Leading team to great things

Senior guard Chanelle Molina wants to encourage young players so they can make an impact at WSU after she leaves



Then-junior guard Chanelle Molina, left, looks past Aggie then-senior guard Rachel Brewster to make a pass during the basketball game against Utah State University on Nov. 6 in Beasley Coliseum. Molina scored 478 points during her junior year.

SHAYNE TAYLOR, Evergreen reporter

In a university filled with great energy and positivity, there is one yoga-loving basketball fanatic who is preparing herself for her senior season where she will hold herself to high expectations to make a strong postseason run with her teammates.

Senior guard Chanelle Molina was raised in Kailua Kona, Hawaii by her parents Allan and Roselyn and is also the older sister of two other WSU basketball players, redshirt sophomore guard Celina Molina and sophomore guard Cherilyn Molina.

Chanelle Molina started her WSU career in 2016. Despite missing half the season to a knee injury, she was named to the Pac-12 All-Freshmen team after a season where she scored double digits in twelve straight games and led the Cougars to their biggest upset in program history when she scored 33 points in an 82-73 victory over UCLA.

Those 33 points also tied the single-game record for freshmen.

Chanelle Molina said that game is her favorite moment she has had at WSU.

“I just needed that one breakout game where I was like ‘okay, I believe in myself I got this,’ and I think that was the game,” Chanelle Molina said.

Coming off a junior campaign where she scored 478 total points and 25 double-digit scoring games, Chanelle Molina said she is not close to satisfied and has something much bigger in mind than numbers on the stat sheet.

“It is not about stats, it is more so taking all the young players under my wing and grooming them so when I do leave they can still have an impact,” Chanelle Molina said.

Chanelle Molina said her biggest inspiration has been associate head coach Laurie Koehn. Chanelle Molina said Koehn’s work ethic is something she has tried to keep up with ever since she started noticing it.

“Coach Laurie’s work ethic is amazing. I see her car in the parking lot at 4:30 in the morning,” Chanelle Molina said. “I see her exercising and later she is in the gym putting shots up.”

Koehn said she noticed Chanelle Molina’s energy right away when she walked into the program in 2018.

“One of the things we really challenged the team with when they first came in was the positive energy that they bring. Chanelle was a wide-eyed, hungry player that wanted to learn every chance she got,” Koehn said.

As far as Chanelle Molina’s way of pushing aside stats and focusing more on helping a young core develop, Koehn said it is just part of her nature and the way she has stepped up is going to have a significant impact on her goals of making it to the next level.

“She is very unselfish and trying always to do what is best for the team,” Koehn said. “Chanelle is taking massive strides and starting act like a pro.”

Chanelle Molina said she noticed the positivity at WSU right away, which helped her finalized her decision to play here.

“You want to go to a college where the people are genuine and I saw that here,” Chanelle Molina said. “Everyone is so friendly and always smiling.”

Chanelle Molina ended up matching those same characteristics to help her as a student and on the court, as she would go on to put her name in the WSU record books and will hope to carry it over for the 2019-2020 basketball season.

The feeling of knowing this is her last run with WSU is bittersweet and her self-improvement, as well as the growth she has seen from the team, will lead them to a historic season, Chanelle Molina said.

“I cannot wait to showcase my skillset to help lead the team to great things this year,” Chanelle Molina said. “Every day this team is just looking so much better in practice by executing better on offense and communicating defensively.”