Former walk-on prospers

Leadership role Washburn junior Stevi Schultz, a former walk-on, has taken on a leadership role for the No. 11 Lady Blues. Photo by Mike Goehring, Washburn Review.

Two hours away from her home in Neodesha, Kan., Stevi Schultz has been making in impact on as a guard on the Washburn Lady Blues basketball team.  The junior started playing with her family as a child, noting her brother who plays at Newman University in Wichita, and began organized basketball in third grade.

“We basically played all year round,” said Schultz.  “My dad coached us a lot, like our summer league teams and such.”

Eschewing scholarships and other schools, Schultz decided to attend Washburn for her goal of playing college basketball based on sheer likeability.

“I was actually looking at Missouri Southern [State University]ww and Washburn,” said Schultz.  “I was actually a walk-on my freshman year, so it wasn’t for money anything like that, but I like the campus, liked the school.

“You want to come to a school where you like the girls, and I like the girls here a lot.  We get along real well, so I’m very happy with my decision.”

Schultz has enjoyed running onto the court with the team like a pack of velociraptors, her favorite dinosaur, with the prospect of winning games and championships.

“That’s what we play for is winning championships and stuff,” said Schultz.  “So those are definitely my favorite moments.”

Currently, Schultz does not have a detailed plan for life after college, but she has ideas exploring her vast studies.

“I have a major in accounting and I have a double minor with Spanish and international business,” said Schultz.  “So I want to probably travel to South America and work with my accounting major, and I’ll probably have international business and the language.”

Head women’s basketball coach Ron McHenry has a great deal of respect for players like Schultz who play basketball for pure love of the sport, even though it may not be “financially best” and admires her commitment to the school.

“She always wanted to come to Washburn,” said McHenry.  “She’s a great student, so it may have been the school of business.  It may have been the basketball program.  I know she has family here. You always have that feeling that she’s there for Washburn all the time.”

McHenry admires Schultz’s commitment to the team and improving her playing ability.

“She’s turned into an outstanding player, not as a shooter, but she’s a great rebounder,” said McHenry.  “She has a great heart, a great toughness to her.  We’re working hard on her to defend better, play on the floor better, just to change her game to another level.”