Shining Stars: ACH’s Madeline and Derek Isaak

Shining Stars: ACH’s Madeline and Derek Isaak

“It’s something that I’ve dreamed of since entering high school and when I started playing basketball,” said Almira-Coulee Hartline senior Derek Isaak last Thursday.

“It’s been my dream since I was little – to play here and win it,”  echoed senior Madeline Isaak.

At that point, cousins Derek and Madeline Isaak had both led their respective Almira-Coulee/Hartline teams to within one win of the state championship game.  An experience they were more than happy to share with one another.

“Derek’s like my best friend.  It’s really awesome to share this experience.  We both love basketball,” says Madeline.

Derek shares the same feeling.  “We’re best friends.  We hope each other does awesome every game.”

The family ties exceed the two cousins. Derek’s father Scott Isaak is also his head coach.

“It has its ups and downs.  We can get into it every now and then, but I love sharing every experience with him,” says Derek.

“You have the love and the unlove sometimes, but he is a pleasure to coach, I mean he really is.  I’ve been fortunate to have him and I will miss him a ton,” says Scott.

And while Madeline and the ACH girls came up three points shy in the semi-finals, Derek and his tournament record 44 points almost single-handedly lifted the Warriors to a 1B state title.

“I wasn’t going to come home second place again.  This is the best feeling in the world.”

A feeling he was able to share with his best friend and cousin, Madeline, and his father.

“To share that with my dad, senior year… it’s money.”