Cassiah Ray Implements Lessons from Basketball Into Career

Cassiah Ray on basketball court for the Dutchmen

Cassiah Ray ’22 last took the court for the Lebanon Valley College women’s basketball team two years ago, but she still incorporates lessons from her time as a student-athlete into her life today.

Ray was a member of the Flying Dutchmen for four seasons, helping the program reach the Middle Atlantic Conference (MAC) Commonwealth Tournament twice. Since concluding her playing career, Ray has transitioned to the sidelines as the coach of the junior high girls’ basketball teams at her alma mater, Northern Lebanon Middle School. Ray is in her second season with the program and has enjoyed adjusting to coaching.

“Last season was a learning experience, but a great one,” Ray said. “As a recent graduate, I was old enough to be a coach but young enough to be the older sister of my players. Along with teaching basketball, I had to figure out the middle ground between establishing firmness as their coach while continuing to fuel their enjoyment of the sport.”

Ray has tried implementing what she learned as a player into her coaching career, including handling adversity. The former LVC guard said she experienced highs and lows as a student-athlete and recognized the importance of ensuring players maintain their confidence. Ray sustained her second ACL tear in her sophomore season at Lebanon Valley and worked to return to the court in her junior campaign.

Along with this aspect of athletics, Ray said she has also focused on communicating the fundamentals of the game.

“Going from the college level to middle school was quite the jump for me,” Ray said. “These girls are still in their most formative years as basketball players. I’ve had to challenge myself with how to break down skills and answer questions that became ingrained in my DNA over time as a basketball player…. How do you shoot with good form? What is the technique for boxing out? Why do we set screens?”

While coaching is a seasonal role for Ray, she is also involved with athletics in her career as a full-time personal trainer at Mary’s Health and Fitness in Hershey. She graduated from LVC in 2022 with a bachelor’s degree in exercise science and was offered a job with the company after interning there during her senior year. Ray said her education at the College and the experience she gained through the internship helped prepare her for her career.

“Of course, transitioning from intern to employee required some adjustment,” Ray said. “As we continue to hire new trainers, I realize how truly blessed I was to have had such a seamless transition. Of course, classes and labs laid the foundation for my knowledge of exercise science, but my internship gave me an outlet to implement that knowledge and  immerse me in the field.”

Ray works with many clients at Mary’s Health and Fitness, including athletes recovering from knee injuries and retired adults with hip and knee replacements. She said she is particularly passionate about working with individuals who sustained injuries because she empathizes with what they are experiencing.

“As a trainer, I am responsible for scheduling my clients and adjusting their programming to help them meet their goals,” Ray said. “Most importantly, I build relationships with my clients, gaining their trust and fueling confidence. However, I am not just a personal trainer. Working at Mary’s is more than just a job; I am part of a team full of amazing individuals.”

While Ray is two years removed from Lebanon Valley, her experience at the College still impacts her life. She looks back on her four years in Annville with fond memories.

“The thing I cherish and remember most about my time as a student-athlete at LVC is the relationships I built with teammates,” Ray said. “Some of them I still keep in close contact with, others it might just be a yearly happy birthday, or only keeping tabs on social media. Regardless of their role in my life, I am forever grateful for how they impacted my life.”

Related News