Local basketball coaching veteran hired to coach Mount Si boys hoops

The new Mount Si High School boys’ basketball coach is a familiar face in the community.

The school named Steve Helm to the post last Friday, May 28, replacing Jeff D’Ambrosio, who resigned following a 16-8 season last winter which earned the Wildcats a trip to the SeaKing District Tournament.

This will be Helm’s first head coaching assignment at the high school level.

“I’m humbled, blessed and very honored,” Helm said. The Valley resident, who is a loan originator for Cascade Valley Mortgage, a local company, has been coaching high school ball for a long time, starting at Bellevue in 1988.

Most of his coaching time has been spent with legendary coach Rich Belcher, first at Newport, then at Eastlake, where he was an assistant from 1999 until 2005. Helm credits Belcher with teaching him how to coach at this level.

Helm also coached current Wildcat varsity players to the championship game of their youth select league for four straight years from 2004 to 2007. He is looking forward to making an impact right away.

“I’m going to be incorporating a system that’s been proven and successful,” he said. “The whole goal is to build this program from top to bottom.”

A key ingredient will be his coaching staff, and while nothing is official as of yet, look for longtime local youth coach Warren Sheldon to be involved.

“He has been a huge part of this community for years in the lower levels,” Helm said, referring to the local youth leagues where Sheldon has been successful. Sheldon coached this year’s Wildcat senior class as youngsters, and had a lot of success with that group.

Helm comes from a strong basketball family; his father, Dick, was a longtime NBA assistant, most notably for former Sonics coach Lenny Wilkens. Having his dad working for one of the league’s greatest coaches meant a lot to Helm.

“That was a great run,” Helm said. “It was a great experience, (and) fun for our family.”

Helm beat out a solid list of candidates to get the job. Mount Si’s athletic director, Greg Hart, said the selection process went well.

“The process was thorough. It was competitive, and we ended up with a great coach,” Hart said. “We’re excited.”

Mount Si’s boys’ basketball booster club is pleased with the hire.

“His strong ties to Mount Si, commitment to the Snoqualmie Valley community and impressive coaching resume all make him the perfect choice to lead the boys basketball program at MSHS,” the club said in a statement.

Helm and his wife Tracy, a 1984 graduate of Mount Si, have two children attending the school, both athletes.

“Get ready to go,” Helm tells fans. “If you build it, they will come.”

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