Junior forward Haidyn Ecker of the Philomath High girls basketball team plays a style of ball that is no longer common in the modern game.
Ecker is a classic back to the basket, post-up five and thinks Stephen Curry and the 3-point shot are overrated.
She attributes her success this year to the team dynamic and the class of players coming together. Her improvement as a player can in part be explained by the fact that she’s a gym rat.
Her dad, Blake Ecker, is the head coach of the school’s boys team. The Warriors boys are the defending 4A state champions and are on a seven-game winning streak.
Ecker looks to the boys and tries to bring some of their game into her own. The Philomath girls (6-10, 2-4 Oregon West Conference) travel to Newport Friday night for their next game.
Q: What’s your best post move?
Ecker: I like the left hook. Even though I’m right-handed, I come around with the left.
Q: Do you practice that a lot?
Ecker: Yeah. I play all throughout the summer and spring. Not too much during volleyball season, because I play volleyball, too. I’ll pick up a basketball here and there though, I’m definitely always in the gym.
Q: Why have you been able to be successful this year individually?
Ecker: This year our team has really come together. We get the ball into the post, I give it up to my teammates because they do a good job of getting it in to me. And I’ve been attacking harder this year.
Q: What is the team improving upon?
Ecker: I think we are getting a lot better at help defense. It was kind of wishy-washy for a little bit. We are stepping across the lane, helping the helper, talking a lot more.
Q: What has been the best team-building moment this year?
Ecker: We went to Astoria and went swimming, that was fun. I purposely brought a book to the pool because I didn’t want to get in so nobody would push me in. It was a school book too.
Q: What is it like to have your dad at school coaching the boys team?
Ecker: Get to see him 24/7, it’s super nice because he’s got keys to the gym. He has great knowledge and helps me out.
Q: How many players on the boys team could you score on in the post?
Ecker: I actually started practicing with them last year when our season was over. They were a little scared of me at first because I’m the coach’s daughter. But, I could take Calvin (Snuggerud), probably Tyler (Pfarrer) too. Cal Steuve is super strong I couldn’t take him.
Q: Who would win one-on-one, you or your dad?
Ecker: Half court, possibly my dad, but I’d give him a run for his money. Full court, I’d smoke him. He can’t run.
Q: What’s your dream job?
Ecker: I want to be a nurse. I think it would be cool to help save someone’s life.
Q: Do you want to play college ball?
Ecker: I think that would be awesome. I went to Fresno (California) for a camp. (Linn-Benton), I’ve been there a couple times. My brother plays there. I’m good with local, but I’m OK with out of state, too.
Q: If you could have dinner with any celebrity, who would it be and where?
Ecker: Definitely somewhere with Italian food, and then let’s go Queen B, Beyonce. Who wouldn’t want to have dinner with Beyonce?