The 2017 Rams Reflect is the second in a series of annual collections. Senior captains and representatives of Suffolk teams have been invited to contribute viewpoints based on personal experience from both their senior seasons and full varsity careers at Suffolk.
For a complete listing of past and present Rams’ Reflections, click here.
Kelsey Schiebel, Women's Basketball | Hometown: Windham, N.H. | Entrepreneurship/Marketing
I knew when I was 16 years old that I would end up at Suffolk University. When I was 16 years old, Coach Leyden was the very first college coach to reach out to me and express interest in my basketball ability. Growing up I was always told I was too small, not athletic enough, never the best one on the court, but Coach Leyden continued to comment on my work ethic and how much he admired it. I always had a chip on my shoulder; I would never be outworked and I would put my heart and all that I had out on the court every time I walked on to it. Everything was a competition to me, and he loved that. At this point in my life I had so many people who didn’t believe in me that I wanted to give up on the idea that I could be wearing a college jersey one day. Coach sparked something in me that I idolized. As soon as he put the idea in my head that I could be a player for him, I made sure that happened.
Committing to Suffolk after the different schools I talked to was a no-brainer for me. Coach believed I could be a great college athlete well before anyone else. By my senior year of high school, I was talking to five or six different schools, but to Coach I was “a diamond in the rough.” I truly appreciated that when my skills weren’t there yet, but my heart was. He noticed that and continued to praise me on that throughout my high school years even as my skills advanced. I never thought that I would start my first collegiate game, but I did. I remember my Assistant Coach Christine Duffy elbowing me during the National Anthem at Regis saying, “You’ve been holding your breath for like two minutes can you just breathe you’re fine.” I still had those butterflies in my stomach before every single game that I played at Suffolk, that’s how I knew how important this really was to me.
Suffolk women’s basketball for me felt like a team with a bunch of girls with chips on their shoulders. Girls that weren’t incredible superstars, but girls with talent and the work-ethic to do what needed to be done in order to win games. Because of the player that I am, I needed a team like this in order to be successful. We were never an “Emmanuel” or a ranked team. We never were favored to win big games, but we did. We did all the dirty work better than anyone else. In the four years that I have been here, we were never flashy, we never had more than a few plays, but we out rebounded, defended, and wanted it more than our opponents. Every day we came in to work at just getting a little bit better, and that type of coaching style really worked for me.
My relationship with basketball throughout my life has been a long one. It has brought me to dark places where I didn’t believe in myself and felt like giving up on it. The losses always hurt, some more than others. Sometimes the hard work put in didn’t pay off. Basketball has a funny way of knocking you down, but would pick you up just in time for you not to give up on it. I gave a piece of me to this sport that I would never want back. I am forever grateful for the strength and determination that this game has put in my heart. I truly never believed I could love something so much, but nothing ever made me happier than having a basketball in my hand. It has been an extremely long journey, where I have been pushed to my limits as a college athlete mentally and physically with lots of blood, sweat, and tears. But, for a 28.5 leather ball filled with air, for the teammates, coaches, and my family I would do it all over again every single time. If I could get back one more game, I would give anything for it. Playing for Suffolk University was truly so special.
I started and played over 100 games along with just four other girls in Suffolk history, two whom I consider great friends. I also was percentage-wise one of the best three-point shooters in Suffolk history and one of the top three-point shooters in the GNAC three years in a row. These accomplishments make me go back in time to the 16-year-old girl with a chip on her shoulder and say that the hard work really pays off.
Thank you to every single player and coach that I have been blessed with the opportunity to play with over the last four years. Thank you for letting me be your point guard for the last four years and believing in me and trusting me even I made it hard to. Thank you to Jac Vienneau for truly being an incredible mentor, coach and friend. You were there for me in so many ways with praise and criticism and I really believe your guidance led to a lot of my success on the court. To have someone who loves this game as much as I do who went through what I was going through a few years before me, was so special. The memories and friendships created will never be forgotten. I am incredibly proud to say that I played for Suffolk University Women’s Basketball.