VESTAL, NY – As their final season with the program continues into March, the Binghamton University women’s basketball seniors aren’t ready for it to come to an end just yet.
“Family on three…1, 2, 3, family!”
Just as their huddle-breaking chant insinuates, the Binghamton University women’s basketball team is truly a family.
The Bearcats are in the midst of their greatest season since moving to the Division I level 19 years ago.
At the forefront of the family is this year’s senior class consisting of Karlee Krchnavi, Carly Boland, and Kai Moon.
The “tremendous trio” as head coach Bethann Shapiro Ord refers to them by, has had a stellar run in their four years.
But, they all agree, out of all they’ve achieved, this is the best yet.
“Honestly, probably this, the 21 wins. Not really one for individual accolades. I think that together as a team that we can accomplish way more than one individual person. I’m very proud of what we did this season. Years in the past have been fun and great. We’ve seen success there, but we haven’t seen anything like this,” Guard Carly Boland says.
Boland is right, the program hasn’t seen anything like this.
Kai Moon had mentioned wanting a 20-win season back before November began.
But, going into the year, did she really see this team being where they are?
“No. And I don’t mean to sound blunt or rude about that. But, it’s been a work in progress. But, I think that’s what’s made this journey so much more fun is to see where we started, and to see where we are now. That’s only through the hard work and dedication, and buying in to the common goal we all shared of trying to win a championship. And the freshmen have gotten so much better since they’ve been here. I think the upperclassmen have gotten better. I think we’ve become better leaders. So, yeah we worked incredibly hard in the summer to make this something that was attainable,” Moon says.
One of the reasons cited for their success was the newcomers buying in to what the veterans were preaching preseason.
“I think that’s really good that our veterans and our leadership has influenced them to fill our footsteps, to take on what we do. And I think that’s great. We’ve kind of set the culture. We set the standards. We told them what we’re looking for, you know, and I think they just adapted really well to the culture,” Guard Karlee Krchnavi said.
These three seniors have come a long way since committing to Binghamton some four years ago, a commitment they stand by to this day.
“I loved the coaching staff. I loved the culture. Again, also, my high school coach always told me to look beyond basketball and make sure that it has academics and everything else that I want. And I just think everything fell into place,” Krchnavi added.
“I think just the people and the environment, and the culture that was being created. I wanted to come in and make an impact, and be a part of a team that was going to go somewhere. And I think that we did that and I’m glad I chose Binghamton,” Boland says.
“I was a stranger with a bunch of other strangers, essentially. So, they made me feel at home instantly. I made connections with them in those two days. Coach Cim was great in recruiting and selling me on this school,” said Moon.
However, there will be a day, sooner than later, when the three won’t be wearing a Binghamton jersey.
And that’s a day they’ll handle together, as a family.
“We’re going to feel a lot of emotions at once. But, I’m glad I’ll be around my family for that one.”
“Just knowing that I’ve had a great and successful four years, and that every good thing comes to an end, as the cliche saying is. But, I think it’ll be a really special moment. But, I’ll have my whole team there to support me. I’ll have my coaches there.”
“I don’t know what not being on this court feels like. I feel like I’m here every single day, and I’ve been here every single day for the last for years. So, it’s going to be a lot different, and my normal was this for so long. And it’s not going to be that anymore. But, I know that all the hard work that I’ve put in on this court with these girls, the coaching staff, is only going to benefit me in the future.”
But before they take off the B.U. jersey for the last time, they still have unfinished business.
“We’re optimistic. We’re motivated. Like I said, I think we have a lot of momentum. And we have one goal, and that’s to win the America East Tournament. So, that’s what we’re going to try to do.”
The Bearcats meet the Stony Brook Seawolves in the America East Semifinals on Sunday at 4:00 pm down on Long Island.