Lady Vikings basketball begin practice with stiff competition
Team asks for male students to practice with the team
By Angela Ison
Oct. 14, 2010
Although the NCAA has been debating whether or not to ban male practice players, CSU’s Women’s Basketball team begins practicing against CSU males 10 days earlier than last year.
“Part of [why we use male practice players] is my girls can’t go every possession, every practice and every game and not be worn down by the end of the year. So if I can put five out there against guys and then rotate another one in and then another one in” until they’ve all played “I can save their legs”, states CSU Woman’s Basketball coach Kate Peterson Abaid. “I think it really helps them because when they are on the floor they can give 100%, but if they have to go the entire three hours and not get a break then they’re going to cruise and give 75 percent”.
CSU male students are selected by a recruiter to play against the woman’s basketball team prior to the start of practice. “We’re looking for a very special kind of guy,” states Coach Abaid. “The guys who make the cut are more concerned with helping the girls improve than they are showing off and those guys come to our games and sit there with pride knowing that they helped us prepare to win this game” says Coach Abaid with a smile.
The team starts practice at 3:30 p.m. and the men come in from 4 p.m. until 5 p.m. to run drills.
“We usually do not scrimmage against the boys,” says Coach Abaid. Instead the team uses the CSU males to play defense while it works on its offense and to play offense while the team works on its defense.
Coach Abaid says that she started practice 10 days earlier this year to create chemistry amongst the players and to allow them to space out their practices in order to prevent injuries.
“We have a whole new team from last season” explains Abaid in response to what she expects to be the most challenging part of the season. “The girls that were here last year didn’t get a lot of playing time because we had four senior starters who we graduated last season and they are eager to get out there and play and show off their talents.”
CSU is no longer a veteran team so Shawnita, the only senior on the team, will have a lot of responsibility. “She doesn’t like to say a lot, she just wants to play and I think it’s a challenge for her to take a leadership role in the team,” says Coach Abaid. Yet, Coach Abaid says the team is counting on Shawnita and others to step up and lead the team.
CSU Women’s basketball team begins the regular season on Nov. 13 against Cornell University.