Name: Annika Heglund Walseth
Year in School: Sophomore
Fun Fact: Older sister played in the WNBA for the Washington Mystics
"L' Etoile du Nord" is Minnesota's state motto. It means "star of the North" and aptly describes Minnesota native and sophomore guard Annika Walseth. This multifaceted player has demonstrated her star power in an array of ways, ranging from 3-point prowess to rebounding capabilities.
Last season, as a freshman, Walseth averaged 18.2 minutes of playing time per game and averaged 3.3 points and 1.7 rebounds. She ranked third in the Mountain West Conference with her .400 3-point percentage and netted 27 3-pointers on the year to rank seventh in CSU history in this category.
Walseth has continued to shine this season, averaging 2.7 points and 3.3 rebounds per game. She has also led the team in assists five times, steals four times, hit double digits in rebounding once and has started five games.
Roommate and former basketball player Jasai Ferrucho describes Walseth as caring, sarcastic and organized.
"(Walseth) knows what is going to happen three weeks from now," Ferrucho said. "She's really organized and under control."
These personality traits have helped Walseth to balance the many responsibilities of being a student-athlete and still enjoy her college experience. She said the biggest benefit of playing college sports is the built-in set of friends.
"You get to see your teammates every day," Walseth said.
On the flip side, Walseth misses having the extra time to spend at her cabin in Minnesota over the numerous breaks that student-athletes spend at their second home in Moby Arena. Her hidden talent and favorite hobby is water skiing, and living on a lake in Bloomington, Minn., provides the perfect atmosphere for spending all day crossing the wake.
This pastime provided a great diversion while growing up.
"My mom never let us watch TV," Walseth said. "So I don't have a favorite cartoon and I don't ever know what people are talking about when it concerns television shows."
Maybe this couch potato-less upbringing explains Walseth's energetic personality and need for organization and punctuality. Her biggest pet peeves include when people are late, slow, or don't call her back when they say they will.
"I don't care if you're not going to call me, just don't say that you will," Walseth said.
This direct attitude also shows through in Walseth's desired superpower. She said that she would like to be able to read minds.
"I want to know what people are really thinking of me," Walseth said.
This superpower might not have been the most heartening attribute last year when Walseth experienced her most embarrassing basketball court moment. She was leading the team onto the court when she tripped over a piece of metal and wiped out on the court. She said that it made a really loud noise and everyone saw it.
To avoid such instances, Walseth ritualistically has to eat a carne asada burrito with potatoes and ranch from Big City Burrito a night or two before a big game. Carbo-loading on this Fort Collins delicacy is almost equivalent to her favorite grub: her mom's Swedish meatballs.
On the entertainment front, Walseth prefers to keep things G-rated. "Tarzan" ranks among her favorite movies, as well as "The Life of David Gale."
She enjoys country music, specifically songs by Rascal Flats. Her song of choice, however, is "The River" by Garth Brooks.
When it comes to literature, Walseth doesn't spend her free time catching up on her reading.
"I don't really like to read, but I like the 'Left Behind' series," Walseth said. "Those books have kept me going for a while."
Academically, Walseth is majoring in secondary education and plans to become a gym and health teacher and basketball coach when her days at CSU are over. Maybe then she can shape a new northern star to shine in Moby Arena.