Redshirt freshman Kayla Hirt did not get the opportunity to hit the hardwood in 2011-12 after tearing her ACL in an early season practice, but the Gophers' forward is anxiously awaiting her opportunity to showcase her talent in 2012-13. Hirt has been diligent in her rehabilitation since having surgery in November, and anticipates being able to have an immediate impact for Minnesota in her rookie campaign. Here, the forward from Bemidji, Minn., shares 25 things that Gopher fans may not know about her.
I was born two months early
I was three pounds, 15 ounces
I was born in Fargo, N.D.
When I was two, I had an absess infection in my hip, which forced me to quit walking and put me in the hospital for a couple of months
I have more shoes then a person could ever wear
I love piercings. I have 16
My favorite show is Law and Order: Criminal Intent
One thing i wish i could do is play the piano
I want to buy a black Chrysler 300
As I get older, I become more and more scared of being outside when it's dark
My favorite movie is Love and Basketball
My favorite tv show is One Tree Hill
I love candy. I used to be so obsessed, that I would keep candy on the bench and eat it during time outs
I love being able to express myself through the way I dress. How many people say they wear whatever they want, when they want to?
I love math class
I don't drink pop or eat fast food. This makes up for me eating candy. Ha
I cut open my head one day when i was trying to dunk, because I hit my head on the rim
I have tried just about every sport: soccer, volleyball, softball, track, hockey, football and, obviously, basketball
I used to skateboard
I love cell phones. I have had just about every type of cell phone. I love the change of having a new one
I might be considered addicted to my cellphone :/
I love photo design. If i ever get bored, I crop and customize pictures
I am addicted to Applebee's boneless buffalo wings
Something that drives me insane is when people's shoes dont match their outfits
My favorite state is Arizona. I hope to move there when I get older. BEAUTIFUL!
Katie Loberg enters her senior season with the Minnesota women's basketball team as the squad's top returning rebounder and second-leading scorer after an impressive junior campaign in which she averaged 9.1 points and 5.7 rebounds per game. Here, the forward from Princeton, Minn., shares 25 things that Gopher fans may not know about her.
I could touch the rim in 8th grade.
I was already 6 ft. tall in 7th grade (I was even skinnier then, too!)
Yellow/ivory labs will forever be my favorite dog breed. They're the best family dogs.
I am moderately obsessed with Twitter--follow me @KatieLo25!
I played the trumpet from 3rd grade to 10th grade, and have also learned several other instruments. I got bored learning the same things over and over, so I taught myself!
Growing up, I spent a lot of time on the farm with my horses, and riding them in competitions. I have owned about 10 in my life, and I miss horseback riding more and more every day.
I hate seafood, but it's growing on me.
I love traveling and aspire to see the world, but my favorite destination will forever be my cabin on the North Shore of Lake Superior. There's just nothing like it!
I can appreciate a good steak--medium rare, please!
When I'm not working on school, I love to read.
I used to be deathly afraid of heights, among other things, but I enjoy facing my fears! "Life is like a stroll on the beach--as near to the edge as I can go." -Thoreau
In 8th grade, I was All Conference in varsity cross-country. I used to be a pretty good distance runner, and I'm slowly finding my love for it again.
I can cook well, but I'm usually too lazy to care--I make the most random meals.
I am not a morning person.
I can't mix the food on my plate. I eat it one section at a time.
Being organized is important, but I hate cleaning unless the mood strikes.
I love being outside--hiking, beach, watching the clouds--whatever, as long as there's sun and fresh air, I'm there!
I cry in sad movies, books--heck, sometimes even commercials (like those sad dog/cat commercials!). I get it from my Daddy. ;)
Growing up, I dreamed of becoming an equine (horse) veterinarian.
A dream trip of mine would be to go storm chasing across the Midwest--I love a good storm!
My favorite cookie is snickerdoodle, but I love chocolate chip cookie dough.
Don Pablos is my favorite restaurant because I love Mexican food.
I've always wanted to learn how to surf... someday.
I love learning new languages and about different cultures.
Someday I hope to make a garden half as good as my mother's.
Even though the women's basketball season may have ended in March, that doesn't mean the work is over for those behind-the-scenes of it all. Danye Guinn, Director of Basketball Operations for the team, has her work cut out for her at the beginning of the summer.
"Now that camps are starting to pick up in June, it's been just as busy as it is during the year."
One of her main projects during the summer is working on coordinating and organizing the camps that the team runs during the summer months. From making the brochures to calling coaches to planning all of the minute details for the camps, the beginning of summer is not an easy ride for her. The Gophers' overnight camp takes the most amount of work.
"For elite camp, the campers can stay in the Frontier residence halls, so I have to make sure that the hall is all lined up. I also have to make sure players are staying in the rooms with who they requested and I have to schedule meals for all the campers. Each player gets lunch and dinner, while breakfast is also served for the people that stay in the halls, so I have to line all those up, while also making sure parents know where to park, drop off their kids and what time registration begins. I also have to get t-shirt sizes and help in the design of the shirts that each camper receives."
Along with coordinating everything for the camps, she also has to make sure that the Gophers are there as well.
"Between their summer school classes, I have to figure out when to schedule the players that will be working camps. I have to decide what teams I'm going to put them with and what drills I want them doing, versus what I want the high school and college coaches doing."
It can clearly be quite a bit of work, though Danye isn't too nervous about it.
"I've been doing camps for several years now. I ran University of North Dakota's camps for the past few years, so I don't think it's that hard, but it is a lot of detailed work. If you overlook something, it could throw off the whole camp. It's a lot more work than people think it is."
Danye's past jobs have given her great experience to help her through this summer.
"Basketball is all I have known since about kindergarten, so after playing at the University of North Dakota for five years, I took a coaching job at Des Moines Area Community College in Boone, Iowa. I was an assistant coach there for a year and then got hired at back at the University of North Dakota as an assistant coach."
Danye also enjoys the organizational aspect of her job, making it an enjoyable experience for her as she continues into next season. She is also hoping to learn more about the administrative side of things as she continues down her career path and more into the summer.
But it isn't all about work for Danye, as she does get some free time in the offseason. She has plans to go on a family fishing trip to Canada at the beginning of August and also has a side project that she has been working on. She is building a dining room table out of old barn wood that she got from her grandparent's barn that was blown down in a storm.
Her work life does pick up again though in September, when she starts to begin her regular-season duties, which mostly include planning travel for the team.
"When camps are done in the beginning of July, I'll start getting contracts for hotels and buses and then I can begin to line up our charter flights."
One of her biggest concerns will be what to do when something goes wrong.
"If a flight goes wrong, which we had a flight canceled because of a mechanical issue this past year, I would reschedule it and try figure out a way to get to our destination safely."
Even though it may be a daunting task, she definitely will not have a difficult time with it.
"Coming in last year, everything was new and everything was a lot bigger. This year, I'll have everything more organized and I'll know who to talk to about what questions I have. I'm just looking forward to being a little less stressed than I was last year."
She is also looking forward to this season, as her first year was quite a success.
"Everybody here at the U has been great, from the coaches to the players to the fans. And I have also met a lot of great people in Bierman that I get to work with every day. I have definitely made a lot of good connections."
- by Elizabeth Babinski, Athletic Communications Assistant
Each Tuesday throughout the summer on the official Minnesota Gophers Facebook page (be sure to "like" us if you don't already) we'll be highlighting a great moment in Gopher history to help populate our Facebook Timeline.
Have a suggestion for what we should feature next for Timeline Tuesday? Write a note on our Facebook page! March 30, 2004: Lindsay Whalen and the Gopher women's basketball team stuns top-seeded Duke 82-75 to advance to the Final Four.
Lindsay Whalen was already a Minnesota icon before March 30, 2004. Yet that was the night she solidified her place among the all-time greats in Gopher lore.
The Hutchinson native's 27 points (to go along with 20 and 18 rebounds from teammate Janel McCarville) capped one of the more improbable Final Four runs in women's NCAA history -- the Gophers rolled past the first, second and third-seeded teams in the Midwest Regional that season before falling to UConn in the semifinal.
"Coach Borton said the most aggressive team was going to win and that's the way we've played all year," Whalen said after the game. "Tonight we just got a few things to go for us and we just played loose and played together."
The performance earned Whalen's Gophers a banner in Williams Arena -- and a lasting place in the memories of Gopher fans for years to come.
Micaella Riche is coming off a very successful sophomore campaign in which she made her way into the Golden Gophers' starting lineup and concluded the year as one of Minnesota's top rebounders. Here, the forward from Gloucester, Ontario, shares 25 things that Gopher fans may not know about her.
I LOVE getting my nails done. They can't be short and painted, they NEED to be long.
I force my brothers to have slumber parties with me and stay up late talking about stuff.
Instagram makes me believe I'm a pro in photography.
I believe that everyone was placed on earth to accomplish a mission.
I love preparing my food so that it looks really pretty. Then I tend to eat slower.
All I have at home is fruit, vegetables, cheerios, milk, applesauce and chicken. I LOVE IT.
I don't get bored of eating the same foods because I am creative with them.
Out of season, I am obsessed with running outside.
Because of Alex, I am now obsessed with yoga.
Sometimes, for some reason, I act like I'm 5'5 and weigh 150 lbs.
I love to break out in random convulsions that I call dancing. Rachel joins too.
I sleep with socks 95% of the time because I feel like spiders will crawl on my toes.
The littlest things make me unbelievably happy.
I'm obsessed with anything that has a cute pattern or color. It could be a hammer and I'd want to buy it.
I pray in my mind all the time. Especially on the court. I'm also a strong believer... Leah got me back into it :)
I want my hair to be long. Down to the middle of my back. Like NOW.
If you don't ask me to sing along, I will. But if you tell me to I get so shy. Except for when I'm around Leah.
I have no filter. I will say almost everything that comes to my mind. Especially if it's nice.
I am the most ticklish person alive. Do not tickle me unless you are trying to get knocked out (accidentally, of course).
If I'm reading and a word is spelled the same in English and French, at the moment that I'm reading it I have NO IDEA how to pronounce it in English, even if i know the word.
I love to think that I know every answer in class. I often end up getting excited and yelling the wrong answer. Or as the prof says: "Uhm... yea that's part of it..." But when I get it right I think I'm cool.
I am OBSESSED with everything being neat, in order and stacked well, and it needs to look pretty too.
I'm already saving up for my apartment after college. I love home decor and can't wait to decorate it. Perfectly. With all of my OCD standards.
I have approximately eight or nine journals that I love to write in. I write everything down.
I am absolutely madly in love with every one of my teammates and I would do anything for any one of my sisters!
Amanda Zahui B. is the newest addition to the 2012-13 Golden Gopher roster, and though we know that she hails from Stockholm, Sweden and is one of the best basketball players in her country, the rookie shares 25 things fans may not know about her.
I HATE feet
Everytime I get hiccups, I have to say "Air Jordan"
I need to have too big basketball shoes
I hate scary movies
I love to scare people
I want at least 5 kids
Sometimes I have orange juice in my water bottle instead of water
I love slow jams
I love to write stuff
I have a crazy hiccup
I love to see my friends fall (not so they get hurt!)
I would love to be Spongebob's friend
I love old school music
Last time I walked into Footlocker, I started to cry
Though their playing careers as Gophers may be over, the lives of Minnesota women's basketball seniors Kiara Buford, Brianna Mastey, Nicole Mastey and Jackie Voigt are just beginning, as all four recently earned their degrees from the University of Minnesota.
Buford received her bachelor's degree in journalism in December, while Voigt earned her bachelor's degree in sports management in May 2011. Both Buford and Voigt are now working toward a Master's of Education in applied kinesiology with an emphasis in sports management.
Brianna Mastey earned her bachelor's degree in sport management, while her sister Nicole Mastey received her degree in recreation, park and leisure studies this month.
In their time at Minnesota, the quartet combined to earn 12 Academic All-Big Ten honors, two Big Ten Distinguished Scholar awards, two Big Ten Sportsmanship Awards and helped the team earn the Gladys Brooks Commitment to Academic Excellence Award.
Listing all of the academic accomplishments of these women does not even begin to credit them for everything they have contributed to the women's basketball program, the University of Minnesota and the Twin Cities-area community, and we wish them the best of luck as they take on the world.
Members of the Minnesota women's basketball team took time out of their busy schedules recently to mentor girls at nearby Maplewood Middle School.
During the outing, nearly 100 middle school girls were split up into small groups, where the Golden Gophers were able to tell the individual stories of how they became involved in basketball and how they balance their school work, personal time and athletics.
"This event was great," guard Rachel Banham said. "We got to bond with a lot of young girls. It was really fun. I got a lot of questions about basketball and a lot of questions about school and everything they have to do to be successful. It was a great experience."
The experience is one of many that Minnesota women's basketball players were able to experience this season, as the Gophers concluded the 2011-12 academic year with the second-highest average of community service hours among the school's 23 athletic programs.
The last time Lindsay Whalen had played a game in the Sports Pavilion, she was a sophomore wearing a Golden Gophers jersey. It was 2002. Pluto was still a planet, the Oklahoma City Thunder was still the Seattle Supersonics, and no one yet owned an iPhone.
The Gopher women moved to Williams Arena in 2002. Whalen returned to the Sports Pavilion yesterday afternoon for an exhibition game between her Minnesota Lynx and the Chicago Sky. In the decade between her Pavilion appearances, Whalen has made a Final Four run, been traded from the Connecticut Sun to her hometown team, and won a WNBA Championship.
She had actually played an exhibition game in Williams Arena as a member of the Sun, but this was her first time back in the Pavilion, and her first time playing at the University of Minnesota as a member of the Lynx.
Although the game was in the Pavilion, the Lynx used the basketball locker room in Williams Arena. The hallway walls outside the locker room--as well walls and trophy cases within the locker room itself--bear images of Whalen and the rest of the Gophers' 2004 Final Four team. Lynx head coach Cheryl Reeve said that Whalen took some ribbing from teammates for this.
It was all in good fun. Reeve also said that her team wanted to perform well for Whalen at her former home arena. The team delivered. The crowd of 4,102 saw the Lynx take a 40-25 lead into halftime and win by a final score of 82-61.
Whalen played 22 of 40 minutes. She scored nine points, distributed eight assists, and added five rebounds. A few of her scoring highlights included a crossover and step-back jumper, and an and-one layup to open the second half.
She also displayed her usual hustle and toughness, flying out of bounds and through some seats. But Reeve was not worried about the possibility of injury.
"Whay is a hockey player playing basketball," she said. "She takes all kinds of hits. It doesn't ever worry me. Occasionally she gets up a little slower, but I know she's going to get up."
Whalen is one of the big reasons the Lynx won the 2011 WNBA title. Virtually the entire roster from last season remains intact in 2012. The team has a shot to become the first back-to-back league champions since the Los Angeles Sparks in 2001 and 2002. The Lynx will open their regular season on Sunday against the Phoenix Mercury.
For a final preseason tune-up on the road to a repeat, it's hard to imagine a better place for Whalen than the court that helped to launch her into the national spotlight. Ten years after her last college game in the Pavilion, and eight years after her Gopher finale, she still holds a special place Minnesota basketball fans' hearts.
Rachel Banham capped off her impressive freshman campaign by being named the Minnesota Female Rookie of the Year at the 2012 Golden Goldys held Monday night at TCF Bank Stadium.
The University of Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletics department recognized both the athletic and academic achievements of its 750 student-athletes during the event. It marked the sixth year of the Golden Goldys and the 23rd year of the Scholar Athlete banquet.
The voting process includes spring sports of 2011 (baseball, men's and women's golf, rowing, softball, men's and women's outdoor track & field and men's and women's tennis) and the fall and winter sports of the 2011-12 athletic year.
Named the Big Ten Freshman of the Year, Banham was also a Second Team All-Big Ten selection. She led the team in scoring, assists, defensive rebounds, minutes played, three-pointers and three-pointer percentage. Banham ranked third nationally in rookie scoring and was named to the 2011-12 Full Court NCAA Women's Freshman All-America team.
The women's basketball program was also awarded the Gladys Brooks Commitment to Academic Excellence Award at the banquet.