When the word freshman is associated with a college athlete’s name, it usually relates to an inexperienced player who will ride the bench for at least one season. However, for the CSU women’s basketball program, a few players define the word in their own way.
Former Ram and current WNBA all-star Becky Hammon broke all the freshman records in her first year at CSU and 2008 graduate Sara Hunter placed herself under Hammon for second in most freshman records.
Coming off a disappointing 2007-08 season, first year head coach Kristen Holt was forced to find new talent to help fill holes in the lineup, and no first year player executed in their role as well as the freshman Belgium native Kim Mestdagh.
“Kim really grew as a person throughout the year,” Holt said. “I really think she got better as we went along, and at the end she became to understand the amount of effort we wanted.”
In her first season for the Rams, Mestdagh appeared in 31 games — starting 14 –/playing at the guard position and tying senior Britney Minor for the second most points scored, 231, behind senior captain Kandy Beemer.
Mestdagh also became second all-time in three-point field goals made in a single season for a freshman with 51 and second all-time for three-pointers attempted by a freshman with 159.
Against Montana on Dec. 10, Mestdagh connected on six threes which placed her third in the CSU record books for most threes in a single game by a freshman under Hunter’s seven and Hammon’s eight.
“I think for a freshman I did a good job. I had good season for a freshman not only scoring-wise but also minutes and defensively,” Mestdagh said. “I think I had an important role on the team and that feels pretty good.”
Basketball beat reporter Justin Warren can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.