Women’s basketball team puts in many hours on and off the court

Women's basketball team puts in many hours on and off the court

by Alysun O'Brien

Preseason practices for the women’s basketball team includes lots of practice, on and off the court.

Head Women’s Basketball Coach Brian Niemuth is getting the team in shape physically and mentally for the upcoming season. Getting to know each other is an important key factor for this year’s team.

“I started this a couple years ago with the women to make sure that the team was getting to know each other,” said Niemuth. “I actually got this idea from Rick Pitino when he was coaching at Kentucky.”

The women have to learn information about their teammates and Niemuth will, throughout the season and practice, ask them questions about the other teammates. If the player is to succeed and get the question right, then the team gets to go on a water break. If the player answers wrong, then the team is subject to a running drill.

“I think with the option of running, it gives the women the motivation to learn about their teammates,” said Niemuth.

The players also responded with the same reaction. They would rather spend the extra time in getting to know their teammates than spend practice time running.

“It’s a good way to get to know others,” said senior Amy VanPelt. “It’s a long season, so this is a good start in getting to know ‘our family’.”

The women’s team has a large senior class leading it this year and is evened out by the large freshmen class that has decided to join the team. The quiz is a little extra motivator that is intended to help close the gap in age differences.

“I think our getting to know each other questions helps bridge the upperclassmen to the underclassmen,” said senior Sandy Beattie.

The so-called “quizzes” also help for underclassmen to adjust to the older members of the team to make things a little less frightening as freshman.

“I think it is a really good thing to have,” said freshmen Angela Servais. “It puts us all on the same level.”

The women will be traveling to Northwest Missouri State tomorrow for a scrimmage to help get the season rolling.

“I’m thrilled to death at how hard the ladies are working,” said Niemuth. “They have good attitudes and work ethics.”