Players from Kansas State’s women’s basketball team met young fans and their parents at game booths and signed autographs Sunday from 5-7 p.m. at the Mid-Summer Bash in celebration of the coming season.
“We spend a little bit of time at each station, trying to get to see different people, different kids,” said Alisa Wiggins, sophomore guard and kinesiology student.
The evening at the Ice Family Basketball Center was a little more than a chance to win prizes and have fun, however. It was also a chance to sell tickets and get fans excited for the upcoming basketball season.
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Last year, K-State concluded with an 18-16 overall record and reached the postseason for the fourth consecutive year under head coach Jeff Mittie.
Wiggins said she is looking for postseason success to be repeated again, but she wants to go all the way.
“I’m just looking forward to competing for a Big 12 title in the NCAA Tournament,” Wiggins said. “We started off last year with a great season. Finished around .500, but we definitely have some great players this year and we’re looking to really make a push in the Big 12.”
Joining the roster this year are four freshmen from the highest-ranked recruiting class during Mittie’s tenure: Christianna Carr, Ayoka Lee, Laura Macke and Savannah Simmons.
“People should come out and watch just to give our freshmen a little bit of a taste of how supportive K-State actually is,” said Mary Lakes, sophomore center and psychology student. “Also we need support like anyone else needs support.”
Wiggins said this season the team will bet on three-pointers, which guards have been drilling in practice.
“We have really been working on pushing in transition and looking for threes,” Wiggins said. “That’s one of our main strengths of our team right now, three point shooters, and we’re really trying to exploit that against other teams this year.”
As a center, Lakes said she has been drilling “defensive things and a lot of rebounding” in practice.
“We have a lot of different personalities on the team, so I feel like on the court it will be good and off the court its also gonna be great, too,” Lakes said.
Editor’s note: Mary Lakes was arrested Monday morning in Manhattan and was charged with domestic battery, as reported by the Manhattan Mercury and the Wichita Eagle. As of 9 p.m. Tuesday, K-State Athletics has not released an official statement concerning Lakes’ arrest and her status as a women’s basketball team member.