November means the start of the basketball season for the CSU
women’s basketball team.
CSU hosts Sparta Praha in Moby Arena at 7 p.m. Wednesday in
their first of two preseason match ups.
Chris Denker begins his second season as head coach of the Rams
with an overall record of 61-31 (21-13 at CSU).
“I’m actually excited and nervous at the same time,” Denker
Sparta Praha, a club team from Prague, Czech Republic, is one of
eight women’s teams associated with Basketball Travelers, Inc. The
club started in 1946 and since then has been Czech champions 23
Head Coach Petr Fejk leads a team that includes three players
from the United States: Jamie Rhodes, a 5-foot-11 guard originally
from Midland, Texas, Ellen Geraghty, a 5-8 guard from Winsted,
Conn., and Leah Sharp, a 5-foot-10 guard from Oak Ridge, Tenn.
Sparta Praha also has Irena Spirkova, a 6-foot-3, 21-year-old
player from Prague. Spirkova was a member of the 2001 Czech
Republic junior world championship team that defeated the defending
champion United States team in the medal semifinals.
“They’re big,” Denker said of Sparta. “And usually (foreign
teams) have more experience.”
The Rams return only one starter with senior guard Jasai
Ferrucho. Four seniors were lost to graduation, but four letter
winners will return. Letter winner and senior forward, Joy Jenkins,
received an honorable mention in the 2002-2003 MWC. Jenkins may be
held out of the game due to a concussion.
Ferrucho, Jenkins and junior guard Ashley Venekamp lead a young
team that includes five freshmen and four sophomores.
Denker said he is pleased with the progress of the new
“They’re doing really well,” Denker said. “We’re happy with our
The Rams have won 16 straight games at Moby and hope for a 17th
against Sparta Praha.