Basketball freshman possesses unlimited potential


photo courtesy of Rittmeyer

Olga Gatesi, Assistant Women's Sports Editor

Renee Rittmeyer is a freshman at UW-Whitewater from Winnebago, Ill. Rittmeyer made her first appearance for the Warhawks on Saturday, Nov. 12 and played a big role in the team’s win over Millikin. In addition to her on court potential the freshman is also an impressive student who is pursuing a business degree here at Whitewater.

How does the transition from a high school athlete to a college athlete differ for you?

Clearly, the game is very different. In high school, anyone could truly make the team, but in college, you play with really talented, powerful athletes. As a result, I had to adjust to the adjustment by learning a new coaching style and playing with players with different personalities that I had never played with before. And in my opinion, this is something that improves over the course of the season.

Why did you decide on whitewater?

I chose Whitewater because of their strong women’s basketball program. I also chose Whitewater due to the fantastic business school, and convenient location. The fact that Whitewater is only an hour away from home is a huge perk of attending because I knew that playing basketball would require me to spend the majority of my time on campus. When I needed to go home to visit relatives and other things, I figured the hour-long drive wouldn’t be too difficult to handle.

What does it mean to be a Warhawk

Being a Warhawk means putting your best foot forward and making an effort whenever you enter a classroom or play on the court. 

How does it feel to be the single freshman to play in the second game of the season and gain more experience on the court? 

It was slightly nerve-wracking when Coach called me to go in for my first game. But I managed to play well in the second half because I knew she believed in me and that I would perform well on the court. In regard to the fact that I was the only freshman on the court, I made the wait worthwhile by playing with assurance and demonstrating to the coach that I deserved every second on that court.

How do  you plan balancing academics sports and social life 

Despite my schedule, this semester has been going very well. For instance, since I don’t have classes on Fridays, I typically complete my schoolwork then. However, it can be difficult for an athlete to manage everything, with such a busy schedule on our hands.

How UW-W does supporting their female athletes

They certainly do a good  job in many respects of supporting us as female athletes. For example a lot of students attend our games and the support from the community has been getting stronger and stronger.

What is the most unique part of playing for the Whitewater basketball team?​​

The Whitewater Women’s Basketball team already has a very distinctive past; for example, the postseason conditioning is different from many other schools I’ve heard of. In addition, the accomplishments of the team over the past few years and the teams that came before us have positioned us as the team that people plan their calendars around when we play. We are that school.

Who is one person you look up to as a role model in the team? 

Maggie Trautsch,  Maggie does an excellent job of bringing the team together and is consistently positive both on and off the court. As a freshman, I also understand Since Maggie is one the teammates with the most experience, I feel at ease approaching her if we are running a play and I am unsure of something and asking her to explain it further in detail. But I do rely on every one of my teammates. All of them are supportive.

Rittmeyer will certainly add a spark to an already talented Warhawk women’s basketball team and have the opportunity to learn from a number of talented players and coaches. Whitewater will compete against Edgewood College in Madison, Tuesday, Nov. 22 at 7 p.m.