Jalen Carpenter (3) looks for an open teammate in the Wildcats' exhibition game against Adams State. Carpenter recorded a double-double in the win with 11 points and 12 rebounds.  (Jalen Carpenter / The Signpost)
Jalen Carpenter (3) looks for an open teammate in the Wildcats’ exhibition game against Adams State. Carpenter recorded a double-double in the win with 11 points and 12 rebounds.
(Ariana Berkemeier / The Signpost)

As the Weber State women’s basketball team prepares to get its season underway, many players are returning to continue their college careers playing under the lights of the Dee Events Center. For junior Jalen Carpenter, those lights have served as an inspiration to do better.

“I have loved every second I have had playing for Weber State,” Carpenter said. “Though many would want to play for a big-name team elsewhere, I really wouldn’t play any where else in the world.”

Carpenter is a third-year player for the team and has had quite a storied career. In her first two seasons as a Wildcat, she has played in 57 games, starting in 43 of those games.

“I will admit that being a player here has been a growing experience,” Carpenter said. “The amount of time and experience that I have gained in my previous years will be a strength this season.”

One of the key components for the Wildcats this season will be experience. Of the 15 players on the team, two-thirds of the Wildcats are juniors or seniors. The Wildcats will rely on their seasoned players for strength and stability through the season.

Jalen Carpenter (3) plays defense against Adams State in the Wildcats' exhibition win. Carpenter has averaged 5.7 rebounds throughout her career.  (Ariana Berkemeier / The Signpost)
Jalen Carpenter (3) plays defense against Adams State in the Wildcats’ exhibition win. Carpenter has averaged 5.7 rebounds throughout her career.
(Ariana Berkemeier / The Signpost)

“The fact that we have so many different obstacles and challenges to overcome each and every season requires that a player be ready and able to adapt and overcome those challenges,” Carpenter said. “As a player, I have learned a lot in the respect of being able to take on different challenges and make the best of the hard times.”

Carpenter has performed well for the Wildcats in her career, and is one of the team leaders in many of the different categories. She has scored at least 10 points in 20 of her career games, and has averaged 5.7 rebounds per game throughout her career. Carpenter also has two 20-point games in her career.

With the statistical level she is playing at, she is in the group that leads the Wildcats on the court. But for Carpenter, being a leader is not something that has come naturally.

“I have spent a lot of my career letting my skills shine and develop, but leading is not something I do naturally,” she said. “Thankfully, the coaches and training staff make it a focus to help all players develop skills needed to be not only well balanced athletes, but also upstanding people off the court.”

The Wildcats are returning to the court after a rough season last year, finishing with a 7-22 record. Despite that, Carpenter remains optimistic about both her teammates and the season they have ahead of them.

“We had a rough record last season, but looking at the games, we didn’t lose them by that much,” Carpenter said. “This year one of our focuses is not only playing in the games, but finishing them.”

For Carpenter, that drive is what is helping her to take it to the next level this season.

“I know that if we can give it our all this season, we will make it to the championship,”  Carpenter said. “This team, these girls have it in them to be great.  I believe that this year, we have it in us.”

Charles can be found tweeting @cbowkstar_91 or cheering at any Wildcat game.

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