A freshman guard looks to find her place as the newest member of the Three Rivers College women’s basketball team.
Brooklynn Klepzig, a Doniphan native, stepped onto the court for the first time as a Lady Raider, and though everything may be new to her, she is ready to tackle the latest journey in her basketball career.
With the basketball season right around the corner, Klepzig has gotten a slight taste of the daily routine for a collegiate ball player, and so far, it’s been a smooth transition.
“The first few weeks have gone really well,” Klepzig said. “I haven't been able to do much because of a minor injury, but I've been sitting on the sidelines cheering and learning. I'm just ready to get back to it. It's been a lot of fun, and I'm ready for the season to start.”
As a former member of the Doniphan Donettes basketball team, Klepzig helped the program to three district championships and 93 wins over the years.
Head Three Rivers women's basketball coach Alex Wiggs said he is excited to have Klepzig on the team and believes she can be a great addition to the squad.
“She's done a great job so far,” Wiggs said. “Obviously, she came from a very good high school basketball program that played with a lot of toughness. We're excited about her bringing that toughness and that winning mindset here. Hopefully, that winning culture with her can continue at the next level.”
Klepzig thought playing at Three Rivers would be amazing because becoming a Lady Raider was always a dream. The fact she only lives 45 minutes away from home is considered a bonus. Though Klepzig is only a short drive from home, there was still fear about stepping onto the campus of Three Rivers.
Klepzig said she was scared it wouldn't be great because of the uncertainty about making friends. Luckily for her, she has grown closer with the team and couldn't be more closer to her three roommates.
As former high school athletes prepare to take their talents to the next level, there’s always a struggle to find their way in the college world, but Klepzig understands her journey will not be easy.
“The biggest difference with transitioning from a high school player to college is being on a team where every girl is good,” Klepzig said. “In my short time of being here, I’ve realized that I don’t have a moment to slow down or get inside my head when it comes to playing. You must be on top of your game because you can lose your chance out there.”
Klepzig said she’s loved playing under Wiggs because he carries the same tough mentality of pushing players to be great, similar to her coaches in the past, so she understands his expectations of being elite on and off the court.
“Klepzig was just one of those kids we were looking for mainly because we’re looking for her to shoot the ball,” Wiggs said. “I think she will allow us to spread the floor out with our size and everything we have down low. It will open space and help us land easy shots, but I look forward to having her here.”
As a person who struggles with self-confidence, Klepzig said that’s one of the areas she would like to improve on as the season progresses. She understands her team role and believes her skills from beyond the ark will be a good addition to the Lady Raiders’ lineup.
“I would just like to become a better and stronger player mentally and physically,” Klepzig said. “I know my role as of now is to be the shooter. I just want to be seen as a player who can hit any shot from anywhere whenever I step out onto the court.”
D'Courtland Christian - Daily American Republic