Sports Spotlight on Shaunna Knife | VideoScott Westerberg | 11/28/2012
She came to U-Mary as a quiet freshman from a small town.
"Kind of shy coming in and didn`t really say much, but now I kind of broke out of that shell, and they probably want me to shut up now, but it`s not going to happen," Knife said.
"I think she`s just become really comfortable with her voice, and I think that`s sometimes hard for athletes to do, and Shaunna`s traditionally been a quiet leader, but by this year, whether it`s team meetings or practices or the lockerroom, I hear her more," said coach Rick Neumann.
As Knife has gotten more comfortable as a vocal leader, it`s also translated into more emotion after a big play, like a block or no-look pass.
"It gets us going cause we get emotional and scream and come together as a team, so it`s a little spark if one of us gets a block or does something cool like that," she said.
"It`s really fun to watch her once she gets going. She excites the crowd. She excites our team and sometimes as a coach you like a little more sureness, but that`s who she is and we encourage everyone to be who they are on the floor," Neumann said.
Knife`s role this season has expanded beyond just becoming more of a leader. It`s no secret the Marauders won`t be one of the bigger teams in the conference, so Knife will have to spend more time around the paint than she has in the past.
"More rebounding and that`s what I`m trying to go for right now. I really don`t care if I have more rebounds than points, but that`s what I`m trying to get and that`s what I want to get cause that`s where we have to fill that void," she said.
Knife and four other Marauders are now in their final season of college basketball, and she knows it`ll be hard to handle their last game together when the time comes.
"We`ve been roommates. We`ve been teammates. Pretty much see them everyday, all day. The only days I don`t see them is our off days and then we come back and freak out like we`ve never seen each other in a long time, so they`ve been family and it`s going to be sad to end it, but I`m glad I`m going out with them."
But Knife hopes she and her teammates can delay that ending until deep in the post season.
Knife is averaging a double-double so far this season: 16 points and 10 rebounds per-game as the Marauders have won four of their five games.
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