HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – It has been one heck of a ride for UAH Basketball players Aryn Sanders and Katie Speegle. Both seniors climbed to the top of the mountain, set to participate in their first NCAA Tournament of their careers, only to have it cut short due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
Rocco DiSangro: Up there in Cleveland, Tennessee about to play in your first NCAA Tournament ever being a senior and you get that news that it’s not going to happen. Just what was the first thing that went through your mind?
Katie Speegle: Honestly it’s kind of funny how it happened. I was sitting in the lobby of the hotel doing homework and I looked up and the first time we saw we saw it on TV and it said NCAA cancels all national tournaments and first thing that came to my mind was I’m never going to take the court with my team ever again that was my last time.
Aryn Sanders: You had such a high high when you found out you got in and just to have that taken away from you and to have your season be over not just because you did anything wrong, not because you lost a game but because of this extenuating circumstance that is facing our country, it was just wild.
RD: If you were given the opportunity to come back to UAH and play another year of basketball would you take it?
AS: I think that would definitely be something I have to think about as far as where my life is going but as far as my love and my passion for the game, I do have another year of grad school left, so I think if my body were to allow me to do it, I would definitely want to do it just because having another year with that group would be awesome.
KS: My issue is I would be looking at not having any classes to take in the in Spring of 2021 and so I don’t know I would go about doing that but it would be nice to have the opportunity.
RD: So much was accomplished in the 2019-2020 season, what are you going to remember the most about this group if you never play with them again?
KS: I think I’m going to remember the most how much fun I’ve had and the connection I’ve had with these girls, I mean it was like no other team I’ve had. People call me their mom on the team I was team mom, you know I’m just going to remember those moments when my teammates came to me or needed me and just the fun we had on the court together and the bond.
AS: You know me and Katie we’ve really been through it our freshman year I think we only won five games, and just to have where we started freshman year to where we ended senior year, it’s like a night and day difference and the fact that we got to do that together, you know we’re close, we would have talks we would cry together, we would laugh together. Being a college athlete is not easy and it’s hard sometimes to have someone to share that with you for four years is incredible and I know that I have a friend and sister in Katie for the rest of my life.
If you know a high school or college student athlete whose senior season has been cut short, send us an email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.