Coaching for Mom: MacArthur coach Christine Danzer dedicates season to mother
This wasn't how it was supposed to be.
As Christine Danzer walked into the MacArthur High School Gym on November 8, the first-year head coach had a vision of how this night would go.
Obviously, a victory would be in the cards but most importantly her parents would be in attendance. On this night her mother's seat sat empty.
Just four months prior, Danzer's mother, Audrei, succumbed to metastatic liver cancer.
She was 63.
"I had a pretty rough summer," Danzer said. "I was really struggling this summer with that. Coming back after experiencing such a traumatic event, basketball really helped ground me. I've dedicated everything that I'm doing this year to her. She was a big supporter of our team.
"I just feel a little bit hungrier for each and every win."
Getting that first head-coaching win didn't take long. Danzer, who will wear one of her mother's shirts and pieces of jewelry every game this year, watched as her group blew out Conroe 42-21 for career win No. 1.
"I'd like to think she was smiling down on me for that," Danzer said.
What made an already terrible situation even worse is that no one saw it coming. In May, Danzer said that her mother underwent gallbladder surgery. In June, she was diagnosed with cancer and in July she passed away.
"It's definitely not easy. I'm an only child so it's just me and my dad left," Danzer said. "Having sports has always been an escape for me and I continue to use it for that. It gives me a lot of power. My mom was a huge basketball supporter, she loved the girls I coached."
As Danzer has gone through this personal tragedy off the court, the MacArthur players have rallied around their coach. They want to win not only for the team and their coach but for Audrei.
"We're all a family," MacArthur senior Jada Stewart said. "Everything's for her this year."