TOCR tends to have a two-track mind when it comes to content (football and men’s basketball), so I wanted to make a point of recognizing the amazing job the women’s basketball team did again this season.
Winning a conference as stacked as the Pac-12 is no easy task, much less winning it back to back. Yet, by beating Cal last Sunday and UCLA upsetting ASU, the Beavers did just that on Senior Day. What a way to go out for the team’s five seniors: Jamie Weisner, Ruth Hamblin, Deven Hunter, Sam Siegner, and Jen’Von’Ta Hill.
Back-to-Back champs sure has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it?
And on the heels of that awesomeness, the Pac-12 announced yesterday that Weisner is Pac-12 Player of the Year, and Hamblin defensive player of the year for the second straight season. Joining seniors Weisner and Hamblin on the All-Pac-12 team are junior Sydney Wiese — while junior Gabby Hanson is all-defensive team honorable mention, and freshman Katie McWilliams all-freshman team honorable mention.
While coach Scott Rueck deserves all the credit in the world for turning the Beavers into conference champions during the span of just two years despite inheriting the devastating mess left by LaVonda Wagner, I wanted to highlight Weisner. Despite her gaudy numbers, I feel at times, she’s overlooked. So this felt like a fitting time to discuss her impact for the Beavers.
When I think of OSU’s quick turnaround and rapid rise, Weisner’s name is first that comes to mind. She was the first elite recruit to buy into Rueck’s vision for the program and sign with the Beavers — she’s been nothing short of spectacular. But more than her scoring, I’ve admired her hustle, grit, and heart. It’s those traits, beyond her skills, that made her the perfect student-athlete to lead the Beavers to new heights. Pun intended, she got the ball rolling and it’s been a heck of ride.
So, Jamie, thanks for choosing to become a Beaver. You’ve cemented yourself as an OSU legend and set the standard for a program that all of a sudden is a conference powerhouse, and one of the top squads in the country.
This entire group of seniors has been a joy to watch, on and off the court. They are great students and stewards in the Corvallis community, and I hope they remember their time here fondly and stay involved for years to come. I look forward to watching them make one last run together this postseason — in the Pac-12 tournament and then the Big Dance.
Hopefully, we’ve haven’t seen the best to come from the Beavers… Good luck to Rueck and Co. And as always, Go Beavs! (RW)