The St. Thomas women’s basketball program not only prepares its players for the game but also for life after the game.
Three years ago, coach Ruth Sinn and Mary Zimmer, a St. Thomas women’s basketball alumna, formed the Adopt-A-Player program.
“The idea is ‘Let’s be more than just the basketball game,’” Sinn said. “Let’s prepare for the next level.”
This program pairs up basketball program alumnae and current players based on their careers and majors. The players are juniors and seniors on the team looking for guidance in their intended field.
At its second meeting of the year on Jan. 24, psychologists, doctors, athletic trainers and accountants gathered to help the current players with their goals and to reminisce about the “old days” of playing basketball together at St. Thomas.
“There have been three mentors in my life who have helped me at crossroads to see the other side,” Zimmer said. “Having and relying on other people really helps you see the other side.”
These mentors provide job-shadowing opportunities, advice and connections to current players. They can also help current players pinpoint exactly what they want to do after graduation.
“It’s all about the networking,” junior Haley Loesch said during the meeting.
Junior Maggie Bryant described job-shadowing opportunities she had with her mentor, including attending the delivery of a baby. Senior Rachel Booth already knew what she wanted to do after graduation, but her mentor has helped her make contacts in the athletic training field.
“This is a significant program because it makes an impact, not only in our current students’ lives but also in our alumnae’s lives, creating connections between the two,” Sinn said.
Zimmer will be awarded a Keystone award at the Jan. 29 home game for her contributions to helping St. Thomas students.
The final Adopt-A-Player meeting of the year will be held in the spring.
Maggie Clemensen can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.