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Monday, Feb. 26
The Indiana Daily Student

sports

Chance to shine arrives

When junior Jamie Gathing entered the women's basketball game last Friday, she made an immediate impact, tumbled on loose balls, snatched offensive rebounds and found anything she could do to help the team. \nGathing embodies this sweat-at-all-costs mind-set. \nGathing's intense presence on the court was one reason IU was victorious Nov. 8 against Premier Sports. The stats might not show she had a good game, as she failed to reach double-digits, but her demeanor on the court insists otherwise. Gathing's plunging after loose balls, forcing turnovers and hitting the boards was arguably better than any other Hoosier player in the team's first preseason game.\n"I can bring sparks of energy," Gathing said. "Not so much scoring, but hustle. I make hustle plays and can inspire others to do the same. My role on this team is to be vocal. I can keep things together. I do other things besides scoring."\nGathing only started one game last year, while averaging 2.3 points per contest, but other players fed off her rousing energy.\nSenior Jill Hartman said it is beneficial to the team to have such a dedicated worker. \n"Players see her hustling, and it rubs off on them," Hartman said. "You can't sit and watch. It makes you want to work so much harder."\nCoach Kathi Bennett said she agrees with the senior guard.\n"Jamie is such a fearless competitor," Bennett said. "I respect her so much. She always practices hard, and I'm most impressed with her work ethic. Both in practices and in games, she never takes any possessions off."\nMeanwhile, Gathing is used to adversity as she has suffered a multitude of injuries.\nShe underwent off-season knee surgery. Two years ago, she redshirted the season after having surgery to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament in her right knee. She sustained the injury while participating in training camp for the Big Ten All-Star Tour. Gathing said she did not realize the true nature and impact of her ACL injury until a few weeks later.\nGathing described how Bennett has helped her and her recovery process. Gathing said Bennett has been tolerant with her. Gathing has not been able to do anything with all her injuries. She has not played any basketball since April. \n"Coach has just been real patient with me and knows it takes time to heal," Gathing said. \nBennett is proud of the way Gathing performs each time she takes the floor.\nBennett said Gathing raises everybody else's game, by the way she plays -- yet she does it in a controlled way. Bennett emphasized that Gathing brings incredible energy to the team and that is fundamental to a successful team.\nSimilar to her performance last Friday, Gathing contributed with an excellent defensive effort in the Hoosiers' win over Penn State in the championship game of the Big Ten Tournament last season. Bennett said Gathing can do more of that this year and expects it from such an experienced player.\nHartman echoes the sentiments of her coach.\n"She brings tremendous intensity and gets everybody else fired up," Hartman said. "Last Friday, she stepped up really well. Her experience is a key reason why she's very intense and is able to lead vocally."\nHartman is beginning her fourth year at IU with Gathing.\n"She's like my sister," Hartman said. "We have lived in the dorms together and spent a whole lot of time together. Me and her both have a thing we like to do. We both like to lead the team in cheers. We are both really vocal and like to pick up the team whenever we can."\nIn addition to all her other injuries, Gathing suffered a stress fracture in her left foot during her freshman year. She missed eight non-conference games and started in six as a freshman.\nDespite all her injuries, Gathing said she believes in the old adage time heals all wounds.\n"My inspiration is time," Gathing said. "Eventually, my injuries and everything else will be ok. Also, my teammates have been supportive and have helped me."\nBennett said she just wants Gathing completely healthy and happy at the end of the season. Bennett said she has not coached Gathing when she has been fully healthy at the end of the season.\n"When she's healthy and on her game, she brings us together defensively," Bennett said. "She ties us together. Every team needs a player like that"

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