May 30, 2024

OC Sports Zone: Community First

Crisis can’t keep Crean Lutheran girls basketball coaches from making special visits

Rachael Ziemann (driver’s seat) and Bianca Ziemann co-head girls basketball coaches at Crean Lutheran and their two dogs visit with one of the Saints JV players Madison Kemp on Thursday. (Photo courtesy Ziemann family)

Crean Lutheran High School’s co-head girls basketball coaches Bianca and Rachael Ziemann completed a special mission Saturday, making the final stop of 21 visits. In all, the two coaches visited with 22 players (two lived in the same home) over two weeks while practicing all social distancing rules.

The twin sisters called it Mission R&B’s named after Rachael and Bianca and the sisters’ two dogs, Bailey and Bell.

“We wanted to do something unique and special for our girls basketball program,” Bianca Ziemann said Saturday. “Then one day, Coach Rae saw this touching story (in the Orange County Register) on her instagram.”

The story followed a Trabuco Mesa Elementary school teacher who delivered a sea shell and poem to all of her students, communicating through windows and practicing social distancing.

Since coaches and athletes aren’t allowed to be together during the coronavirus crisis and schools have gone to on-line teaching, the Ziemanns figured out a way to communicate with their players.

“We had been pondering what to do and this was God sent,” Bianca Ziemann said. “We decided to make a small gift, which consisted of a wooden cross where we put their name, jersey number and team bible verse (Ephesians 3:20).

“Our goal was to break up the stops in four days over the course of two weeks. The days we chose were our days off so we had plenty of time to converse and enjoy the time spent keeping our distance from the girls and many of the parents who came out to greet us.”

The players on the team seemed to appreciate the visits and enjoyed seeing the two dogs too.

Our girls love our dogs so they were part of the trip …. Our mother, Terice came to half of the visits which was awesome as well.”

-Tim Burt, OC Sports Zone; timburt@ocsportszone.com