Leader Blues

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

SPORTS >> Colleges taking notice

Cabot’s Kim Sitzmann has become one of Arkansas’ premier hoopsters
By Ray Benton
Leader sports editor

The Cabot girls basketball program will have a Division I signee for the second straight year next season. The University of Arkan-sas-Little Rock extended an official scholarship offer to junior Lady Panther forward Kimberly Sitzmann last week.

Sitzmann has visited the campus and the coaching staff, and leans very heavily towards the Lady Trojans, although she’s waiting to see what else comes her way in the future before making a final decision.

“I really think I’d enjoy it there,” Sitzmann said. “They offered me a full scholarship and lots of other great stuff. They are building a new arena and all that fun stuff. Unless something a whole lot better comes along, I could see myself playing there.”

Lady Panther senior Ashley Anderson signed with Arkansas State University at the beginning of the season, and would become a rival of Sitzmann’s if she decides to become a Lady Trojan.
UALR is the only Division I school to extend an offer so far, but since her junior season just ended, it’s still very early in Sitzmann’s recruiting process.

The University of Arkansas, the University of Colorado, Tulsa University and Oral Roberts University have also contacted Sitzmann and shown serious interest in her.

Sitzmann is likely to get more calls in the near future after last week’s trip to Springdale for the Arkansas Athletes Outreach invitational basketball camp.

Sitzmann was one of 73 juniors and sophomores, as well as a couple of freshmen, invited to the camp and each player competed in six games with various teams.

At the end of the six games, an all-star team was selected by coaches and evaluators and Sitzmann was one of the all-stars.

She’ll take her basketball talents on the road this summer to compete with the Arkansas Mavericks’ 16-under AAU team. The Mavericks’ roster looks like a who’s who list of Arkansas girls basketball players.

They get their AAU season underway this weekend, but Sitzmann will also take part in team camps with her high-school team. The Lady Panthers will travel to Indiana for a camp in July.

But basketball is not the only sport at which Sitzmann excels. She is also a star soccer player.
She has already scored nine goals in just five games this spring for the Cabot high school team.
In junior high and ninth grade, Sitzmann thought soccer would be her ticket to college.

She began receiving interest from colleges her freshman year. But after a taste of the competitiveness of high-school basketball, Sitzmann found a new love, which she accredited for changing her focus.

“It was just the love of the game,” Sitzmann said. “I love how competitive it is and how aggressive it can be. I like playing that way and just love playing basketball.”

With straight A’s, a 3.8 GPA, a ACT score of 22 and plans of getting it even higher, Sitzmann has a third way to punch her ticket to college, even without athletics.

Strong-willed, focused and goal-oriented, Sitzmann already knows what course of study she wants to pursue in college.

“First I’m just going to get my basics out of the way while I play, but after that I want to study medicine. I want to major in pharmacy.”

Sitzmann is enrolled in Cabot’s MACH I medical academy to get a head start in the study of medicine and medicinal science. In need of more immediate attention, however, is her immediate future. As the summer and the AAU season progresses, and more coaches see her, more and more offers are likely to come. But Sitzmann doesn’t plan on letting it distract her during her final high-school season.

“I’m going to commit by November,” Sitzmann said. “I want to get all that out of the way and focus on my senior year.”