Cowgirl Looks to Finish Her Career Strong

January 13, 1999

LARAMIE, Wyo. -

As we approach the midpoint of the 1998-99 basketball season and look to the beginning of the WAC season , the Wyoming Cowgirl basketball team will look to improve upon their current 5-8 overall record and a 1-1 conference mark. But for one Cowgirl player, she will look to close out her career as a Cowgirl on top of her game.

Senior center Rebecca Tomlin, a two-year starter from Las Animas, Colo., is currently averaging 9.8 points and 5.8 rebounds per contest. Tomlin looks to pick it up in the second half of the season, and sees a young Cowgirl squad looking to improve.

"Ive been really inconsistent so far this season, and a lot of times have lost my focus on basketball," said Tomlin. "Before Christmas, I finished my student teaching and have felt like my season has turned around. Ive started rebounding better, scoring more and stepping into the leadership role that is expected of me. The team as a whole has been up and down all season. We either win by a lot or loose by a lot, but I feel that it has to do with a new style of play and were so young. Were asking freshman to really step up and play positions that seniors should be in, and some nights they can really step it up and other nights theyre freshmen. But I think its getting better, were getting more consistent and learning a lot this season. I look for us to be better by the end of the season, if we just keep learning from each practice and each game, then we will keep growing and get better each day."

Tomlin was recruited by former Cowgirl coach and current University of South Dakota coach Chad Lavin. Making the adjustment from an old coach to a new one can sometimes be difficult for some players, especially for a senior who has played in a familiar system and then is expected to learn something entirely different. Tomlin says it has been a change and often feels like a first year player when on the court.

"It has been a big change," said Tomlin. "Coach Lavin was very verbal and you knew what you did wrong, what you needed to do to get better. With Coach Fisher, I think she expects me to be more of a leader, lead by example and know what I need to do. That has been hard for me, because she expects me to know what to do, be more mature and not depend on her as much. Even though it has been hard on me, I think its helped me grow as both a player and a person."

The everyday life of a normal college student is busy and full of hassles, but add to it three to four practices, lifting weights and school, and youve got the day in the life of a college student-athlete. For Tomlin, she says college athletics has helped her in several ways and she will take away a lot from her college experience.

"The biggest thing I will take away from college is organization," Tomlin said. "Being a college athlete and having classes you have to learn how to juggle your schedule, when to fit in homework around practice, and you really have no free time. You just have to be very organized, because every ounce of your time is taken. The other thing Ill take away from it is the friendships. The people Ive met and the placed Ive gone since coming to Wyoming. I would have never had the opportunity to do some of those things, and have the life long friendships I have made."

Tomlin recently completed her student-teaching last fall in Elementary Education and will receive her degree in May. She looks to her life after basketball and school and has some very big plans.

"When I get done with school, I will start applying for jobs in Wyoming or Alaska. I would like to go to Alaska and teach, because its something Ive always wanted to do. I figure Im young and my options are open right now, so I might as well try something new. I may also go back to Colorado and get a job there. The reason being my dad is really sick right now, he needs a liver transplant, so I would go back there to help my family. So really I have some options to consider."

Whatever Tomlin decides to do and whereever she decides to go, she will definitely be successful. For the remainder of the season and her career, the Cowgirls will look for Tomlin to be a mainstay they can count on.

By Amy Dambro, UW Sports Information