A world of adventure for Honer
It was almost like a flashback to the Douglas High School girls basketball team’s 2001-02 season.
Fourth-quarter … close game … there was No. 20 scrambling to grab a loose ball and quickly flicking an outset pass to trigger a fast break. Well, the fast break wasn’t all that fast. After all, this was a group of Douglas alumni playing on Saturday afternoon in a game the current Douglas girls squad won 60-53 at Randy Green Court.
Andrea Honer still looked the same in her old No. 20, while playing for the alumni along with fellow 2001-02 teammates Amber Gwinn and Britney Christen. Honer was even sharp enough to hit a 3-pointer from the left wing in the fourth quarter that kept the alums within striking distance.
“This is so much fun and so relaxed,” Honer said, adding with a laugh. “It took a little time to get loose, though. I air balled one earlier.”
Honer just turned 30 this past summer, so a little rust is to be expected. Not surprisingly, the 2002 Nevada 4A Player of the Year is still involved with basketball and is coaching this winter for the McQueen High School freshman girls team.
Then again, Honer was a special player during her four varsity seasons at Douglas. Though her numbers were never flashy — averaging 10.2 points, 8.2 rebounds and 9.8 assists per contest from her point guard position as a senior — she was instrumental for the Tigers during their 26-6 season and run to the 4A state tournament championship game.
Douglas bolted to Northern 4A Region Tournament wins against three talented opponents … 53-45 in overtime against Galena, thanks to Honer’s length-of-the-court driving layup to tie the score at the end of regulation … 45-43 over Churchill County … and 46-44 in the finals over Carson. Next came two state tournament wins — 63-52 over Western and 54-43 over Bishop Gorman — to reach the finals, where the Tigers lost 76-74 in double overtime to Centennial (34-0).
That Friday night game on Feb. 22, 2002 at Lawlor Events Center was memorable. Douglas rallied from 10 points down at the end of regulation to tie the score, then Honer sent the game to a second overtime when she hit nothing but net with a defender in her face for a buzzer-beating 3-pointer.
“I still think about that,” Honer said, flashing a big smile. “It was amazing. It’s great coming back, Werner (Christen) is still here coaching, and to see some of the kids I worked with over the years at Tiger Camp and the Saturday (youth) league.”
Honer played one season at TCU and three more at Point Loma Nazarene University (San Diego). Again, her stats were never flashy, but she helped her teams win some games and she earned all-academic honors in all four seasons.
Honer did her graduate work at Chapman University (in Orange, Calif.), where she studied physical therapy, and since then has embarked on a series of adventures.
She coached at Point Loma and at Mountain Ridge High School in Glendale, Ariz. and is now entering her first season coaching at McQueen with Bridget Maestretti, a 2008 Douglas graduate.
Off the court, Honer has been busy traveling and doing volunteer work around the world. Earlier this year, she was in Africa and in June had an opportunity to celebrate her 30th birthday with an ascent to the top of 19,340-foot Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.
“I just want to learn about other people and other cultures,” she said. “I’ve been to New Zealand, Australia, Asia, Africa. I’ve been to six of the seven continents, all except Antarctica, and that’s on my list, too.”
Honer isn’t sure she is ready to take up coaching on a full-time basis, though. Her longest stay was eight months in New Zealand and Australia.
“When I travel, I like to stay longer than the two-month break I would get (as a teacher),” she said.
Honer plans to stay in Reno until May before departing on her next adventure to Canada — for the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup soccer tournament. Don’t be surprised if she finds time to pick up a basketball and shoot some hoops up in Canada.
“Basketball is still a huge part of my life,” she said. “I play every time I get a chance. I can’t get away from it.”