The Vermillion Rotary Club held its weekly luncheon meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 18, at the Neuharth Center on the campus of USD.
President John Prescott opened the meeting, led us in the invocation and recitation of the Rotary 4-Way Test. This was followed by a round of singing, introduction of guests, and announcements.
Rotarian David Herbster introduced Ryun Williams as our speaker for the day. Mr. Williams is the head coach of the USD Women�s basketball team. He is also a graduate of USD and played for Coach Boots in 1992.
He began by saying that the women�s team is currently 9-9 for the year. He also said that he has a great group of players. They have come back from a tour that included games with Wisconsin � Green Bay, Fort Collins, Ithaca, St. Louis, and Grand Forks.
He believes that the team is performing well in many areas. He is very proud to report that the team GPA is over 3.4. The members spend a lot of time studying when on tour. They are in the top 25 in terms of team GPA in Division I women�s basketball.
He told us that this is the last year competing in the Great West Conference. Everybody�s role has been different this year. The challenge is to work toward consistency. They continue to work hard throughout this transition.
He feels that the basketball program and the school need to grow, and that part of the goal needs to be a new arena. We are already playing some big schools. We need to continue to grow to attract the best talent, and a new area would help.
He said that the biggest asset of the program and the school are the people. They are impressive. Prospective students can sense that when they come for a visit.
When asked about the increased number of students from Minnesota, he said that now that we are Division I, we look attractive to students who aspire to play Division I sports but are frustrated by the small number of Division I schools in Minnesota. In answer to
another question, he told us that we have the full number of scholarships allowed which are 15.
Another question concerned the inclusion of weight training in women�s basketball. He responded by saying that this is now the norm in the game and has changed the game a lot. Women�s basketball is becoming a more physical game.