Transfer ready to help women’s basketball team

Story by Kyle Davis

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After losing five seniors and sophomore Josey McDiffett to nursing school, the Baker women’s basketball team is adding new players to increase the team’s depth for next season.

Emily Gibson, a 6-foot-1 forward, has decided to transfer from Washburn University and sign with Baker.

“It’s still college basketball, so I hope I can bring a lot of what I’ve learned at Washburn to Baker,” Gibson said.

Gibson said basketball wasn’t working out at Washburn, and her father is very familiar with Baker as he played basketball for the Wildcats and is on the Baker University Board of Trustees, which helped in her decision to come to Baker.

She had back surgery halfway through last season, which kept her out for most of the year, but she said she is healthy now.

“Just playing with her, seeing what she’s capable of, I know she can be something really special to this team,” freshman Gloria Atanmo said. “She brings a lot to the team, and I’m just excited to start playing with her and start winning more games.”

Baker also signed Bren Koontz, a high school senior from Basehor-Linwood High School, who can play the point guard or two-guard position.

“I think she’s got a huge amount of upside,” head coach Susan Decker said. “Her work ethic will bring that out really, really quickly. I’m excited to have her.”

Decker said Koontz planned on going to the University of Kansas to be a pre-med major, and then decided she did not want to give up basketball. Koontz visited Baker’s campus and that same night called Decker to say she wanted to play at Baker.

Baker also has three junior college transfers who have verbal commitments to play and eventually will sign a letter of intent in the upcoming weeks.

Decker said she still is looking to sign two or three more players for next season, but is pleased with how the recruiting process is going so far.

Four of the five new players, including the three verbal commitments, are either coming from a junior college or transferring from another college.

“We went more the junior college route this year, the transfer route with Emily, because we needed some experience with kids coming in,” Decker said. “Coming from high school to college is such a huge change, no matter where you go to college. Coming from one college to another is still a change, but it’s not as big a change because you’ve played in a college setting.”