Taylor Kalmer plays the waiting game for Oregon State women’s basketball

Women’s Basketball vs ASU

Jonathan Parrish, Sports Reporter

Kalmer works hard, while staying patient

By Jonathan Parrish

Sports Reporter

This last weekend, the Oregon State women’s basketball team took to the road to face the two Pac-12 schools up north, sweeping Washington and Washington State to improve to 11-1 in the conference and earn a No. 8 ranking in the AP poll.

One player for the Beavers, freshman guard Taylor Kalmer, did not see the floor at all.

With the two victories, OSU continues the success they have enjoyed as of late, a large part of which has been the play of the guards ahead of Kalmer, junior Sydney Wiese and senior Jamie Weisner, who recently combined for 39 points in a 67-44 victory against then No. 8 Arizona State last week.

If you dig deep into the box score from that game, at the bottom you’ll see Kalmer.

While she didn’t fill up the stat sheet in that contest — she only played a minute — Kalmer was just happy to be there. After all, her high school, Corona Del Sol, in Chandler, Ariz., where she was a four-time All-City selection on the basketball team, is located exactly six miles from ASU’s campus.

“It was fun (to play ASU),” Kalmer said. “I knew a lot of (players) from past experiences, high school and club, so it was good to see them and get the win.”

There have been occasions when Kalmer played well, and put more on paper than just a minute of action. In the Beaver’s blowout game against Arizona, just three nights before the matchup with the Sun Devils, she tied a career high with 17 minutes, and contributed 8 points with two three-pointers. She, like head coach Scott Rueck and many of her other teammates, described that as a “fun” game to play.

On the other hand, there have been many games where Kalmer was in the same situation as in her game against ASU, when she has played little to none at all. The lack of playing time this season has not discouraged Kalmer in the slightest.

Instead of getting frustrated, she has learned to bide her time and lean on the example of Wiese and Weisner.

“It’s fun just to be able to play against them everyday in practice, and learn from them, it’s unbelievable,” Kalmer said. “I’ve learned to just keep working hard no matter what, and I try to watch them the most, and pick up whatever I can.”

When Kalmer arrived here on campus, Weisner was impressed with the way she presented herself.

“She came in here very confident, and she’s just a very hard worker,” Weisner said. “She’s always getting extra shots up, she’s always asking me for advice and soaking it all in. I think she’s definitely getting the most of her freshman year and really playing her role well.”

Rueck too was impressed, and has praised Kalmer’s willingness to work hard and learn, even though she might not see that translate into playing time.

“(Kalmer) is someone who hasn’t played a ton of minutes for us and not a lot of big minutes,” Rueck said after her performance against Arizona. “But she’s been working like crazy. She works as hard as anybody on our team, and that’s not easy to do. She’s playing on a deep team, with a lot of great players with more experience.”

“To (Kalmer’s) credit, she went straight to Jamie and said, ‘show me what you’re doing, I want to do it because I want to play like you,’” he said. “She understands (Weisner) is a resource for her every bit as us coaches are, if not more.”

In Kalmer’s games when she has played well she did against the Wildcats, (she put up a career-high of 10 points against Idaho early this season), Weisner has not been surprised at all, knowing full well what Kalmer is capable of.

“I was very impressed,” Weisner said. “Also, I knew she could do something like that. I’m just proud of her.”

When Weisner does leave this year, and eventually Wiese too, after next season, Kalmer will be ready, just like she has been the whole time in her first year as a Beaver. But while they are here, she is absorbing everything she can from them.

“I’m learning to be patient,” Kalmer said. “Just to keep working and trusting my work ethic.”

On Twitter @JonnyP_96

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