Northern Star: Eva Reinertsen
For this week's segment, meet a Wisconsin-Superior women's basketball player who's looking to leave one final mark on the program.
SUPERIOR, Wis. – Eva Reinertsen is one of just four seniors on a very young Wisconsin-Superior women’s basketball team this season.
“I think it’s surreal, it’s surreal for sure. I’ve been playing basketball for a little over a decade and it’s been such a big part of my life. It’s not over yet but it’s for sure a sense of every game, this could be your last and to leave it all on the court,” Reinertsen said.
And Reinertsen is even more motivated for her final season. Last year, the Yellowjackets lost in the UMAC championship game for the first time ever. Reinertsen came up short in the final seconds as Bethany Lutheran pulled off the upset.
“It’s definitely very different with it being your senior year, I think that you have more drive then you ever thought you would have. You don’t realize quite like the urgency that comes with being a senior, even if you think that you have that. Last year didn’t end the way that we wanted it to. I don’t dwell on it that much I guess but you remember it and I definitely want to make it back to the tournament this year,” Reinertsen said.
“Eva’s special in that way where she misses a free throw, she’s going to not sleep for two days because she’s going to think about that one free throw she missed, even though she shot 95 percent. Every true competitor takes that into heart and says alright next year we’re going to get them back and I think she kind of has that mentality in her where she’s like, okay if the game’s on the line, I want to take that shot next year and as a coach, you want players like that. Eva’s elevated her mindset to saying we don’t want to be in that same position like last year,” UWS head coach Zach Otto-Fisher added.
And Reinertsen has even bigger shoes to step into after the Yellowjackets graduated Hannah Norlin, the program’s second all time leading scorer.
“I think I prepared the same way every year no matter what, you never know what your role is going to be. I always prepare with the mentality to be ready for anything and step into any role. With Hannah being gone, obviously we lost a big time scorer and rebounder so I’ve just done what I can to fill in for her on some nights,” Reinertsen said.
“She’s just stepped up and even when teams are kind of double teaming her, she’s still finding ways and I think that’s the fun part of basketball,” Otto-Fisher added.
As she’s improved her game over the past four years, she’s also been able to be a part of one team this whole time, something the Duluth native was unable to do in high school.
“I got the chance to play at Lakeview Christian Academy and at Duluth Denfeld because I was homeschooled, so you kind of got to form co-ops with different schools in the area then. Emily Carpenter I’ve played with for four years, Mackenzie Kmecik I’ve played with for four years, so we’ve been together for all of that time, up until now. That’s the longest I’ve played with anybody, and having Zach as a coach for four years, I never had a coach for four straight years in high school. I definitely feel very connected to the program and this school and I want to represent it well,” Reinertsen said.
“She’s been one of those players where this is consistency for her, but I also think that having different coaches and different voices is a good thing and makes you stronger, more well–rounded type of player but I’m glad we had her for four years,” Otto-Fisher said.
With her final season underway, Reinertsen is ready to move on from last year and leave one final mark on this program.
“I’m so thankful, I wouldn’t change a thing about my experience here with Superior. To play in front of my family and the community and my friends has meant more to me then anything,” Reinertsen said.
“She’s worked on her own craft all season and all four years, and to watch her develop for four years, I got to be with her all four years, it’s just been great, she’s going to be a player you can’t replace. She’s just that perfect role model that you want on and off the court that you want not only for your girls, but you’re whole program. she’s one of those program changing student athletes.