Buena Vista University Basketball Wraps Up Another Season with Senior Night


Emily Kenny

Photo by Emily Kenny

Tanner Frost, Assistant Sports Editor

As the BVU Men’s and Women’s basketball seasons come to a close, eight seniors look back on their careers with much nostalgia. The Beavers took on the Dubuque Spartans in Siebens Fieldhouse, and while the women won a comeback game, the men were defeated by the Dubuque.

The senior players from both the mens and women’s teams are: Abigail Daly, Jasmine Demers, Jess Denholm, David Jeffries, Adam Juhl, Claudia Larson, Thomas Wisecup, and Grant Wright.

The games were part of a home, double header against conference rivals, Dubuque. The boy’s team took a disheartening loss; however, the women had other plans.

Down by 14 points at half, a comeback seemed unlikely when the fourth quarter began as the Beavers remained in a 12 point deficit. But then, something clicked for the women’s team.

With a few 3-pointers to close the gap and a huge and-one to put the Beavers up for the first time in the entire game with 12 seconds to go, the women were on the verge of a historic comeback. In the final possession, McKenna Whitehill stole the ball for a game ending layup, and the rest is history. The final score was beaver win, 58-55.

Senior Guard Jasmine Demers says the winning moment was one she’ll never forget.

“We were all so excited. Everything was a little crazy afterwards. All I really remember is having a group hug in the locker room with the other seniors after coming back to win our last home game. I can’t think of a better ending to our senior night as well as Coach Berry’s last home game. I don’t think any of us will ever forget it,” said Demers.

The win gives the women’s seniors a wonderful memory to go out on, but let the group reflect on their favorite moments throughout their careers at BVU.

“My favorite memory was traveling with the basketball team to Seattle last year and then traveling to California this year,” said Larson.

“All the fun we had on the bus rides to away games was my favorite for sure,” said Daly.

Denholm, a transfer student, thought back to her beginnings at BVU.

“I transferred from Waldorf College not knowing what to expect. My teammates and the friends I have made have been amazing, and BVU has helped shape me. I’m grateful for my family and the friends I’ve made here,” said Denholm.

The women look to wrap their season up with an IIAC win at Luther on the 17th. They currently stand at 13-11 overall, and 8-7 in conference play.

Head Coach Janet Berry exits the program along with the seniors at the end of the season. Berry served 26 years with BVU as head coach.

Meanwhile, the four men’s team seniors are preparing their team for a great run in the upcoming conference tournament, finishing off a successful season. Then men are 16-8 overall, so adding a trophy to the cabinet would be the icing on the cake.

David Jeffries believes the Beavers can compete for the top spot in the tournament.

“Coming to practice prepared everyday ready to work hard will give us a chance to get off to a great start in the conference tournament. Later in the season being prepared for each team we play is what will be most pivotal so we can take them out of their game and dictate the tempo,” said Jeffries.

As their careers come to a close, and the seniors look forward to new challenges in life while they reflect on old memories.

“My favorite memory is probably last year’s game at Coe we were down 15 with five to play and Kennedy Drey hit a three at the buzzer to beat them by one! It’s a game I will never forget. But there are a lot of great memories just enjoying my teammates and coaches,” said senior guard Thomas Wisecup.

Adam Juhl remembers  the many places the team traveled to and played in.

“My favorite memories about BVU basketball have been all of the trips that we have taken to Philadelphia, Tampa, Washington state, and Los Angeles,” said Juhl.

However, all of the seniors know as their time ends, another group of individuals will rise to lead the squad. The men had a lot of advice for their freshman teammates.

Wisecup is appreciative of his coaches for all the talent and expertise they have devoted to the program.

“I would tell the younger guys to trust the process, and the coaches,” said Wisecup. “Van Haaften is truly a great coach and a great friend. [He’s] someone I can talk to about anything not just basketball. And the same goes for Coach Millea and Coach Loos. Being around the guys every day is something that a lot of people don’t get to experience so don’t take it for granted the fact that we are not just a team but in a way a family. It’s something I will truly miss in the future.”

Wright also voiced his admiration for head coach Brian Van Haaften.

“After college I am looking forward to getting into coaching, as I have gotten a chance to learn from one of the best of them in Coach Van Haaften,” said Wright.

As we say goodbye to the eight seniors for the Buena Vista basketball teams, their impact for both teams will not be forgotten any time soon. David Jeffries leaves the BVU basketball team hopeful for what’s to come after graduation:

“I don’t really know what the future holds for me, but whatever it is I’ll be ready for it.”