‘Light years’ ahead

Floating through the air in the all-too-famous basketball form, Becca Reams practices in Sac States Yosemite Hall Gym on Nov 21.:


Floating through the air in the all-too-famous basketball form, Becca Reams practices in Sac State’s Yosemite Hall Gym on Nov 21.:

Victor Nieto

After a grueling and laborious practice, Becca Reams and the rest of the Sacramento State women’s basketball team gather in circle at center court, with their arms extended in the middle and let out a passionate “Big Sky Champs!” before heading to the locker room.

The chant signals the end of practice, but for the red-shirt Reams, it’s a constant reminder of what she hopes to accomplish as a team this year.

“As a team I want to go further than any previous Sac State team,” Reams aaid. “We haven’t had a winning record in a long time, so I hope we can change that and get to the tournament and win. “We say Big Sky champs because that’s our goal.”

Reams plans to earn a degree in organizational communications in the spring, and enters the 2007-08 season as one of the Hornet’s most experienced players. As a sophomore, she started 13 games at forward while averaging 7.6 points per game and led the team with a 45 percent field goal percentage from the floor.

“Becca helps us a great deal because she can play both of the post positions,” said the coach, Dan Muscatell. “And defensively she has come light years from when she first got here.”

Reams started her basketball career rather auspiciously. As a third grader at Foresthill Elementary, she was first introduced to the game by a physical education teacher, but didn’t passionately grab a hold of the game until a few years down the road.

“My dad kind of got me into trying out for a competitive (AAU) team. I really didn’t want to do it but he said, ‘you never know, just try’ and I made the team. From that point on, I was totally in it,” Reams said.

The now 6-foot Reams, who considers herself a bit shy, proved to be anything but on the court as she moved up the ranks of her middle school and high school teams, outdistancing herself from all the other girls who she grew up playing with.

After her first initial leap of being a seventh grader playing with the eighth grade team, Reams excelled, earning national recognition playing in the AAU championships in Orlando, Fla., as an eighth grader and earned local attention during her varsity years at Placer High School in Auburn.

Her junior year at Auburn started out very successful as she averaged nearly a double-double and was named to Harlan Carter all-tournament team. Numerous Division I colleges were sending her letters and showing interest in her services as a collegian athlete; however, her promising season was cut short after she tore her ACL.

“When I tore my ACL, schools stopped talking to me, thinking that it was too hard to come back with a torn ACL,” Reams said. “It was tough because when you play basketball for so long and it’s practically the only thing you do, (and then you can’t), you get lost. You’re not doing what you usually love to do.”

The injury and rehabilitation process took eight months to overcome, but Reams made the best of her time by taking more classes and preparing her body for her senior season by joining the swim team.

Although the scholarship offers were no longer there her senior season, her drive and competitive attitude were still there as she earned the team’s comeback player of the year award, was named to the all-Sierra Foothill League and received the Determination Award scholarship, given to her by an organization in Auburn.

Her senior year proved successful, but for many collegian coaches, her torn ACL was too much of a lingering thought. Still, before Reams decided to test her luck by walking on for some Division I program, she was offered a scholarship to play at Sac State.

“It’s nothing against Sac State, but at the time I wasn’t even thinking about it,” Reams said. “Then coach Muscatell came by and offered me a scholarship and I jumped at the opportunity! I haven’t regretted it since.”

Minus a broken toe, which she stubbed on a coffee table, the decision for her to go to Sac State has proven successful for both her and the women Hornets, with her now embracing one of the leadership roles on the team.

When Reams is not running up and down the courts of the North and South gym, you can usually see her enjoying the nice Sacramento weather with a photo lens in front of her face.

“When I have a free moment I really like to take pictures, usually of people,” she said. “But I’m kind of shy about (it) because I don’t want to make anyone mad.”

However, free time is seldom for Reams during basketball season and the only true hobby she has during this time is catching up on some sleep. For her and the rest of the women Hornets basketball team, the season has started a bit bumpy, but the optimism is still prevalent and the road to the Big Sky Championship doesn’t start until the team’s first league game on Jan. 3.

And for everyone on the team, the goal is still abundantly clear. The goal of becoming “Big Sky Champs!”

Victor Nieto can be reached at [email protected]