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Despite losing her last game as a Weber State University Wildcat, fifth-year senior Amanda Hughes showed no negativity or disappointment after the season finale on March 8, but said she was sad about leaving the team behind.
“I’m saddened. I’ve been here for five years,” Hughes said. “Every group I’ve been with has been a great group of girls. Hopefully they just get right there next season.”
The last few years have been hard times for the WSU women’s basketball team. The Wildcats collected only nine wins in the last three years, but Hughes said she has high hopes for the future of the program.
“I see them hosting the tournament,” she said. “We just have that much potential, and I know Coach is going to have more and more pieces to the puzzle to add.”
According to head coach Bethann Ord, it’s more than just potential and good recruiting that’s going to help the team be successful; it’s players like Hughes who leave their imprint on the program.
“When we get to what our dreams and goals are here,” Ord said, “she is just as much a part of it because of what she did this year and from the start.”
Ord said Hughes left her mark on the program by enduring a lot of adversity, with losing seasons and no Big Sky Tournament appearances. Her body also took a beating. She sat out for most of the season last year due to injuries to her legs, but quitting wasn’t an option for her.
“For her to battle back (from injury) was just amazing,” Ord said. “Every day, she gave everything she could, and I asked a lot from her on and off the court.”
Hughes was also the lone senior of the team this past season, and had the leadership role of the young squad.
“Amanda has been an amazing young lady from the first time I came through to meet my team when I got here my first year,” Ord said. “She has grown so much into this amazing woman and leader.”
Over the season, Hughes led her team in points and rebounds, earning herself an honorable mention to the 2014 Big Sky Women’s All-Conference Team.
Ord had nothing but praise for Hughes following the final game of the season.
“I wasn’t here her first two years,” Ord said, “but the three years that I have been with her, she has grown by leaps and bounds.”