Gillian d’Hondt celebrates after watching her team win the Class 3A state basketball title in March of 2017 at the Tacoma Dome. Photo courtesy of Don Borin/Stop Action Photography

Gillian d’Hondt celebrates after watching her team win the Class 3A state basketball title in March of 2017 at the Tacoma Dome. Photo courtesy of Don Borin/Stop Action Photography

State-champion coach resigns from position

Gillian d’Hondt departs after three seasons of leading the Islanders girls hoops program.

Gillian d’Hondt recently turned in her coaching clipboard after three seasons with the Mercer Island Islanders girls basketball program.

Coach d’Hondt, who took over the Islanders program during the 2015-16 season, announced her resignation in late April. d’Hondt led the Islanders to its first ever state basketball championship in 2017. The Islanders defeated Bishop Blanchet, 52-47, in the Class 3A state title game on March 4, 2017 at the Tacoma Dome.

The epic run to the state title is something d’Hondt will always cherish.

“What I will remember most was winning the state title for the first time in school history. It was just an amazing experience and was something special that the girls deserved more than anything,” d’Hondt said. “They fought for that title and bought into their roles. I’m just so proud of what we were able to accomplish.”

Coach d’Hondt said she will always have fond memories of her three seasons on the island.

“I really enjoyed my time there and I have so much respect for the community. There is no hard feelings at all. I’m just taking some time for myself at the moment. I have been coaching year around for years. I am so obsessed with the sport of basketball and giving back my knowledge that I kind of lost sight of time for myself,” d’Hondt said. “I’m just taking some time right now to assess what my next step is.”

Breaking the news to current members of the Islanders basketball team was difficult for d’Hondt.

“It was the hardest part by far,” d’Hondt said of her resignation. “It is still hard. I saw a couple of them recently and I gave them big hugs. I’m going to enjoy continuing to watch them grow as people and players. I’m going to continue to support the program. I really have a lot of love for all those girls and I really want them to succeed in the future.”

More in Sports

Goal celebration in Mercer Island win

Mercer Island senior captain Jackie Stenberg, left, celebrates scoring in regular time… Continue reading

Mercer Island Islanders senior swim athlete Chloe Mark, who has advanced to the Class 3A state swim meet in the 500 free the past two seasons, wants to see her team finish in one of the top three spots at the Class 3A state swim meet this November. The Islanders captured fourth place at the Class 3A state meet during the 2017 season. Shaun Scott/staff photo
Mark is a marvelous swimmer for Mercer Island

Mercer Island senior Chloe Mark has loved swimming since she was in elementary school.

‘She likes to win and she likes to run hard’

Mercer Island’s Maggie Baker tears up the cross country course.

Mercer Island player Oliver Schaaf, (No. 5), plays defense against the Newport Knights in the season opener on Sept. 6. Photo courtesy of Michelle Kavesh
Islanders boys water polo team is striving for excellence in the pool

Mercer Island defeats Newport in season opener.

Mercer Island volleyball players Anika Iverson, left, and Quinn Casey, right, leap into the air against the Skyline Spartans in a non-league contest on Sept. 12 on Mercer Island. Skyline defeated Mercer Island 3-1 in the matchup. Photo courtesy of Patrick Krohn/Patrick Krohn Photography
Spartans defeat Islanders in nonleague volleyball contest

Mercer Island head coach Samantha Marziello is in her first season leading the program.

Mercer Island Islanders running back Jack Clayville scored two rushing touchdowns against the Issaquah Eagles on Sept. 7. Mercer Island improved their overall record to 2-0 courtesy of their 13-0 victory against Issaquah. Photo courtesy of Patrick Krohn/Patrick Krohn Photography
Stingy defense propels Islanders to a victory

Mercer Island running back Jack Clayville rumbles for two rushing touchdowns.

The Eastside Lions varsity rugby squad (pictured) earned third place at Nationals in Kansas City this past May. Photo courtesy of Hugh Gladner
Eastside Lions rugby club is thriving on the Eastside

Lions varsity squad earns third place at nationals.

Thunder Sports Network takes the sports world by storm

Rich Hallstrom and Chris Brown co-authored Thunder Sports Network, but it’s friendship that counts.

Cecilia Sommerfield, left, and Emily Guedel, right, competed at the USA Water Polo National Junior Olympics from July 26-29 in San Jose, California. Sommerfield and Guedel will be freshman during the 2018-19 school year at Mercer Island High School. Shaun Scott, staff photo
Competing against top-caliber competition in California

Mercer Island athletes compete in water polo Junior Olympics.

Mercer Island Islanders senior boys lacrosse player Donnie Howard competed on the Russian National lacrosse team at the 2018 FIL World Lacrosse Championships from July 12-21 in Israel. Shaun Scott/staff photo
Howard partakes in an experience of a lifetime

Mercer Island senior Donnie Howard competes in 2018 FIL World Lacrosse Championships.

Andrews soars onto the national stage

Brooke Andrews, 13, is looking to compete at the 2018 USA Diving Junior National Championships.

Sound Publishing sportswriter Shaun Scott poses for a quick picture with members of the Bellevue Christian Vikings football team following a weight training session on July 19 at Bellevue Christian School in Bellevue.
                                Photo courtesy of Todd Green
An undoubtedly memorable experience

Working out with the Bellevue Christian Vikings football team was formidable test.