Photos by J. Alan Paul Photography and Ben Gumeringer
Liz Keena can be seen on the court under the Bison Sports Arena lights between November and March leading the NDSU women’s basketball team to victory. Fans know her defensive tendencies, her shooting percentage and her sweet spot on the court, but what happens before the junior forward puts on her jersey for the night? We want you to come with us as we follow Keena through her game day before she takes the court for the thundering herd.
Public Relations – Advertising and Health Communications
pregame playlist must haves
Dark Horse by Katy Perry
Wild Boy by Steve-O
1. Can’t wear the same article of clothing on game day as she wore the practice before
2. Hair pulled up high into a bun. “My dad hates it. I have to wear my hair like that; I can’t wear a low pony or a mid-pony. It has to be a high sucker.”
8:30 a.m.: Keena starts every day off with granola and yogurt.
11 a.m.: Keena heads to her first class of the day, Writing in Health Professions.
Noon: Keena arrives at the BSA for a team shoot-around. After some post-moves and ball handling, the team comes together to play “Bison Win,” a game day tradition.
1 p.m.: Keena and the team go to lunch at the dining center. Choices rotate between chicken, steak and fajitas. Keena hopes for her favorite, chicken and spaghetti.
2 p.m.: If it’s Monday, Wednesday or Friday, she heads to one of her favorite classes, Behavior Modification. However, Keena says she tries to get a power nap in even if that sometimes means cutting her lunch short.
3:20 p.m.: It’s back to the BSA but this time for the rest of the night. Keena meets with the trainer to stretch out her back, heat her knees and get her shoulder checked. After, she takes to the court, iPod in hand, early enough so she can shoot at both baskets.
“I see it as my time to mentally get ready.” or “I like to shoot free-throws on both baskets, just so I can get the feel for the hoop.”
4 p.m.: The whole team joins Keena for the pregame warm-up.
4:45 p.m.: In the locker room the team always says a prayer together followed by their pump-up cheer that’s been passed down each year since the 1993 Division II National Championship team.
“It’s called Go Hey. It’s pretty much just us screaming and pushing each other around in a circle. We do that right before we run out of the locker room; you can always hear us.”
4:59 p.m.: Keena and the starters take the court after a “Go Bison!” The starters gather together once more to lock pinkies, a pregame ritual, before they take their spots on the court.
5 p.m.: The ball is tossed into the air, and the game begins.
11-12 English 325 writing in the health professions.
2-3 behavior modification
9:30-10:45 organizational communication
2-3:15 introduction to American popular music
3:30-4:45 communication ethics.