Strong Work Ethic Paying Off

In the 2001 Broncos women's basketball season an unknown factor became an extremely valuable commodity. Little was known about a 5'9" guard from St. Johns, Michigan (a small community north of Lansing). In high school Casey Rost was a standout in three sports, soccer, volleyball and basketball.

As a basketball player Casey earned team MVP honors in both her junior and senior seasons for the Redwings. Among some of her accomplishments at St. Johns High School include scoring 1,228 career points to rank her third on the all time list for career points. She was named to the 2001 Detroit News All-State second team while being named to the 2001 Detroit Free Press All-State third team.

Casey earned a special mention in the 2001 Associated Press as well as being voted by her teammates as the teams Defensive Player of the Year her sophomore, junior and senior seasons. Statistically Casey averaged 20.8 points per game, 4.7 rebounds per game and 3.1 steals per game. As a senior she led the State of Michigan in three-point shooting and was third in the state in free throw percentage.

All Casey Rost did in her first season as a Bronco was earn the MAC Freshman of the Year award, only two other Broncos (Kristin Koetsier in 2000 and Kina Brown in 1992) have won the MAC Freshman of the Year award. Casey led all MAC scorers last season with 450 points. Casey started all 31 games that she played in. She converted 39% of her three-point attempts making 69 of 177 putting her third on the all-time list for three-point field goals in a season. Her 450 points put her 12th on the all-time list for points scored in a season.

In an effort to find out what drives Casey to the best, one only has to look to her family. Casey comes from an athletic family. Casey grew up with three brothers. She has one older brother and two younger brothers, although one of her younger brothers is a minute younger than she is according to Casey "we've been really close." Casey and Levi have been so close that after Levi finishes his second season at Lansing Community College he will be following his sister's footsteps to Western Michigan University. "I'm really excited for him to come," she said.

Casey and Levi have been playing basketball for most of their life, "we've been pretty much playing basketball since we were old enough to walk" she continued, "basically we started playing in organized leagues when we as five."

Casey had an advantage growing up in a house where all three of her siblings were boys. "I've always played against my brother and his friends rather than playing against girls my age," she said. Playing against her brother and his friends obviously had a good deal to do with her drive and her work ethic, because if she feels something is not going right she spends more time working on the areas she feels she is struggling at. "I struggled the last game shooting," she said, "I don't plan on doing that anytime in the future again, so I'm going to get in the gym and shoot a lot more and practice because I don't really like missing my shots." This coming from someone who is averaging 20.2 points per game. Casey has made 21 of 22 free throws and 14 of 33 three pointers.

So what drives her to be the best? Well in her own words "if I've found any part of my game that I don't like or that I'm struggling with I will put some extra time in to practicing and trying to improve on that." For Casey there is only one thing she wants to be in basketball and in life and that is, she want's to be the best. "Our dad had a lot of influence on that where he always wanted us to be our best," she said. "We don't want to let him down or disappoint him so we always try to succeed at whatever we do."

Fortunately for Bronco basketball fans, not only is Casey here for this season plus two more, but her brother Levi will be joining the men's team in the 2003-2004 season. Currently Lansing Community College has a record of 9-1. According to Casey, "he chose Lansing Community College I'm pretty sure because out of high school he wasn't as big, he wasn't as strong as he wanted to be." She also said, "he wanted to come into a Division I college being as strong as he could."

With a player like Casey the future of the Broncos women's basketball team looks bright. Casey's heart is as big as her work ethic and her loyalty to her teammates is second only to her loyalty to her family. Leading the Broncos to a MAC Championship and a NCAA Tournament appearance is high on her list of priorities and with the kind of season she is already having those goals are very realistic and well within reach.

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