The Anatomy of a State Champion

Coach Kent Hamre

Head Knight Values “Effort, Attitude & Heart”    



Knight in Shining Title, Looking to Repeat

Expect the Class AAA Minnesota State Champion St. Michael-Albertville Knights to battle their way back to the Target Center. Head Basketball Coach Kent Hamre knows if the team wants to repeat, younger players will need to elevate their game. That means being on the same page, with everyone playing her role and believing in herself. gPrep talked to Coach Hamre about staying on top.

gPrep Q&A With Head Warrior Kent Hamre


gPrep: What’s the hardest part about being a defending state champion and the easiest part?

Coach Hamre: “Stay on top! We know that each night we are going to see everyone’s best effort to knock off the defending state champs. Getting to the top is one thing; staying there is another.
Nothing is going to be easy. We move from AAA to AAAA and go from the biggest school in AAA to the smallest in AAAA.”

gPrep: What will it take to repeat in March?

Coach Hamre: “Hard work, stay healthy and luck. We are going to be replacing four starters and are going to need some kids with not much experience to step up their game and gain confidence by March.”

gPrep: Talk about the components of a championship team.

Coach Hamre: “Everyone needs to be on the same page. Everyone has to believe in themselves, their teammates and their coaches. The basketball season is a long season, and each player and team has peaks and valleys, and championship teams know how to pick up the pieces through the valleys and get through the tough times. Everyone has to know what their roles are and make the team better every day.”

gPrep: Who is your toughest team to play?

Coach Hamre: “In the conference, we have always struggled against Becker. This year Princeton will be a difficult team to play even with the loss of Loberg (Katie). They have a very solid team that has size and speed. Outside the conference without a doubt, Hopkins is the toughest team to play. We have played them for the past seven years and have never beaten them.”

gPrep: What’s the single most important skill/talent a team needs to get to the Target Center in March?


Coach Hamre: “Effort, attitude and heart. We put it on the board before each game, and if we don t have all three, it’s going to be a long night. It takes more than one player. You can’t have any weaknesses because once you get to March, teams will exploit your weakness.”

gPrep: Describe the “perfect” team.

Coach Hamre: “2009 STMA Knights! We knew going into the season that we might struggle at the beginning of the year because we were replacing four starters from the previous year. One of our goals was to get better every day from November to March. You need a team that gets along, and there is no jealousy. Everyone works together to achieve a common goal.”

gPrep: Describe the “total” player.

Coach Hamre: “Someone who puts the team ahead of herself and looks at wins not stats. A player who is good for the program and is a role model for players of all ages within the program.”

gPrep: How many have you coached?

Coach Hamre: “I have had a few, and they have all been on teams that made it to the state tournament.”

gPrep: Is there pressure on you to win again?

Coach Hamre: “Only the pressure we put on ourselves. We are moving from AAA to AAAA this year, and I want to be the first school to win titles in AA (2001), AAA (2009), AAAA (????). Our expectations within are that we want to be competitive. We usually get picked in the middle of the pack, and that is fine with us. We prefer to stay out of the radar of the experts.”

gPrep: What’s the best basketball advice you’ve ever received?

Coach Hamre: “Believe in yourself. And, coach the way you got there. Don't let outside influences change your coaching style.”

gPrep: Who’s your mentor?

Coach Hamre: “Vern Johnson my uncle who is the head boys coach up at Grygla, Minnesota and Mike Roysland, UMC women’s coach.”






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