Women's Basketball

Unseen Professional – Liz Keena

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Photo by Tiffany Swanson - Liz Keena gives a speech last summer during the Sanford Health Athletic Complex groundbreaking.

Photo by Tiffany Swanson – Liz Keena gives a speech last summer during the Sanford Health Athletic Complex groundbreaking.The most unnoticed part of Keena’s game is off the court. Just because she was an athlete, she refused to let that stop her in building a portfolio a communication department counselor would be proud of.

In her four years playing basketball for the Bison, Keena interned for Sanford in their marketing department, became a social media specialist and event planner at Unseen Ministries and helped give clean water to underprivileged families in Africa through Wellspring for the World.

 

She also didn’t forget to study. Keena has earned her way onto the Summit League Commissioner’s List of Academic Excellence twice and was a three-time member of the Summit League Winter/Spring Academic Honor Roll.

How does a student-athlete have the time for all this?

“Sports teach you a different type of discipline,” Keena said last summer while interning at Sanford’s marketing department in Downtown Fargo. “It’s teamwork, it’s time management; it’s everything.”

She was always a successful student-athlete growing up in the secluded suburb of Hastings, Minn. Keena attended the town’s high school, where she was a four-year starter on the women’s basketball team and also played volleyball. She was a two-time captain of her basketball team, scored over 1,000 points and was a Ms. Basketball nominee her senior year.

Keena also worked in the school’s mentoring program, looking after freshmen at Hastings High School. Perhaps this is where Keena got the urge to help those in need. She proceeded to get involved with two non-profit organizations when she went to college.

Keena landed her first internship with Sanford last summer through family friends and a former Bison women’s basketball player, Erin Ahneman, who is also from Hastings.

Photo by Richard Svaleson - Liz Kenna was named NDSU's MVP of the Tom Bergum Classic this season when she scored 22 points, grabbed seven rebounds and made five blocks against South Dakota.

Photo by Richard Svaleson – Liz Kenna was named NDSU’s MVP of the Tom Bergum Classic this season when she scored 22 points, grabbed seven rebounds and made five blocks against South Dakota.

Science was never in Keena’s wheelhouse, but she found a different way to help.

“I have a couple of other family members who work in hospitals down in the Twin Cities,” Keena said. “What they got to do and just the people you get to meet are a different type of person than what you would meet at like a Sundog or something else.”

Keena’s internship ended in August with her senior year on the horizon. After finding she had more time than she knew what to do with, she began working at Unseen Ministries.

After promoting the second annual Hemophilia Foundation of Minnesota/Dakotas – Step Out for Bleeding Disorders while at Sanford, Keena had the experience to plan two banquets at Unseen Ministries during the fall semester.

Today, Keena is looking for the next challenge after finishing her senior season for the Bison. A year that was highlighted with a career-high in starts (28), points (185) and rebounds (170).

“A lot of it has been in advertising,” Keena said about where her resume is being sent. “But a lot of it has been for non-profit work because that’s what I have the most experience in.”

Keena will earn her public relation and advertising bachelors degree this May. She doesn’t know where she’ll end up, but her focus has been Fargo, the Twin Cities and her dream, Seattle, Wash.

Wherever Keena ends up, her experience will carry her to success; whether it’s in a hospital, office or a non-profit organization.

Unseen Professional – Liz Keena
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