Going all four, featuring men’s and women’s basketball
February 19, 2017
Filed under Features
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Athletes playing their sport for all fours years at the collegiate level is an impressive feat. Managing studies, work, life, and athletics is a difficult task, but these athletes pushed through it all. They towered over their obstacles with strength, will, and pure passion for the game.
The Wildcat women’s basketball team is graduating four seniors: Quincey Gibson, Riley Graham, Annalise Beshears, and Dani Krier. They are the fantastic four coming from the heavens.
Their freshmen year recruiting class was known as the seven from heaven. Now with their group dwindled down and they have become the fantastic four.
The men’s basketball is graduating three seniors, but Mason Rodby is the only one who has played all four years. He was first recruited for golf and ended up playing both.
This is the first time in two years that the women’s basketball team will be graduating more than one senior.
“I think that when we were sophomores we kind of had a lot of trouble and we were going through a rough patch, and I think some people at that point were like ‘well I don’t want to play anymore,’ but that’s kind of when you have to dig a little deeper and remember why you love playing and think about your teammates,” said Gibson.
After a two year rough patch under the previous coach, a change in staff welcomed opportunities.
“Made us like really love basketball again,” Krier said.
Gibson added, “I think that we did a really good job of coming together. I couldn’t imagine playing without them so it’s not like I wasn’t going leave, and I am sure they felt the same way.”
Beshears also queued in: “Team chemistry has been there throughout every single thing, so it is what really kept it close.”
It was important to the team, especially to Graham, that there was a strong senior class. She wanted there to be more leaders because before there has always just been the coaches and a senior. Now there are three coaches and four seniors, which adds an extra depth of leadership.
Gibson admits that it would have been really easy not to play but did not want to leave behind the people who look up to her and those who she looks up to.
“I think that for me, giving up would have been a lot easier but I didn’t. I realize how good we have it now. I think that you just have to remember why you love it. It’s tough and it’s not always easy,” said Gibson.
Rodby’s reason to keep playing all these years is that “I love the game and I knew that I was a part of something special at Linfield. We weren’t that good the first couple years but I knew that we have the ability to create a solid program.”
It was the people, coaches and teammates that helped Rodby stay in it. He phased through all challenges because once he starts something, he likes to finish it, no matter the circumstances.
It is a challenge to go all four years. Rodby says “work hard and stick with it if it’s something you love to do.”
Gibson’s message to all future athlete hoping to play through all four years: “Think about all the time and effort and everything you have put into it. You didn’t come this far just to give up, you have gotten this far so you might as well push through. And I guarantee if they do push through they’re going to find why they love it again.”