Jackie Nared has taken on two new roles in the past four months.
In May, she joined the UA women’s basketball team’s coaching staff. Then she went about coaching her sister, Jaime, who plays professionally in the WNBA and overseas.
Jackie and Jaime Nared have always been close.
Jaime says that it was Jackie who made her tougher by picking on her, as older sisters have a tendency to do. She also calls Jackie her best friend.
They talk all the time — about life, dreams and basketball. This summer marked the first time Jackie formally coached Jamie.
“We spend a lot of time with each other already, but on the court having that relationship… (In the past) we would talk about the game, but not like teach or correct each other,” said Jackie Nared, who starred at St. Mary’s and spent the last two seasons on staffs at Washington State and Oregon. “This summer was different — her taking my advice and believing in me to work with her was great. So it added a little something.”
Jaime Nared spent a week in Tucson early in the training, and returned for a few weeks at the end of August to prepare for her upcoming season on Broni in the Italian Serie A1 League. Last season, Jaime Nared helped Elitzur Ramia win an Israeli D1 League championship. She averaged 17.5 points per game, grabbed 8.8 rebounds per game and doled out 3.2 assists per game.
Jaime Nared played collegiately at Tennessee. The Las Vegas Aces made her the No. 13 overall pick in the 2018 WNBA draft. She played in 31 games as a rookie, averaging 9.1 minutes per game. The Aces cut Jaime Nared in training camp this year, though they brought her back in August on a seven-day contract.
When Jaime Nared wants an honest critique of her game, she asks Jackie.
Jackie “has been through the good, bad and the ugly. I trust her with everything,” Jaime said. “She’s really good at ‘what do you think?’ Then she’ll give me her advice. She’s told me things I haven’t heard before. It’s eye-opening getting a different opinion from someone who has experience like her. She gives me outside perspective — what others see.”
Jaime counted on her sister for more than just the on-court advice.
“We talked about going overseas, the WNBA,” Jaime said. “It was a different summer. But having Jackie, who has experienced a little of everything to talk to, helped me grow as a person. She has impacted me as a person and as a player.”
This change of direction in their relationship — Jackie coaching Jaime — is an unexpected turn for the Nared sisters, who were so competitive as kids that they couldn’t finish a game of 1-on-1 without fighting.
As they grew older, the dynamic changed. This summer, the two trained around Jackie Nared’s UA coaching schedule. Sometimes, that meant getting to the gym at 6 a.m. or staying late at night.
The 90-minute sessions focused mostly on skill work and shooting.
“Not too long, short and efficient. Get in, get out and work hard,” Jackie Nared said. “She works her butt off. That part is easy.”
Jackie didn’t take it easy on Jaime on the court. Jackie knows Jaime she can be better than ever — something only a sister would know.
“She acts like I kill her in workouts, but I’m like ‘they aren’t even that bad. You are being the softie,’” Jackie said. “But I try to work her hard. Jaime is an unbelievable player and I’m excited for her to show that. She is ready to have a breakout season. I think she has all the potential in the world just needs a place to show it. She’s a baller.”
And what does Jaime think of Jackie’s other role?
“Obviously, I am her younger sister, but the players already know she’ll have their back, and give you an honest opinion and help you in different ways,” she said. “I know she is going to be awesome … there’s not much she can do wrong. We used to fight and now I don’t know what I’d do without her. If we don’t talk for a day, something is wrong. I have to talk to my sister.”
• UA head coach Adia Barnes had a busy Saturday. She spent the morning as the keynote speaker at the American Heart Association’s “Go Red for Women” event. Her team was honored at halftime of Saturday night’s football game for winning the WNIT championship. Barnes also rang the bell at the start of the fourth quarter.
• UA guard Aari McDonald was named one of August’s student-athletes of the month. Bryce Nixon was named to the list in June. And last semester, the program posted a 3.2 GPA — the highest in program history.
• Five-star recruit Anaya Boyd is expected to visit this weekend. The 5-foot-11-inch guard is also considering USC, Georgia Tech, Kentucky and North Carolina State.