The Orion

Wildcat of the week: Whitney Branham

Photo+credit%3A+Franky+Renteria
Photo credit: Franky Renteria

Photo credit: Franky Renteria

Photo credit: Franky Renteria

Franky Renteria and Patrick Pace

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Junior guard Whitney Branham is the leading scorer for the Chico State Wildcat’s women’s basketball team. She averages 14.9 points and 4.1 rebounds per game and is an 89 percent free throw shooter. After two losing seasons, Branham has been the most important player on a team that currently sits at 14-10 and has a chance to go to the CCAA Championship tournament.

branham2_web.jpg

Photo credit: Franky Renteria

How does it feel to have a winning season after going 10-16 in both of your first two?

“It feels really good and it shows that hard work pays off in the long run because we didn’t let all of our struggles and failures get us down. We used them as motivation to strive for better and we never gave up on ourselves or on each other. Its really cool to see the progression that our team has made.”

How does the team plan to get back on track after struggling these last few weeks?

“We just need to continue to focus on defense and rebounding. We also need to stay poised if we get pressed because we struggle with turnovers when that happened in these last three games. So we need to stay poised and push the ball when we can.”

What are your goals for the rest of the season?

“I want to finish the season strong. We want to win the conference tournament to have a chance to go to the NCAA tournament. It would be the first time that we made it for most of us on the team.

branham_web.jpg

Photo credit: Franky Renteria

How do you want to be remembered when your career is over at Chico State?

“I want to be remembered as a player who left it all on the floor every time she took the court and always gave 150 percent. I want to be remembered as a player who did the dirty work like dive for loose balls. Lastly, I hope people remember me as a person who never gave up and let setbacks prevent me from excelling on the court. I hope I can leave behind a legacy that other players will look up and aspire to be someday.”

Patrick Pace can be reached at [email protected] or @theorion_sports on Twitter.

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Wildcat of the week: Whitney Branham