‘General’ charges behind enemy lines to victory

Freshman guard Carol Koenig wasn´t expecting to play this year but had held significant court time in every game this season.

Freshman guard Carol Koenig wasn´t expecting to play this year but had held significant court time in every game this season.

If you’ve been following Lady Lions basketball this semester, you’ve seen a shining star performing on court that has become a scoring leader as well as a team leader. She also happens to be a freshman.

Freshman guard Carol Koenig has stepped up and surprised teammates, fans and even herself. She has gained more play time this season than any other freshman on the team and on March 1 led the team with 21 points against Washburn University.

“She has stepped up as a freshman,” said sophomore guard Katie Deen. “I’m really excited to play with her during my next three years.”

Koenig didn’t come to Missouri Southern with the intention to hold significant play time in every game this season. She wanted to play. And that was a goal she had set for herself.

“My focus is to win,” Koenig said. “If that requires me to play, then I trust the coaches’ decision making.”

Coming from Fayetteville High School, this Lady Bulldog received All-State and All-Conference recognition in high school. She was also nominated for McDonald’s All-American award during her senior year while leading her team in every category except rebounds.

Southern offered Koenig the chance to continue in her basketball career during her pursuit toward a degree in psychology.

“What brought me to Southern was Coach Mitts,” Koenig said. “I respect her because she knows a lot about the game. I’m one of those players that needs to be yelled at and pushed.”

Koenig enjoys Maryann Mitts, head coach, because of her style of play and her level of intensity. Being pushed to do better and try harder has made Koenig a team leader and a better player. However, if there were anything she would have changed about this past season, Koenig would have been in better shape before entering Southern’s basketball program.

“I feel like I’ve improved a lot,” she said. “I’ve become mentally strong, and I’ve changed as a person for the better.”

Koenig thinks this year’s seniors have encouraged her to improve and to step up on the team.

“Jaime Green has been a positive influence,” Koenig said. “When I came to the team I had thought about quitting.”

Green said that she never sees Koenig as a freshman on the team.

“I see her as my general on the floor,” Green said. “Every day I see Carol on the court and it’s like a breath of fresh air. She’s been a delight to play with.”

Koenig’s future plans include staying at Southern and continuing in her education as well as her basketball career. Her goals for next season include improving her ability to run point guard and to serve as a wing.

“I just want to win,” Koenig said. “That’s all I care about.”