Meet the Seawolf: Katie Richens

The UAA women’s basketball team has been host to many athletic stars, and is always on the lookout for new shiny athletes. One of the newest additions to the UAA women’s basketball team is,Utah native Katie Richens. Having played basketball since the third grade, Richens has been a dedicated player and excelled in her high school career as a four year letterwinner, second-team all-region as a freshman and  first-team all-region as a sophomore.

“We obviously recruited Katie because of her basketball skills, but what separates players at this level is the drive and determination that lies within the individual, and she possesses those intangibles,” Head coach Tim Moser said in a recent press release. “Her love for basketball will be demonstrated by her work ethic. We are extremely excited to have Katie for four years.”

The women’s basketball team ended last year with a 27-7 season, advancing to the NCAA Division II Tournament 2nd Round. The hope is with Richens and other new additions, the team will excel even further this year.

An interview with TNL

How long have you been participating in basketball?
I started playing basketball in the third grade so I would’ve been eight years old. I played Jr. jazz every year until junior high then I played on their team then eventually my high school team, then a year on the Salt Lake Metro AAU team.

How has playing basketball shaped your life today?
Basketball has taught me so much! I was blessed with an athletic ability and through that traits like determination, hard work, patience, perseverance, etc. have come.. It’s taught me to never give up and to work hard for what I want. Nothing can stop a person if they want it bad enough and put in the effort.

What position do you like playing the most?
I play point guard and shooting guard. I love these positions because I get to have the ball in my hands, I’m able to score and the direction of the game is up to me. Lots of pressure and I like it like that.

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What is your most memorable moment in basketball?
My most memorable moment in basketball was when my team made it to the state tournament my junior year. Our school hadn’t made it that far in seven years. We made it all the way to the state championship game and lost in the final seconds. It was the most disappointing experience I have ever had. But the sting of losing eased a little bit when i got a phone call a few days later saying I had been picked as our state’s 3A MVP! I was speechless. It was an unforgettable year of basketball.

Greatest obstacle you have had to overcome?
Sports have a lot of obstacles to overcome. Sickness, broken bones, black eyes, sprained ankles, losing games, but the thing that was the hardest for me to deal with was losing a close friend and teammate my sophomore year. Unfortunate circumstances led to a tragic suicide that left behind many hurting hearts. It wasn’t easy but I learned a lot from it and it turned into a good growing experience for me and my team.

Who has inspired you the most in life?
My mom has inspired me the most. She has always supported everything I do, followed me to every sports game or high school event I’ve been a part of. She’s never given up on me and pushes me every day to work harder and become better in everything I do. Her faith is unfailing; she works hard, and uses every moment as a chance to teach. She’s taught me what’s important in life and I know no matter what I can rely on her. I hope one day I can be like her.

How hard do you think it will be to adjust to a brand new team with people you are not familiar playing with?
I think adjusting to a new team is going to have many challenges. We’ve all been coached different and have our own styles but Coach Moser will do a good job of meshing us together.  I’m sure it’ll take a little bit of time to get things flowing on and off the court but we all have something in common; we love playing ball! I’ve already met most of the girls and I really like them so I’m excited to get up there and get closer with them all.

If you weren’t playing basketball, what other sport or school activity would you be most into?
If I wasn’t playing ball I’d be doing soccer or track (throwing the Javelin in track) I did both in high school and loved them. I’m very competitive so I’d have to stay involved in sports somehow.

Is there anything about starting college that makes you nervous?
I’m a little nervous about moving so far away. Alaska is a long ways from Utah and it’ll be tough to be away from all my family and friends but it’s a new and exciting challenge and I’m excited to be out on my own.

What are you most excited about experiencing in college?
I’m most excited about playing ball! The coaches and program are amazing and it’s an honor to be considered a part of UAA’s Women’s Basketball Program. We have to opportunity of winning a national championship and there’s nothing I want more. I also can’t wait to do a little Alaskan fishing 🙂 I love the outdoors so I don’t think I could have chosen a better place to go to school at.

What would you like to major in?
I haven’t decided on my major yet. I have lots of interests, particularly in sports psychology, history and physical therapy but I can’t make up my mind yet.