Saying goodbye: CMU seniors playing final regular-season home game

Mesa seniors prepare for final regular-season home game

Colorado Mesa University seniors Clay Kame, left, and Mac Alexander tussle over a jump ball for fun at Brownson Arena.

Colorado Mesa University seniors on the the women’s basketball team will play their last home game Saturday. Lying on the floor are Hannah Pollart, left, and Sharaya Selsor. In the center is Hanna Bowden, and in the back row, from left to right, are Taylor Rock, Aubry Boehme and Christen Lopez.

Some have been starters since their first day in the program, others come off the bench. Saturday, eight seniors at Colorado Mesa University will play in their final regular-season basketball games at Brownson Arena, facing rival Western State Colorado University.

The six women and two men will be honored before the tip-off of the men’s game. The women’s game, which is also Breast Cancer Awareness Night, tips off at 5:30 p.m., with the men’s game at 7:30 p.m. With victories, women can clinch the RMAC title outright, and the men can secure a berth in the RMAC tournament.

— Profiles compiled by Patti Arnold and Allen Gemaehlich

Mac Alexander

Hometown: Montrose

Major: Exercise science

Graduation date: May 2014

Career plans: Coach football

Games played/started: 32/0

Career points: 24 (0.8 pg) Career rebounds: 12 (0.4 pg).

Why CMU? “I came here for football and fell in love with Coach (Joe) Ramunno. I wanted to play at the next level.” Alexander sustained a career-ending injury and joined the basketball team.

Coach Andy Shantz says: “Starting out as a football player with a horrible injury, he was behind and had to catch up. He’s a great leader with his work ethic. He was always getting extra shots up every day. He stayed with it and now is in the rotation.”

Favorite memory: “My first career start in football at Missouri Western (in 2010). I was the only redshirt freshman to start that game. That was my goal.”

On playing basketball for 3 years: “It was a great choice. It’s not the way I wanted it to go from being a starter to hardly playing. It was a humbling experience. I lost some friends, but gained some even better friends.”

Aubry Boehme

Hometown: Smithfield, Utah

Previous school: Wyoming

Major: Sports management, minor in math

Graduation date: December 2014

Career plans: Teach middle school math, coach basketball or be involved in athletics. Planning to get married in summer of 2015. Her fiance plays baseball at Lipscomb (Tenn.) University. “Honestly, I would like to be a mom.”

Games played/started: 23/23

Career points: 320 (13.9 pg) Career rebounds: 116 (5.0 pg)

Why CMU? “I really wanted to come here (after deciding to leave Wyoming last year). I was kind of struggling with life at the time. I could get married, I could do all these things, but always in the back of my mind, I still wanted to play, and if I had an opportunity to play for Coach Wagner, I was going to.”

Coach Taylor Wagner says: “I know she’s really happy to be here, playing the role she is. Last year I know was tough at Wyoming, but again, she’s fit in perfectly. An unselfish player, always the team first. She’s a great kid, a great person. In my mind, she’s the best post player in our conference.”

Favorite memory: “At (Southwestern Oklahoma State), Taylor (Rock) got hit and fell on the ground toward the end of the game. Taylor was just laying on the ground and she never lays on the ground. I was like, ‘Taylor, we don’t have time to be laying around.’ I picked her up and she told our teammates and they thought it was the funniest thing ever. … It brings a smile to my face. I have a lot of good memories with these girls.”

Hanna Bowden

Hometown: Montrose

Major: Sports management, minor in business

Graduation date: May 2014

Career plans: Applying for summer internship with Grand Junction Rockies “and see where that takes me.”

Games played/started: 98/15

Career points: 406 (4.1 pg) Career rebounds: 424 (4.3 pg)

Why CMU? “Definitely the coaching staff and I liked the facilities here. I guess, too, they wanted me to come here and you want to go where you’re wanted. That played a big part in it. I didn’t realize it at the time, but it was nice being close to home.”

Coach Taylor Wagner says: “She’s been a great player for us, just works hard all the time, never had a problem with her. She always has a great attitude, she’s a great team player and sometimes maybe even too unselfish, she always wants the best for the team. She’s been huge in our success, even though she played a backup role, she’s been huge both years.”

Favorite memory: “The journey from my freshman year being told we’re gonna win championships to failing and failing and then succeeding and this year we’re on that same route to succeeding again. ... We started from the bottom and now we’re here. That would be what I take away from it, the journey and the experience, and that involves every relationship I’ve had with every different player and every different team dynamic and learning from everyone, how to work together when you’re winning and when you’re losing.”

Clay Kame

Hometown: Grand Junction

Major: Kinesiology/physical education

Graduation date: December 2014

Career plans: Teacher/coach

Games played/started: 75/2

Career points: 251 (3.3 pg) Career rebounds: 109 (1.5 pg) Career assists: 154 (2.0 pg).

Why CMU? “My family has been to this school and in this basketball program. Knowing I have the support of family makes it a nice, easy transition.”

Coach Andy Shantz says: “He’s had a great career. He’s a great kid and an extremely hard worker. He always comes ready to play the next day. I hope the guys learned a lot from him.”

Favorite memory: “I remember playing CSU-Pueblo last year. It was one of the (most) fun games we played. We hadn’t played well going in and all of a sudden we played really well. We had 26 assists (as a team). That showed me a lot about the guys in the program.”

Christen Lopez

Hometown: West Jordan, Utah

Previous school: Miles (Mont.) Community College

Major: Exercise science, minor in biology

Graduation date: December 2014

Career plans: Work in heath care business for a year, then apply to medical school at University of Utah to become a physician’s assistant.

Games played/started: 56/56

Career points: 378 (6.7 pg) Career rebounds: 152 (2.7 pg) Career assists: 219 (3.9 pg).

Why CMU? “I came here (on a visit) and playing with the girls, it was awesome. I had Kelsey (Sigl) finishing, and I knew about Rock. I felt like I had a lot of options if I came here and the campus was amazing. And it was only four hours from home instead of 12. Everything was just right.”

Coach Taylor Wagner says: “I think she’s the best point guard in the RMAC. You can see how much more comfortable she is on the floor, the scoring has picked up, the assists, just the overall (game). Great energy, she’s so quick. She’s been a good leader for us this year. We needed her to step up a little bit more and she has in every area.”

Favorite memory: “Probably just hanging with the girls, any little thing we do. All the talks we have during stretches, all the pregame rituals we have, like the dancing in the locker room. Those are fun. Just everything being with the girls. They’ve made for really good memories.”

Hannah Pollart

Hometown: Powell, Wyo.

Previous school: Cameron (Okla.) University

Major: Psychology

Graduation date: Summer 2014

Career plans: Coach basketball, apply for graduate assistant position

Games played/started: 23/23

Career points: 156 (6.8 pg) Career rebounds: 146 (6.3 pg)

Why CMU? “I was just really unhappy last year at Cameron. I didn’t fit in … their work ethic didn’t fit with me. They didn’t work hard. ... We lost a lot, too. It’s great here, everyone loves each other and everyone gets along and we have the best coach in the nation.”

Coach Taylor Wagner says: “We needed her toughness this year. The role she plays this year for us has been very important for this team. She’s said it on a couple of occasions how happy she is to be here and kind of finish her career off having the success we’re having right now.”

Favorite memory: “I’m going to have to go with our dance party before our games. We’ve had so many (memories), but Sharaya and I got down before a game and it’s becoming a new tradition, a little dance party.” Favorite dance number? “Happy” by Pharrell Williams from Despicable Me 2. “Cuz I’m happeeee! I love that movie. We really enjoy that.”

Taylor Rock

Hometown: Smithfield, Utah

Previous school: Otero Junior College

Major: Exercise science

Graduation date: May 2015

Career plans: Apply to physical therapy school

Games played/started: 55/55

Career points: 298 (5.4 pg) Career rebounds: 233 (4.2 pg) Career assists: 85 (1.5 pg).

Why CMU? “I only went on two visits, to Otero, and I went there, and then I came here. I liked the atmosphere and the girls. It’s worked out really well.”

Coach Taylor Wagner says: “The only player to play for me for four years, so she’s probably sick of me. The toughest player on the team. I think every year she led the team in charges, just sacrifices her body. She’s unselfish, a great kid, great student. Last year she didn’t have to shoot as much and her scoring has picked up quite a bit. I think she fits in perfectly with what we’ve done the last two years and she complements the other players on the floor.”

Favorite memory: “I would say probably all of last year. We accomplished so much that no other team had ever accomplished, and we’re doing it again this year. Memories still to come, hopefully.”

Sharaya Selsor

Hometown: Glenwood Springs

Previous school: Metro State

Major: Sports management

Graduation date: December 2013. Working toward master’s in business management.

Career plans: Unsure “but if you’re hiring, contact Sharaya Selsor.”

Games played/started: 83/83

Career points: 1,314 (15.8 pg) Career rebounds: 247 (2.9 pg) Career assists: 176 (2.1 pg).

Why CMU? “When (Roger) Walters was here and I had not had the best experience with my coach (at Metro State), so I wanted to play for someone I trusted.”

Coach Taylor Wagner says: “It’s been fun for me to watch how hard she works and how she changed her game from last year to this year. In our set plays she didn’t score a lot last year. This year, she worked so hard over the summer and fall to be able to come off certain screens and taking it to the basket. She’s meant so much, how she’s grown as a player. She’s second on the team in assists. That tells you a lot, too, that doesn’t happen very often. She could be one of the best players in the nation this year. She’s taken it to a whole other level.”

Favorite memory: “Playing last year in conference and regionals in front of that many people. As an athlete, that’s what you live for, for the gym to be just packed like that. It was unbelievable. That was awesome and obviously getting to share that with my sister (Katrina). All of last year was special and this year has been awesome because we got to prove everybody wrong, and doing it with these girls.”


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