Kansas State women’s basketball’s Serena Sundell is just a freshman, but has already stepped up in a big role in her short time on campus.
“This is what you dream of growing up,” Sundell said, “Playing basketball, you want to go play in college.”
Now playing Division I basketball at K-State, the Maryville, Missouri-native has helped guide her team to a 7-1 record as the starting point guard.
“It’s a real plus for us to have her take over the point guard spot and do it the way she’s done it,” head coach Jeff Mittie said. “She’s been a force there. She’s getting better every day, learning every day.”
Averaging 10.4 points, 4.6 assists and 3 rebounds a game earned Sundell much-deserved recognition for her play, but a 21-point outing against No. 2 NC State and a career-high 25-point contest against Abilene Christian on back-to-back games earned Sundell the Big 12 Freshman of the Week Award.
“Oh my gosh, that was so crazy. I was definitely very surprised. A huge honor, it’s awesome,” Sundell said.
Sundell wasn’t the only member of the team that was happy for their point guard.
“It’s definitely super exciting because I’ve known her for so many years, and all I want is for her and all of our teammates to be successful,” freshman Jaelyn Glenn said.
Glenn and her twin sister Brylee, who is also on the women’s basketball team, played AAU basketball with Sundell, so they were able to see just how good Sundell was at a young age. Jaelyn says that Sundell’s performance this far isn’t much of a surprise.
“If anyone is going to be able to do it, I know it’s her. She has such a tough mindset,” Jaelyn Glenn said. “I’m not really shocked that she’s doing super well, but I’m super proud.”
Even though Sundell has shined statistically, what’s been most impressive is the leadership position she’s taken as a newcomer.
“Right when I figured out that I was going to be in the point guard position, I knew I was going to have to step up and use my voice, run the show a little bit,” Sundell said.
Sundell’s natural basketball talent can often help take charge on the court, but coach Mittie said speaking up has been something they’ve been working on.
“She’s got a quiet voice. She’s still finding her voice, but what she is, is really intelligent,” Mittie said.
Mittie saw that intelligence while recruiting Sundell, and while he wasn’t set-in-stone as to what position she would play, he was certain that he could use her on the team.
“Don’t know if she’s a point guard, don’t know if she’s a scoring two-guard, don’t know if she’s a slasher because she does all those things … we can’t go wrong with this kid,” Mittie said. “I don’t know where she fits, but she’s going to be on the floor.”
With as good as Sundell has been, she isn’t satisfied with where her game is at right now.
“I don’t even know if I have it all clicking right now. … I feel I’m continuing to grow my game,” Sundell said.
Sundell and the Wildcats travel to South Carolina to take on the nation’s top-ranked Gamecocks in the Big 12/SEC Challenge on Dec. 3. The game can be watched on the SEC Network on ESPN+, with a recap in the Collegian after the game.