Former Montclair State University women’s basketball star Katie Sire is one of the newest assistant coaches and recruiting coordinators on the team alongside longtime head coach Karin Harvey.
Sire has cemented her legacy with her basketball play, and is continuing to extend it by guiding the current players to victory. Her tenure with the team as a guard/forward from 2014 to 2018 is something remarkable in Division III women’s basketball.
Sire is ranked fourth in Montclair State basketball history for points, seventh in scoring average, has four consecutive New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) championships and a run to the Division III Final Four.
For Sire, all of the success she gained was based off of a mindset all athletes should have going into every game.
“I was definitely highly competitive, which is a big role in sports,” Sire said. “The fact that whatever I wanted to do in my mind, I’m going to do it as best as I can and I’m going to work as hard as I can at it.”
Sire knew that getting to leave an impact on the women’s basketball scene at Montclair State did not come easy. She had a lot of inspiration and help along the way.
In the beginning of her basketball career, she had role models on her team to lean on in order to improve.
“When I was a freshman, I had two seniors, Janitza Aquino and Melissa Tobie, who were both amazing players and had insane work ethic and were really talented basketball players,” Sire said. “I had them to look up to my first year.”
Sire has had the pleasure of overseeing the process and the grind of the women’s basketball team, who have been having a tremendous season.
One of the players that have helped this season come into fruition is Nickie Carter, a freshman guard who is starting to become a star on the team, just like Sire in her first year. Sire even sees a little bit of herself in Carter.
“As a freshman, I got a little hard on myself too,” Sire said. “I had a significant role here my freshman year just like [Nickie Carter] does right now, but our games and our play styles are very different.”
Sire also believes Carter has a lot of potential and room to grow, and that she can become a true talent on the team. Sire loves her job of being a part of the whole team, helping build the chemistry that helps win games and builds success, all thanks to Harvey.
“One of the main things that she stresses with me to learn the most is building relationships with your players and how much that means to me,” Sire said. “The stronger the relationship is, the more they will give you as a player and the more they will want to play for you.”
It also helps that there are two seniors on the team, guard Cerys Maclelland and forward Alex McKinnon, both who are in the same path as Sire. The connection between Sire and the seniors is close, and she lets them know that opportunity to succeed will beckon when the time comes.
“One of the things that I have shared with [the seniors] is try as much as you can while you’re young and feel out what you like,” Sire said. “You might come out of college and think that is something you want to do and you’re not sure.”
Not only does Sire enjoy working hard with the team and keeping them motivated every day to be better players, Sire is forever grateful for what Harvey has done for her career as a player and as a coach. Harvey personally gave Sire the position with the team she is currently holding.
“I think the thing that drew me back was my relationship with Coach Harvey,” Sire said. “She was such a huge impact on my basketball career.”
Sire expanded on how she ended up coming back to the Red Hawks.
“When I talked to Harvey after I graduated about wanting to go back into college coaching [and] when she presented the idea of me going back to Montclair State, I don’t think there would have been a better fit for me,” Sire said. “Just being how successful I was in this program and the relationship that I grew with her over the years, I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.”
Sire and the women’s basketball team are looking to stay strong the last few games of the season and keep their positive momentum going into NJAC playoffs, and possibly beyond.
It is not going to be easy, and Sire knows that keeping up the peak is going to be rough, but as long as they perform the best they can she and Harvey will be proud of the team. Performing her best is all she could ever do throughout her athletic career and that is all Sire can hope for from the next generation of women athletes.