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What it means to be a Giant
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The double-duty life of Dr. Melanie Baskind

Melanie Baskind knows how to make an impact both on and off the field, from assisting student-athletes to saving lives in the hospital. A pediatric hospitalist at night and a varsity assistant coach by day, Baskind has an extensive background that inspires the next generation of players. Her story begins with her going to Harvard and being a Division I women’s soccer and lacrosse player. But she wasn’t just an average player; Baskind was also a captain. 

Pediatric hospitalist Dr. Melanie Baskind begins working at Marin Health in 2022. (Photo courtesy of Melanie Baskind)

“I had a pretty unique college experience. The first part is being at a place like Harvard, which has a big brand to it and also playing two Division I sports, which is pretty different from most people’s college experience as well,” Baskind said. 

Baskind lived 30 minutes from Harvard’s campus growing up but never visited the school because she believed it to be too lofty of a goal. That was until Baskind began her recruitment process for Division I soccer. Being at Harvard inspired her to start a career in the medical field. 

“I do credit going into healthcare and being a doctor with my experience at Harvard, just being surrounded by a lot of passionate, motivated and smart people. That environment is so important to the person that you become,” Baskind said. 

After graduating, Baskind takes on her career as a pediatric hospitalist, typically working night shifts or 24-hour shifts. As a pediatric hospitalist, she works with babies and children needing medical attention. 

“I work full-time in the hospital. I take care of babies, well babies, sick babies, premature babies and any kids who need to be in the hospital. I work overnight or 24-hour shifts rather than a typical nine-to-five like a pediatrician typically does,” Baskind said.

 This mobility in her schedule has allowed her to continue her passion for soccer through coaching. Baskind was varsity girls soccer’s first assistant coach, leading the team to the Marin County Athletic League championships with Ivan Bandov, the team’s head coach. 

“One person dealing with 23 teenagers isn’t always a walk in the park, so it’s important to have a second set of eyes and ears. Especially [Baskind], who has played [soccer] at Harvard and works in the medical field,”

Concentrated on the field, Melanie Baskind and Head Coach Ivan Bandov watch the girls’ team play intensely. (Photo courtesy of Melanie Baskind)

Bandov said.

Three-year varsity player Ava Walkeryee spent most of her time with Baskind on the sideline because of her knee’s torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). Baskind is a great role model for her because, like Baskind, Walkeryee wants to go into the medical field later in life.

“[Baskind’s] life path is very inspiring to any student but especially for me because I want to go into the medical field,” Walkeryee said. 

Besides Baskind’s unique soccer and healthcare experience, she brings much more to the team. Being limited to a male coach on an all-female team comes with restrictions, as Bandov expresses. 

“[Baskind] got on with the girls really well and it’s almost like a big sister kind of feeling, which I believe is good, especially at a high school level. There are some things they aren’t [going to go] to a male coach about that they can go to her about,” Bandov said.

Laughing cheerfully on the sideline is Melanie Baskind as Head Coach Ivan Bandov flashes a smile. (Photo courtesy of Melanie Baskind)

Baskind’s unique perspective, coming from a younger age group and approaching coaching as a player rather than a traditional coach, has had a profound impact on the team. Her coaching strategies, which are helpful and understanding, are unlike any other coaches Walkeryee has had previously. This unique approach has intrigued the team and enhanced their performance and knowledge of the game. 

“[Baskind] also understands what it’s like to be a player. Her feedback was really specific and the ways she explains things are really helpful,” Walkeryee said. 

Baskind’s impact on the team is undeniable. As a huge role model to the players and a great assistant coach, she has set a high standard for the team. Looking ahead, Baskind has ambitious goals for the team’s future. Her vision and dedication to the team’s success are sure to motivate further generations of players, leaving the audience hopeful and excited for what’s to come. 

“Thank you to all the girls and [Bandov] for welcoming me this season. I am so grateful that people are happy to have me even though I can’t be there for every practice or game,” Baskind said. 

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About the Contributor
Paige Catanese
Paige Catanese, Cub Reporter
Paige Catanese is a sophomore at Redwood High School and a cub reporter for the Redwood Bark. In her free time, she enjoys dancing and watching the sunset with her friends!