Senior women’s basketball players ready for next chapter in life

State Hornet Staff

The Sacramento State women’s basketball 2014-15 season came to an end on March 26 after a home postseason loss against Saint Mary’s College, and it marked the final collegiate appearance for seniors Takara Burse, Andrea Chenier and Fantasia Hilliard.

The three women played their last game in a Hornets uniform and are beginning the next chapter of their lives.

“It was a remarkable experience, it goes by fast,” Hilliard said. “Each year you grow as an individual and as an adult. It is just a great experience as a student-athlete, because it helps you transition into adulthood.”

Hilliard, 22, who has grown through her time on the team, had a strong impact on the Sac State women’s basketball program, breaking multiple records. In her overall career at Sac State, she earned the program record for assists with 529 and holds the second highest steals total with 209.

She led the Hornets in most points scored with a remarkable 441 points this season. Also, she led for assists and steals with 197 and 99, respectively. The senior point guard was awarded with All-Big Sky Conference First Team honors on March 10.

Hilliard said she learned great qualities from being a part of the Sac State basketball team by sharpening her teamwork, leadership, responsibility and time management skills. She is majoring in ethnic studies and said she will carry those skills into her life beyond basketball.

“The next chapter in life is to finish [college] and hopefully get a job after I graduate in December,” Hilliard said.

Fellow senior Burse, 21, described her experience on the team.

“It was definitely an enjoyable ride playing for the team,” Burse said. “It had its ups and downs, but overall it was pretty fun and one [experience] that I’m not going to forget for a long time … Just playing with a group of girls I love, I would say it was enjoyable.”

In her senior year, Burse played in all 34 games and was in the starting five for 21 games. During the season she totaled 118 rebounds and scored a total of 291 points. Burse had the second-highest assist total on the team, tallying 83.

“I learned how to take constructive criticism, because being on the basketball team––well any team in general––you have to learn about being told what to do and you have to learn how to fix it,” Burse said. “Also being on the basketball team has impacted me with being with different backgrounds and different types of people. [Also], different lifestyles in general and just using all that together to be positive for each other.”

She said she will apply the skills she acquired to her future endeavors.

“Honestly, as of right now I don’t know what is next, but I do know that life doesn’t end now that basketball is over,” Burse said.

The senior is majoring in social work, which she said is an impactful field, and has one more academic year at Sac State.

“I see me going far in that [social work], I am definitely a people person, so I picked the right major,” Burse said. “I just see me going somewhere, making change and always remembering that I am an inspiration for someone out there; putting my legacy out there.”

Basketball remains a possibility in Burse’s future and she is open to the idea of playing overseas in the future.

“Right now I am just really focused on the academic part of my life, because basketball can only last for so long and the degree behind me is what is going to lead me to do what I want to do,” Burse said.

Fellow Hornets player Chenier, 22, is majoring in sociology and plans to work a summer internship. Also, she said she is ready to start preparing to play basketball abroad.

“Towards September I want to go play overseas,” Chenier said. “I am going to start working out starting in May. I am excited to try that out.”

In her time with the Hornets, Chenier played in 34 games and started in 17. She totaled 248 points and collected 16 blocks throughout the season. Chenier said she valued the time playing with her squad and acquired valuable lessons that she will apply in her life.

“The best thing to take with me is discipline, because throughout my years in basketball you had to be so disciplined,” Chenier said. “Whether it’s in the classroom, whether it’s being on time. [Also], taking ownership of who you are.”

All three seniors said they created lifelong memories playing for Sac State and will use the knowledge and skills they learned from their time on the team to prosper in the next phase of their lives.