Caitlyn Ward

Sidney graduate and Southeast Community College freshman Caitlyn Ward holds the ball while figuring out her next play during a game this season.

Photo courtesy Caitlyn Ward

Sidney graduate Caitlyn Ward said her freshman season of college basketball went better than expected.

Ward attends Southeast Community College in Beatrice, Nebraska and was part of a Storm team that won 10 games, including three straight late in the season.

“I think it really opened my eyes,” said Ward, “and showed me there is much more to basketball than just playing. Being involved on a team like this was a dream of mine years ago. The season did not go as we had all hoped but there were games where we showed who we were on the court and the talent we had.”

Southeast’s season ended Feb. 29 in the Region XI final. It wasn’t much longer until athletics and academics came to a halt on campus because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

“I had a strong connection with most of my teammates,” said Ward, “so being sent home early put a stop to everything we had.”

Ward said balancing school and basketball was quite a bit to handle, but she enjoyed it as she made nine starts for the Storm and averaged 2.8 points and 1.9 rebounds per game. She plans on improvement next season.

“I have a year of basketball left at SCC,” said Ward, “and I’m hoping to be just as good if not better.”

She said improving her game during the current situation has been difficult.

“There isn’t much to do now,” said Ward, “besides play ball in the driveway, but next year I’ll have more of a feel for the sport and be mentally prepared.”

Ward is now finishing her freshman year of college from home.

“Online classes are okay,” said Ward, “but it’s not the normal college experience just sitting at home doing work.”

There were just three sophomores on Southeast’s roster this season.

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