Dream. It’s a word that is usually only reserved for Disney movies and Freud. But for some, dreams are ideals to aspire to — to hope and wish for. For some, the work and dedication put into dreams pays off to the fullest. This is especially true with Colorado State’s senior point guard and captain of the women’s basketball team, Kandy Beemer.
Beemer always wanted to play at a Division-I school. And after playing two years at Jefferson College, a junior college in Hillsboro, Mo. she got a shot at her dream in CSU. The standout guard had other colleges interested in giving her a chance, but she was sold on CSU because of a single experience.
“When I walked in Moby, I kind of got sold. Right then and there,” Beemer said. “It was always my dream to play Division-I. This school caught my eye the most.”
It’s a good thing Beemer was impressed by the stadium because her decision to come to be a Ram gave CSU a player that, during her time at Jefferson, led the nation in three-point shooting.
After not getting much playing time last year under then head coach Jen Warden, who was replaced in the offseason by coach Kristen Holt, Beemer has rocketed herself off the bench into the sneakers of the starting point guard.
This season Beemer has seen a dramatic increase in her minutes on the floor. Last season the talented transfer averaged only 14.6 minutes per game, after only six games this season she is averaging a team-high 32.7.
One rationale for extra time is Beemer’s promotion to starting point guard, but other skills may have made her a player worthy of increased playing time.
“She is a great example of what you would want in a player,” coach Holt said. “She leads by example. She knows what needs to be done. She is always a scoring threat. We have her out there for a lot of different reasons.”
All of these reasons have added up to Beemer being named team captain, quite a feat for a player whose view for the majority of last season was from the bench. Two reasons for the acknowledgment are Beemer’s loyalty and dedication to the team. Last year’s disappointing season ended with a record of 4-28, and had a stretch where the team lost twenty in a row.
Every player had an excuse to give
up, but Beemer continued to have a positive attitude and work hard. She carried that dedication into the off-season and spent the summer in Colorado working on her game and improving upon her weaknesses.
“She’s one of our hardest workers, very dedicated,” coach Holt said. “She is a good example on and off the court. She knows the dedication it requires.”
Her hard work and commitment got her noticed early and she was named team captain. Putting in extra film time and being the last person to leave the gym are two things that will win brownie points, but Beemer’s on-court leadership, offensive control and scoring ability is what has led to her success this season.
Beemer, only 5-foot-5, leads the Rams in almost every offensive category. Playing to her greatest strength, Beemer has racked up 17 three pointers this season, six more than any other player on the team. She has accomplished this by making her long-range shots 30.9 percent of the time.
Beemer is currently second on the team with 9.9 pts per game, just over five points higher than last season’s average. She also leads the team in total scoring with 69 points through seven games. Last season, playing off the bench, Beemer only racked up 136 points in 32 games.
Yes, Beemer has become an offensive threat every time she steps onto the floor, but every player can improve. During the off-season, Beemer says she worked on the skills that resulted in her benching last year; and she is seeing some improvements.
“I worked real hard this summer,” Beemer said. “Coach Holt told me to work on my ball handling, my jumpers, my shooting and my quickness.”
All have improved this season, Holt said.
The additional workouts have helped with her basketball skills but vocal leadership is one aspect of Beemer’s game where she still needs improvement.
Having not played point guard since her high school days, Beemer is transitioning from bench player to on-court general. So far more battles have been lost than won, and the team is 2-5. But the war is what counts and so far the Rams are only two games from equaling the number of wins they had all last season.
Good generals possess two things: ability to lead by example and informing the other soldiers. Beemer has one characteristic well in hand, the other she is in the process of developing.
“She’s working on (being vocal),” coach Holt said. “I think she is improving on it every day.”
Because of her size Beemer has also had to improve on her defense to earn her starting role. While she’ll never rebound like Rodman, the small guard has found ways to become a thorn in the side of opposing offenses. Using her quickness and a never-give-up attitude Beemer has established her presence as worthy defender to outside shooting.
The senior also has a life off the hardwood. She is majoring in health and exercise science with a sports medicine concentration. While she is not known for inflicting pain on the court, the senior plans on inflicting some later in life as she pursues a career as a dentist after graduating.
Though the majority of her time is dominated by basketball, Beemer is also known for being a good student, even working on homework before games. Describing her perfect day as one beginning with hiking and swimming and ending in a good game she certainly enjoys an active lifestyle and plans to continue to do so.
The small school, small sized, small chance Kandy Beemer, who once spent the majority of game time riding the pine, must have used her hard-work, loyalty and dedication to whisk herself into a slumber. For the only way for her to become the starting point guard at Division-I CSU was in her dreams.
Staff writer Keith Robertson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.