By Tasha Cook
As Lady Cavs basketball revs up for a new season, several new faces will be seen among the team. Three of those are forwards who transferred from Division I programs.
All natives of the Kansas City area, Brianna Kulas transferred from Kansas State University (KSU), Polly Harrington from the University of Louisville and Lauren Dudenhoeffer from North Dakota State.
Head coach Ben Conrad said the forwards were recruited for their ability to play first and foremost. He said they bring maturity with them from playing on Division I teams.
“We also had a huge need at those positions with the departures of two All Americans at the four and five spot from last year,” he said. “Any time you can get a transfer from a D1 or D2 program, you jump at that chance.”
Kulas said the switch back to the college is a big difference.
“Transferring from Kansas State to [the college] is a major difference,” she said. “Kansas State was a college town of course, and being at JCCC makes me feel more like I’m back at home, which I am.
“Being away from home for a year helped me mature, and just the fact of being in college for a year brought experience,” she said.
Harrington came to the college because she has known the coaches for a while and had high school teammates who played for the Lady Cavs and liked it, she said.
Conrad also recruited Dudenhoeffer, who transferred here from North Dakota State after discovering she would need surgery for a bone tumor. Dudenhoeffer said he recruited her in high school before she went on to North Dakota, but when she realized she would be out a while after surgery, she decided to give Lady Cavs basketball a try.
Dudenhoeffer said she has never been on a team with so little drama. She said women’s teams usually have drama which negatively impacts the team, but that isn’t the case with the Lady Cavs.
She said her biggest goal is making it to nationals.
“If we play to the best of our ability then I believe we can go extremely far, if not all the way,” she said. “Year in and year out we as players are constantly asked what our goals for the season are and every year I come in just wanting to get better mentally and physically as a player. There is always improvement that you need to make and that is my goal every year, to come in and get better everyday day that I’m on the floor.”
The transfers are fitting in well with the rest of the team, said Harrington and Kulas.
“Our team chemistry is really good this year,” Harrington said. “We all get along really well. We have high expectations out of ourselves this year and we are working hard to be conference champs and national champs. We know that it will be tough but that’s why we all work so hard every day and our coaches always push us so we can be the best that we can this season.”
Contact Tasha Cook, managing editor, at firstname.lastname@example.org.