Going out on top

Jonathan Parrish, Sports Reporter

Senior Jamie Weisner wants end her career the same way she did in high school — a champion


Jamie Weisner will tell you that her fondest memory of basketball came in 2012 when she was a senior at Clarkston high school. They had just won the Washington state 2A championship, something the four-year starter had been trying to accomplish her whole career. 

“Every year I lost in the game to go to state and so my senior year we finally made it in,” said the senior guard. “It was like we got to make the most of it and we had the team to do it. It was incredible to top it off in my senior year, my last high school game.”

Those familiar with the Oregon State women’s basketball program will come to realize that the senior guard has faced a similar situation in her career with the Beavers.

Last season, the seventh-ranked Beavers won their first ever Pac-12 regular season championship. They reached the NCAA tournament for the second straight year as a third seed, only to be upset in the second round by 11th seeded Gonzaga at Gill Coliseum. It’s largely reminiscent of what Weisner faced in high school, who aspires to go even farther in the tourney her senior year and possibly win it all in the Final Four championship in Indianapolis. 

“I just hope we reach our full potential,” Weisner said. “My goal is to make it to the Final Four for sure, and just win every game.”

Weisner has each and every year developed into a very important player for OSU and leads the team with a career-high 16.6 points a game this season en route to a 12-3 record. One thing that has helped her along the way has been her passion for the game.

“She is gifted with incredible desire,” Head Coach Scott Rueck said. “You know, just to be great all the time. There’s no place she wants to be other than here and she has an intensity to her that rubs off on everyone.”

Freshman point guard Katie McWilliams has noticed her love for basketball every time Weisner steps onto the hardwood.

“She’s a fighter,” she said. “She always wants to win every game, so it’s a lot fun to play with her.”

The Clarkston, Wash. native was instilled with this desire early on, and was around the game of basketball as long as she can remember.

“My dad coached high school basketball when I was born and then I had older siblings that played,” Weisner said. “I was just in the gym as far as I can remember, like age three. My dad actually coached my older brother, so I would go their games. When I was in kindergarten I thought my brother was the best player ever so I was like ‘I want to be like him someday.’”

While Weisner wanted to be like her brother then, she has certainly transformed into her own player. Outside of her college career, she has represented Canada’s national basketball program, playing for the country the past three summers in games all around the world. She says that it has been a rewarding experience and has offered her different perspectives of basketball, helping her to grow as a player.

One of the ways Rueck has seen Weisner grow is in her willingness to be a leader.

“She maybe has been the most vocal player on the team,” he said. “This year her voice is just louder, she’s seen herself differently, there’s more maturity from her. When she makes a mistake, she doesn’t dwell on it, and so she’s just been much more consistent, much more vocal, and really an incredible example to everyone. It’s this natural progression that’s been incredible to watch.”

McWilliams, starting alongside Weisner in place of injured junior Sydney Wiese the past six games, says her leadership has been key for her own development.

“She’s just a great leader on and off the floor,” she said. “When I go in she leads me through things if I’m having trouble. I can always trust her to make plays for us.”

2016 will be Weisner’s last year donning the orange and black, who will leave as one of the best OSU women’s basketball players in the program’s history. With any amount of luck, and the determination and leadership she has shown throughout her career, Weisner will be able to go all the way with her team, just like she finally did in high school four years ago. One thing’s for sure, she doesn’t take it for granted.

“I think we just got to stay focused throughout the year and know what we are capable of and strive for our own goals,” she said. “It’s incredible to be with these girls everyday, we’re like a family in here, so to go to work with each other, there’s nothing like it.”

On Twitter @JonnyP_96

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