Frannie Hemmelgarn is a sophomore transfer at CMC and a forward/center on the CMS Women's Basketball team. She plans to pursue the Leadership Sequence and major in either government or economics.
Hemmelgarn began her college career at Seattle University, where she was recruited to play basketball. Unfortunately, she tore her ACL the summer before her freshman year at SU. After redshirting her freshman season, she decided to transfer to a college where she felt she would get a more well rounded college experience. She did not feel that a Division I program would allow her to get a full college experience, pursuing academic interests and extracurricular activities in addition to athletics. Hemmelgarn considered coming to CMC before her freshman year and when she decided to transfer, she knew that CMC offered everything she was looking for.
It is not always easy being new on a team, but Hemmelgarn has found that her teammates are easily the best part of CMS Basketball. She immediately felt included in the tight group of friends and considers everyone to be like family. Their chemistry is evident on and off the court, something Hemmelgarn considers very important to the success of any team. While the team certainly works hard, they have a lot of fun as well. Hemmelgarn recalls when Coach Jodie Burton beat her in the "Dance Dance" Wii game. As Hemmelgarn says, "Coach has moves."
Hemmelgarn did not start playing organized basketball until the third grade, but developed a passion for the game as a five-year-old shooting hoops with her dad. Her dad was her first coach and coached her until high school. Though she was a four-year varsity basketball, soccer and lacrosse player in high school, basketball was always her main sport. While basketball might be her true love, transferring to CMC has given Hemmelgarn the opportunity to play lacrosse this spring for the Athenas, something she is excited about.
While Hemmelgarn does not have a definite plan for life after CMC, she made plans with her best friend when she was five to go to Cornell for graduate school, like their moms. It has also been a dream of hers to play basketball oversees. Post-collegiate life is a few years away, and Hemmelgarn is focused on the now. As a player, Hemmelgarn brings strong rebounding and a competitive spirit to the CMS Athenas. She has been an important part of their success so far, often leading the team in scoring and racking up multiple double-doubles. She is ready to help her team accomplish the lofty goals they have set for the season, including winning the SCIAC and the SCIAC Tournament. (Coach Burton vows to wear a fancy crown around school for a day as a little bonus for winning both titles.)
When asked why she loves basketball, Hemmelgarn's number one reason was because it has led her to meet some incredible people. Her best friends have all been fellow teammates. She says, "the strong bond that you build with people on your teams is unique and cannot be duplicated." Aside from the connections she has made, she loves basketball for helping her develop many important skills, such as a strong work ethic, confidence, competitiveness and identity. Finally, she "just loves the pure competitiveness of basketball and the passion and happiness that comes when playing."
Hemmelgarn believes that "characteristics that make you successful in basketball often times are the same characteristics that make you successful in life." Through basketball she has learned perseverance, mental toughness and resilience – all of which she has been able to apply on and off the court. She says that, "basketball has made me a strong person, through successes and times of struggle and injury, and I am very grateful for it."