March 5, 1998

Energy To Share Cheney Hoops Star Kara Weitman Helps Keep Teammates Charged Up

Rob Milligan Correspondent
 

A djusting to changes in life is never easy, but Kara Weitman, a star junior wing on Cheney’s girls basketball team, makes it look as easy as a layup.

Weitman and her family moved to Cheney from Omak, Wash., during her freshman year in high school.

She didn’t let the arduous transition, however, dominate her new life.

She was eager to become involved in school activities and looked into playing sports.

Tryouts for Cheney’s volleyball team came too early, so she waited for basketball tryouts in the fall.

Weitman not only landed a position on the team, she earned a spot as a starter on the varsity team.

Cheney made it to state that year and last year due in no small part to the sharp shooting and energetic play of Weitman.

“Kara’s a great kid,” Cheney head coach Marty Jessett said. “She fit right in, which is not always easy. Now she’s an entrenched part of the community.”

But as Weitman admits, she struggled initially to find her place.

“I was really inexperienced my first year,” Weitman said, “but it didn’t bug me because I knew I could play at a high level.”

Weitman’s inner confidence paid off as she was named to the all-Frontier League team last season. The long-armed ball hawk averaged 14 points a game last year, a seven-point improvement from her first year.

“She has matured really well over the years,” Jessett said. “She’s become a leader, who says the things that need to be said and does the things that need to be done.”

Weitman’s coach is not the only one who has seen her develop.

“She has grown tremendously,” senior post Tiffany Van Matre said. “She’s more calm and collected on the court.”

Weitman gives a lot of credit for her improvement to her back-court partner, star senior Anna Getz.

“Anna was really helpful,” Weitman said. “She had a similar experience (as a freshman starter) and gave me a lot of good advice.”

Weitman’s overall play has continued to blossom this season.

“She has a contagious energy that keeps her teammates going,” Jessett said.

“Kara frustrates other players,” Getz said. “Practicing against her is sometimes harder than real games.”

Weitman, an all Border League selection this year, finished third for the league scoring title with a 15.5-point average.

Highlights included a 11-steal game against rival West Valley earlier in the season and a 10-rebound performance in a later victory over the Eagles, which propelled the Blackhawks into the regional playoffs.

In addition to playing for Cheney, Weitman has played for the Spokane Stars the past two summers and is looking forward to playing again this season. She hopes to coach high school or college basketball as a career.

Weitman is also the starting setter on Cheney’s volleyball team. She was named to the all-Frontier League second team this season.

The Blackhawks (19-8) have struggled of late and suffered a 51-49 season-ending loss to Ellensburg at regionals Saturday.

Despite Cheney’s early exit, the Blackhawks’ future looks bright with the seasoned Weitman at the helm next season.

, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: Photo


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