Nothing To Smile About on the Court

Camille Alberson is doing a light stretch and admiring her true love, basketball, before practice. (Photo by: Cierra Colon/TU Student)

Camille Alberson is doing a light stretch and admiring her true love, basketball, before practice. (Photo by: Cierra Colon/TU Student)

Standing six feet, two inches tall, blasting Rihanna’s unapologetic album through her earphones, it is hard for Towson University student’s to overlook Camille Alberson as she starts her day off by walking to her morning classes. The permanent smile she wears on her face, along with her Tennessee accent as she greets her peers, radiates the campus on a daily basis. Though it is clear Alberson’s height is noticeable among her peers, she doesn’t realize how much of an impact she has inside and outside the classroom.

“I’m a typical Towson University student,” says Alberson. “I just have a slightly busier schedule than most of my classmates.”

The term slightly may be an understatement. Alberson is not only a student, but a student athlete. She is a sophomore playing at the Forward position for the Towson women’s basketball division I team.

Each year the team has three goals they try to achieve. The goals include having a winning season, winning the Colonial Athletic Association, and having an overall team grade point average of 3.0, says Alberson.

“It is important to build a program on the foundation of academics and winning,” says Alberson.

The women have a hectic schedule in hopes of reaching their goals. Ten out of 12 months are spent working out, conditioning, and strength training. The team has games, practices, shoot around’s, weights, film, study hall, and tutoring during season.

Each year the coaching staff for the women’s basketball team goes to Towson’s Burdick Gym to find men who are good at playing basketball, but are not on the Division I Towson men’s basketball team. The coaches ask the guys to come participate in the women’s practices to help them improve their speed, defensive skills, and offensive skills. Alberson says she and her teammates appreciate the guys taking the time out of their daily schedules to help them get better on the court.

“They give us an edge over our competition because more than likely they are better than the teams we will play,” says Alberson. “They make us work hard every day.”

The team has a strength and conditioning trainer, an athletic trainer, and several athletic training students’s to further assist them in obtaining their goals. The strength and conditioning trainer is responsible for keeping the team strong by assisting them in the weight room. The athletic trainer and athletic training student’s are responsible for keeping the team healthy through stretching and providing them assistance with injuries.

It is hard for the team to accomplish the goal of having a winning season when players undergo injuries and are in danger of missing games says Alberson. The season is only a month underway and starting shooting guard, Ciara Webb, has already suffered a concussion and a nose injury.

“The athletic training staff plays a vital role in helping players, like myself, recover efficiently and effectively,” says Webb. “It is important that players fully recover fast so that we can go back to helping our team throughout the season.”

Reanna Beatty, an athletic training student, works under the head athletic trainer to assist the athletes with their treatments and injuries. She says it’s important for the team to have an athletic training staff because they can help the team with exercises, stretches, and other rehabilitation treatments to prevent long-term injuries.

“As an athletic training student, I perform pre-participation exams (PPE’s) for each athlete to determine their risk of injury throughout the season based on biomechanics, history of injuries and health conditions,” says Beatty.

Injuries are not the only thing that can cause the team to not reach their goal of a winning season. The team graduated five seniors last year. Therefore, the team is very young this season.

The majority of the team consists of five sophomores. There are three juniors and two freshmen.  There is only one senior on the team, Michelle Peebles. Without the presence of older players, sometimes basketball programs lack wisdom and basketball IQ.

“We have a lot to learn together as a team,” says Peebles. “We’re young, but age is just a number. We can still have a winning season.”

Having a young team isn’t a bad thing, says Alberson. Young players can bring energy and innovation to the program, she says.

Alberson says fans and school spirit are also factors that can help the team win games. Alberson wants to encourage more Towson students to come out to home games and support the basketball team.

“The presence of fans and students at games puts more pressure on us to execute plays properly and play hard so that we can win, not only for us and our coaches, but for our school,” says Alberson.

Alberson ends her nights with studying and skyping friends and family who are back in her hometown of Tennessee. She always ends her days with the same smile as she started with in the morning. Alberson says she is blessed to have the opportunity to pursue her education through an athletic scholarship. However, her role as a student athlete is nothing to smile about, she says.

“I have a responsibility and duty to win games for my team and my school,” says Alberson. “I take that seriously.”

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