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Draper Journal

Long-time coach takes the reins for CCHS girls basketball

Oct 10, 2019 11:24AM ● By Catherine Garrett

Salt Lake native Gianni Ellefsen, who has coached for 26 years, is the new girls basketball coach at Corner Canyon. (Photo courtesy Gianni Ellefsen)

“Basketball is the best part of my day. Every day,” said new Corner Canyon head girls basketball coach Gianni Ellefsen. And the long-time coach, who has been on the sidelines since 1993, is bringing his philosophy of respect and hard work to the Chargers. “I’m about my players building confidence, helping them be their best and expecting their best,” he said. “I want them to be ready to give up who they are for who they can be.”

Ellefsen takes over a Corner Canyon program that has reached the state playoffs three of its six years, including a state runners-up finish last season. 

“I think Gianni will bring some energy and an emphasis on the team to the Lady Chargers,” CCHS athletic director Patrick Thurman said. “We graduated many players last year so this year’s team will have to develop its own identity. I believe that Gianni will be a positive influence on this new chapter for the girls basketball program.”

Ellefsen played baseball and basketball in high school in Northern California before beginning his coaching career 26 years ago. For the past six seasons, he coached at Summit Academy and feels “fortunate” to now be at Corner Canyon. “The opportunity to coach at this great high school with one of the top athletic programs in the state is humbling,” he said. “I’m very grateful.”

While teaching the game of basketball, Ellefsen also hopes to help the players use those lessons off the court. “I want them to find their voice and find their game and find their purpose,” he said. “I want them to accept every struggle and every moment and own it, good or bad. You can still be a pit bull and have grace and kindness and gratitude. That’s my purpose.”