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CougsFirst! Podcast EP. 33 – Katie Grad Hyppa

Have you ever wondered what it’s like being a student-athlete at a Division 1 university? Can they find the balance between being a student and an athlete? And do college athletes stay involved with their sport after graduation, or do they move on? 

We’re answering these questions and MORE with our incredible guest today! 

As a former WSU athlete, the amazing Katie Hyppa has been able to weave her love of basketball into her post-college daily life – from fundraising for her alma mater’s athletic department to coaching a high school basketball team. And she’s here to tell her story! 

Katie graduated from WSU in 2012, finished her Master’s at WSU in 2014 (as a student-athlete, by the way!), and now works for a super cool Coug-owned business, Flatstick Pub, as Chief People Officer. Did we mention she’s a new mom to twin boys?

In today’s conversation, Katie gives us a behind-the-scenes look at what being a student-athlete was like, why she’s inspired to give back to kids through the love of basketball, her career trajectory after WSU, and how she’s living out her dream life scenario! 

We have a lot to unpack in this episode, so hit that play button, and let’s go!

Athletic Staff Support

“I would consider myself very fortunate to have the basketball staff that we had when I was in school, and also the academic staff that was there to help. You know, they want you to be successful after you’re done playing. And unfortunately, sports don’t last forever. For some people, they last they last longer than others, obviously, and they can make a pro career out of it, which is awesome. I think a lot of people have that goal, but regardless, there’s going to be a time where life happens after your sport or after basketball for me. I felt very fortunate to be prepared for that.”

It Takes a Village

“It takes a village, whether that’s raising kids, or working, or coaching, or playing or, you know, whatever it may be. Help is a good thing and being able to lean on people, take criticism, and also take their perspective, is something that I’m forever grateful for. It really does take a village, whatever you’re doing. You’re never too big to ask for help.”

Giving Back Through Coaching

“Coaching high school basketball feels like I’m able to inspire kids and give back to the community. I had coaches that changed my life, so if I can be that for one person…job well done, right? Like that for me is something that I’m really passionate about.”

Where to Find Katie:


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