaced Gene Nakamura two weeks ago and her team will play their first basketball game in November.
Coach “Nak” Nakamura, who had coached the girls’ basketball team for 25 years, retired on Feb. 16 after leading his team to win the Division I State Champions twice and Division I Northern California Champions seven times.
Draper is a graduate of Division I Bradley University and has held the all-time assists record for the Indiana Association of Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (IAIAW).
She has taught physical education at Longfellow Middle School and has served as junior varsity coach with the Berkeley High Lady Jackets since 2000.
From 1998 to 1999, Draper was head coach at Piedmont High School. She was also co-head coach at Kennedy High School in Richmond.
“It feels fantastic,” she told the Planet in a telephone interview Monday. “It’s a great great honor. I hope I can keep up with the expectations.”
Coach Draper’s advice to her team is to be consistent with their fundamental development and keep up the competitive spirit.