December 2020 ~
Growing up, Kelli Dufficy of Southeast Portland felt “accepted” playing sports. “I grew up with a single, working mom, and I started in sports when I was in the third grade,” she recalls. “Once I got into organized (YMCA) sports, I always felt accepted there, and I was fortunate to be surrounded by some great coaches who became father figures.” Wedin was the only girl to play baseball during her time in the Meadowland Little League. “I was the total tomboy,” she says.
Those early, positive experiences led her to a busy athletic career at Franklin High School (’90), where she competed in four sports (basketball, softball, soccer and tennis) — earning multiple all-PIL honors in basketball and soccer, and then a college scholarship in basketball.
She played one year at the University of Portland, then the other years as a standout for Nevada. Today, she’s Kelli Wedin — and one of the most successful high school girls basketball coaches in the state. She is entering her ninth year at La Salle Prep, where the Falcons have won nine consecutive Northwest Oregon Conference titles, the first seven outright and without losing a league game. The La Salle Prep girls captured the Class 5A championship in 2015, 2017 and 2019, and they were on the doorstep of another possible crown in March 2020. They had advanced to the state tournament semifinals when the rest of the event was wiped out by the coronavirus pandemic.
Wedin’s La Salle teams have included three of her daughters. Two (5-11 junior guard Addison and 6-0 sophomore wing Ella) are currently at the Milwaukie school and one (5-9 junior guard Taycee) is playing for Saint Mary’s College in Moraga, California. Addi has signed a letter-of-intent to join her older sister next season as a member of the West Coast Conference Gaels. Ella figures to be a major college basketball player as well.
Wedin marvels at the changes in the quality of play at the prep level.
“Not only since I played, but since I began coaching,” she says. “It’s evolved tremendously. Kids are training at a much higher level, and four or five or six days a week, even outside of the high school season. The skill level is way higher, and even the freshmen who come in are super intelligent. They just get it.”