‘Sit Down With Steve’ On Space Coast Daily TV Features UCF Coach Katie Abrahamson-Henderson, AKA Coach ABE

By  //  March 5, 2020

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THE SPACE COAST DAILY – FRIDAY NIGHT LOCKER ROOM TEAM IS BREVARD'S #1 SPORTS SOURCE

SPACE COAST DAILY TV: The Friday Night Locker Room’s Steve Wilson talks with the head coach of the UCF Knight’s women’s basketball team, Katie Abrahamson-Henderson, AKA Coach ABE. Wilson talks with Coach ABE about, among other things, her time growing up in Iowa, her basketball career as a player, and now as a head basketball coach at UCF.

ORLANDO, FLORIDA – How have they done it? The odds alone say that if you bring in nine new payers on a college basketball team that you can’t be competitive. However, the UCF Knights women’s basketball team has defied the odds.

Not only have they been competitive in the 2019-2020 season; they have flourished!

To understand how they have done it, you start by looking at the Knights fourth-year coach, Katie Abrahamson-Henderson; or as she’s known – Coach ABE.

Coach ABE joined the Knights program after a successful stint as head coach at the University at Albany. She was a three-time America East Coach of the Year and led her team to five NCAA Tournament appearances.

Under her guidance, the Great Danes were also five-time America East tournament champions and four-time America East regular-season champions.

Coach ABE’s stint at Missouri State University was just as successful, having, among other things, led her team to three NCAA tournament berths, three conference tournament titles and a 2005 WNIT Championship.

Since her arrival, Katie Abrahamson-Henderson has led UCF to milestone after milestone. In her three seasons at the helm, UCF has posted the program’s first three-consecutive 20-win seasons in the Division I era. She has led the Knights to their best finish in the American Athletic Conference in all three seasons, including their first-ever appearance in The American Championship title game. (UCF image)

Coach ABE was a tremendously successful swimmer during high school days. In fact, she won a number of state titles, swimming for Washington High School in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

When she decided to focus her efforts on basketball, all she did was average 44 points per game her senior year in high school. With multiple college offers, the Parade all-American, and “Top 5 Player in the nation,” choose to attend the University of Georgia.

After two years as a Bulldog, she transferred to the University of Iowa to be close to family.

Family is a word that is closely associated with Coach ABE. Her dad, who unfortunately passed away when she was 13, was a driving force in her development as a basketball player. She used that as motivation to be the BEST. And she was!

A native of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Abrahamson-Henderson earned a B.S. in physical education with an emphasis in sports administration from the University of Iowa. She received her master’s in education from Duquesne University in 1992. (UCF image)

When talking recently with Space Coast Daily’s Steve Wilson about recruiting, the words “family” and “good character,” were mentioned more than once.

Those of the type of players Coach ABE recruits and those are the type of coaches that work with her in the Knights program. Since Coach ABE joined the Knights four years ago, her staff has remained intact and has been with her every step of the way.

Associate head coach Tahnee Balerio, along with Isoken Uzamere and Nykesha Sales, are among the best in the country.

How have they done it? Any successful sports team, business or organization must have strong leadership at the top.

The UCF Knights women’s basketball team certainly has that. Coach ABE will tell you it’s the players and coaches that have made this year’s team a success.

That may be, but you can bet if Coach ABE was not the head Knight, this would be a different story.

Katie Abrahamson-Henderson is a special person. She’s a mom, she’s a coach, she’s a mentor, she’s a friend, and, she’s a winner!

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Alli Penovich, who recently won 1st Overall Female at the Singapore Depth Championship, dropped by the Space Coast Daily – Friday Night Locker Room Mike Erdman Cadillac Studio on Thursday to chat with the Friday Night Locker Room’s Steve Wilson about freediving. The Space Coast Daily – FridayNight Locker Room Mike Erdman Cadillac Studios are located at 110 S. Plumosa Street in Merritt Island – under the big American flag.

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