This season the women’s basketball team has experienced a turnaround under first year head coach Kristen Holt from last year’s two-win regular season. Tonight the team’s 2008-2009 regular season will come to a close, along with the home careers of four of its seniors.
Seniors Kandy Beemer, Carine Reimink, Britney Minor and Amaka Uzomah will set foot on Moby Arena’s court for the last time tonight after two years of sporting the green and gold Ram uniform when they host the San Diego State Aztecs (20-6, 11-3 MWC) at 7 p.m.
“I came in with them last year and they have really bought in. They have really worked hard. I really appreciate all they have done because they are always going to be a part of what this program will become,” said head coach Kristen Holt.
Beemer and Reimink plan to graduate from CSU in December, Uzomah will trade her uniform in for a cap and gown this May and Minor hopes to complete her degree in July.
Uzomah will graduate with a political science degree and plans to continue her basketball career, as she will attempt to play for a team somewhere overseas.
“I want to go overseas and play somewhere. I don’t know where, just wherever I get accepted. I want to come back and get another degree under my belt. I have a lot of science classes underneath my belt so I can come back and go through (medical) school. And if that doesn’t work then I am applying to law school,” Uzomah said.
Minor will graduate from CSU as an agriculture business major and, like her teammate Uzomah, plans continue her basketball career in Europe.
“I want to go play somewhere in Europe, probably Spain, for about five or six years and then come back and train horses for a while. I don’t know if I ever will use my degree. If I could train horses for the rest of my life then I will do that,” Minor said.
Beemer will be applying to dental school this summer for four more years of school after attaining a sports medicine degree from CSU.
“I will be like 26 when I graduate and then hopefully make some money,” Beemer said.
After completing a sports medicine degree with her teammate Beemer, Reimink plans to go back to her home country.
“My plan is to go back home to Australia and try and get into the physical therapy school there,” Reimink said.
All four ladies came to CSU with two years of basketball experience from other colleges in an effort to rebuild a basketball program that, at one time, was a leader in the Mountain West Conference.
Beemer signed at CSU after two seasons with the Jefferson College Vikings, leading the team to a National Junior College Athletic Association national championship. Beemer ended her career at Jefferson College first in the nation with three-point percentage and ranked as one of the top three-point shooters in the country.
“I have really enjoyed all the teammates that I have made friends with. As far as playing, we have improved so much this year and we’re starting to see our hard work pay off,” Beemer said about her tenure at CSU.
Reimink, a 6-foot-1 forward, came to CSU after two seasons playing for Casper College in Wyoming, where she won WCCAC Player of the Year honors while leading her team to 47 victories, with 606 career points and 372 rebounds.
“I have really enjoyed my two years here. I have improved a lot this year, and we are making a lot of strides on and off the court. This program is really going to improve in the years to come,” Reimink said.
Minor and Uzomah have been playing together for their entire NCAA basketball careers. They both came to CSU from Blinn Junior College in Brenham, Texas, where they helped the Buccaneers to 46 wins and two consecutive regional finals appearances. Minor collected 696 points while at Blinn College and Uzomah concluded her career holding the school’s rebounding record with 599 boards.
“I love Amaka, and Amaka is Amaka. We did not always get along on the court, but I am glad she came to CSU with me,” Minor said. “Amaka signed first, and it made it easier for me to sign. Knowing I would not be here by myself made the decision easier.”
“It has been an extremely awesome four years with (Minor). We keep each other on track on and off the court and make sure we are there for each other,” Uzomah said.
The four seniors will leave CSU with high hopes for the future Rams’ players, having guided the freshmen his year.
“I really look up to Carine because she took me under her wing and has really helped me out throughout the year. Brit, Amaka and Kandy are all leaders on the team, and they look out for all of us freshmen,” freshman Meghan Heimstra said.
All four believe the future of the team will be freshmen Kim Mestdagh, Natalie van de Adel and Chatilla van Grinsven and Heimstra, along with sophomores Bonnie Barbee and Zoi Simmons.
“Bonnie is a playmaker. She comes in and hits shots over defenses. I think Zoi can be a great player next year. Meghan can get some boards too and she will fight,” Uzomah said.
“I think Zoi is learning gradually how talented she is this year and how she can explode by the defenders. They’ll have shooters in Bonnie and Kim. And Natalie, I think she will do great things,” Beemer said.
Now they leave CSU as four players who have contributed to a complete turnaround season for the CSU women’s basketball program in hopes that the Rams continue the rebuilding progress.
Women’s basketball beat writer Justin Warren can be reached at email@example.com.