Chips off the ol' block: Grinsteinner sisters starring for Trinity girls basketball team
Put Dickinson Trinity's boys basketball coach Gregg Grinsteinner in the stands at a game and he just can't help himself.
"The one weakness I really do have is, when I come and watch games, I coach it," Grinsteinner said. "I don't care if I'm watching football at home, basketball at home, I sit and I have my mind as a coach. I have a hard time letting it go and just watching them play."
That's especially true when two of the players on the floor are his daughters.
Nikki Grinsteinner, an 18-year-old senior, and Katelyn Grinsteinner, a 15-year-old sophomore, have emerged as the leaders of Trinity girls basketball team this season.
The sisters practically grew up on the basketball court at Knights of Columbus Activities Center.
"Trinity is pretty much our second home," Nikki said.
"We'd go to our dad's practices a ton when we were younger," added Katelyn, who wasn't even born yet when her dad took over as the Titans' head coach.
Gregg attributes that time spent around the game to the success his daughters have had on the hardwood.
Nikki leads Trinity with 16.2 points per game while Katelyn is second on the team in scoring at 9.1 points per game.
Trinity girls basketball head coach Alysia Barman said Katelyn may be a chip off the old block too.
"Katelyn, of any girl in the program right now, understands what every person is supposed to be a doing offensively and defensively," Barman said.
The girls have been a dynamic duo for the Titans this season with Nikki, a 5-foot-11 center, on the inside and Katelyn, a 5-foot-6 guard, on the perimeter.
"Nikki is our threat inside and Katelyn really is our threat on the outside," Barman said. "... They're really our inside-outside game. They both can get it started for us. They've been extremely important for us, especially on the offensive end."
A lot of that, the girls said, has come from having their dad there to coach them.
Gregg said he always tried his best not to force the game on his daughters though. If they had a question about something they were doing wrong, he said he waited for them to ask for his help.
"The one thing I've really had to learn is I've tried to stay away from them," Gregg said. "If they ask me for help with their shooting, or their post game, I do. But I don't go out and say, 'C'mon, we're going right now.' That's up to them. A lot of motivation came that way."
But while Gregg has always been there to give pointers, he and the girls give credit to their unsung hero, wife and mother Carol Grinsteinner, for holding the family together when things get hectic during basketball season.
"We kind of know that basketball is what we're going to eat, sleep and drink at this type of year," Carol said. "Fortunately we all enjoy it. I enjoy the boys season and the girls season. It's stressful at times, but it goes really quickly."
Carol even does a good job of reining Gregg in when he gets a little jumpy watching games from the stands.
"There's been a couple times I've just let it go and I have to give my wife a lot of credit for that," Gregg said. "She's the one who keeps me on an even keel. She's the one who tells me, 'You know what, you're a fan right now. Quit coaching. You can talk about it after the game.'"
Nikki and Katelyn, however, said they don't mind their dad's input and understand that sometimes he won't be able to make it to their games because of conflicts in his team's schedule.
"It's definitely busy when it comes to this time of year," Nikki said. "He gets to as many games as possible and we make fun of him because he likes to coach from the stands. We like it when he gets a chance to come to the games though, because he always gives us feedback after the games. He's obviously been around for a while and knows what's going on. When it gets to this time of year, we realize that he has priorities too and we do as well. We always treasure the moments that he can come to the games."
Things became a little less hectic for the Grinsteinner family on Thursday night.
Beulah defeated the Trinity boys basketball team 58-54 in the Region 7 championship game, ending the Titans' season.
The lone silver lining for Gregg is that now he can relax and watch his daughters play.
"It's been really a blessing for me to get to see both my girls play on the same court at the same time," Gregg said.