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

Mercer Island Islanders senior Max Tanzer, right, slides safely into third base on a close play while being tagged by Interlake third baseman Charlie Galanti in the top of the fourth inning. Mercer Island defeated Interlake, 11-0, on April 17 in Bellevue. Photo courtesy of Jim Nicholson
Islanders shut out the Saints

Mercer Island continues its hot streak on the diamond.

Simply sensational!

Tiger Woods’ improbable victory resonates across America.

The Mercer Island Islanders girls golf team currently has an overall record of 3-2 in early season play on the links. The Islanders golf program, which is its 22nd year of existence, has won three state titles, seven KingCo titles and 10 district championships over the past two decades. The 2019 team is led by captains Annelise Rorem and Katelyn Travis. The Islanders registered their 200th career victory as a program earlier this season. Photo courtesy of Billy Pruchno
Islanders girls golf team is striving for excellence

The Mercer Island Islanders girls golf team currently has an overall record… Continue reading

Mercer Island junior midfielder Luca Mtskhetadze, left, celebrates with teammate Jonah Hyman, right, after scoring on a header in the 87th minute of play, giving his team a 2-1 lead in overtime. Mercer Island held on for a 2-1 victory against the Juanita Rebels on April 11. Photo courtesy of Patrick Krohn/Patrick Krohn Photography
Islanders register comeback victory against Rebels

Mercer Island prevails in overtime against Juanita.

Mercer Island senior outfielder Cole Miller will continue his baseball career with the Huskies next year. Shaun Scott, staff photo
Miller patrols the outfield with passion for the Islanders

Mercer Island senior will continue his baseball career at the University of Washington.

Mercer Island Islanders senior shortstop Emily Rowe is the vocal leader of her squad. Shaun Scott/staff photo
Rowe runs the show for the Islanders

Mercer Island senior shortstop is the center of the action.

Panthers Youth Rugby holds spring registration

Panthers Youth Rugby is holding spring registration for players in grades 1-12.… Continue reading

A coveted goal is attained

Relentless work ethic pays dividends.

Mercer Island Islanders senior girls lacrosse player Grace Fujinaga will continue her lacrosse career at the University of Pennsylvania. Shaun Scott, staff photo
Fujinaga is a dominant force on the lacrosse field

Mercer Island Islanders senior girls lacrosse player Grace Fujinaga hasn’t forgotten her… Continue reading

The Mercer Island Islanders varsity boys soccer team is looking forward to the 2019 season. Photo courtesy of Sophy Yang
Islanders are looking to dominate on the soccer field

Expectations never waver for the Mercer Island Islanders boys soccer program. The… Continue reading

Optimism remains supreme in March for baseball fans

Home opener is on the horizon for the Seattle Mariners.

Mercer Island Islanders senior point guard Will Lee earned 3A KingCo first-team all league honors for his play during the 2018-19 season. The Islanders finished with an overall record of 17-6. Shaun Scott, staff photo
Lee exudes leadership during memorable season on hardwood

Mercer Island senior Will Lee was the definition of a floor general.