By Rob White
It’s a good thing Metropolitan State University of Denver Women’s Basketball games are played on Friday and Saturday nights.
It gets hoops standout Mariah Schroeder out of the house.
“I’m a major nerd,” Schroeder said, laughing. “To me, it’s not a bad thing to sit at home on a Friday night and do homework. I actually enjoy it. I guess I’m (pursuing) the right field."
Schroeder, who is majoring in biology and intends to go to medical school to pursue a career as a doctor, was named last week to the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference’s All-Academic basketball team for the second straight season. She carries a 4.0 grade-point average and has already completed her minor in chemistry.
“I miss my chemistry classes,” she said.
Luckily, Schroeder is still involved in creating chemistry on the court.
The MSU Denver Women’s Basketball team is continuing to come together and hopes to finish strong over the final games of the regular season. Schroeder, a 5-foot-7 junior in her first season as a starter, has been a critical part of the Roadrunners’ success. She is second on the team in scoring (8.5 points per game) and second in steals (1.1) while averaging 2.0 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 0.3 blocked shots a game. She shoots 38.7% from the field and has been terrific at the free-throw line, at 82.5%.
“She is the embodiment of what a student-athlete should be,” MSU Denver Women’s Basketball coach Tanya Haave said. “Hard worker. Great attitude.Coachable. Conscientious in the classroom. Ambitious. Caring. Selfless. All those things. I could go on for a long time.”
Schroeder said she became interested in becoming a doctor because of her relationship with her grandmother, who has since passed away because of cancer.
“My grandma was a nurse, so she always had her nursing book, and if we were ever sick she would open it up and figure out what was wrong with us and made us feel better,” Schroeder said. “She was always an inspiration for me.”
Schroeder may be a self-described nerd (her four-class schedule this semester consists of neurobiology and physics as well as sociology and psychology), but she’s also a terrific athlete. Her vertical leap and pull-up jumper combine for a dynamic midrange game. She also shows no fear when driving to the basket to draw contact and fouls.
The team recently contracted with an outside firm to measure players’ speed, agility and quickness, Haave said.
“‘They told us, ‘She’s a stud.’ She had NBA-level times,” Haave said. “And she’s done some things athletically this year where you just say, ‘Wow.’”
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