The women’s basketball team kicked off its season this fall with a win against Benedictine College, the No. 11 team in the nation, who was in last year’s national final four. Two of the returners and leading scorers from last year, Kodee Powell and Jana Schammel, are looking to lead the Eagles through this upcoming season. These starters gave high praise to the new players.
“I think Rosa and Luize are now really starting to hit their strides and they are clicking with the guards and they run the floor really well,” Schammel said. “They make our jobs as guards and playmakers easy with how hard they work.”
Powell mentioned Sara Williams and how she is a player that plays well beyond her years. Powell said she sees Williams becoming a key factor and spark off the bench for the team this upcoming year. Both Powell and Schammel mentioned that all of the new players are contributing to a great team atmosphere and building a winning attitude that everyone loves to play in.
The new players on the team all bring something unique, both to the school and to the basketball program. The new girls come from diverse backgrounds and majors.
KJ Roh is a journalism major from Nebraska who enjoys the sincerity and friendliness of the John Brown University community. Roh elaborated on why she loves the atmosphere on campus so much. “Coming from a public high school, it’s refreshing to have so many people who care about how I’m doing not only physically and mentally, but also spiritually,” she said.
Rosa Orpo is a junior transfer who’s originally from Finland. She is a kinesiology major who says she loves JBU’s diversity and international family. Orpo said she is really looking forward to this upcoming season. “I believe we will make it really far this year with basketball; we have a special group of girls who are all looking forward to competing this season.”
Sara Williams is a freshman from Texas who raved about the “terrific spiritual atmosphere” and how easy it is to be encouraged spiritually, especially by the professors in her classes. Like the majority of the new players, Williams spoke about how great her teammates are, adding, “ It is very rare to have a group of 14 girls that genuinely love each other and actually like spending time with each other outside of all the sports related things we do together.”
Cara Barrett is a freshman education major from Arkansas who loves the family atmosphere on campus. Barrett talked about how she really enjoys working with her teammates and seeing their desire to improve. She said she loves seeing “the want from each of one of my teammates to do well this season.”
Ally Teague is an accounting major from Arkansas who said she loves her teammates and how they always bring the best out of her. Teague added, “they are more than just friends they are family.”
Luize Skrastina is a business major from Latvia who said she loves the academic and social community at JBU. She added that she absolutely loves “the great chemistry with the team and how great these people are.”
The Lady Eagles added depth, youth and talent with their new crop of players for their 2016-17 campaign. The team is slated to go on a five game road trip before their next home game December 1 against number 19 Oklahoma City University.