KIRKLAND – Franz Schumacher calls Ashley Tamraz part of Hiawatha’s “Dynamic Duo.”
Since seeing her play as a freshman, Schumacher knew big things would happen with Tamraz and her graduating class.
“When I first walked into the gym and saw these girls out there, the two that stuck out were Ashley and Dani [Clark],” Schumacher said. “You go through the process and you’re watching certain drills and just the overall hustle of everything, but then as you start to see the athleticism, it basically stands out among certain players.”
Schumacher took over as the varsity coach last season and helped lead Hiawatha to its first ever regional title. A big reason for the Hawks’ success was Tamraz’s adaptability to different situations.
“I pretty much do whatever is needed,” Tamraz said. “If coach needs someone to step up and play a position, he comes to me usually. I usually play guard, but sometimes I have to play down low.”
Schumacher says Tamraz’s athleticism and defensive mentality make her an obvious choice.
“She is the best defensive player on our team, there’s no doubt about it,” Schumacher said. “I’ve asked her numerous times in different scenarios: “I need you to learn two to three different positions.’
“I told her, ‘You might never play post, but you’re going to learn post because if something happens you’re my next person to go to.’ ”
At only 5-foot-6, Tamraz doesn’t mind battling down low for position, something she might have to do a little more of this year.
“We lost a lot of height, but I think our goal is to do as much as we can with what we have,” Tamraz said. “We’ll run the floor because we’re pretty quick, all of us.”
And according to Schumacher, that suits Tamraz just fine.
“She has the leadership skills, the drive, the determination, the ever-willingness to hustle,” Schumacher said. “She’s the constant hustle kid.”