BEMIDJI, Minn - The season isn't over, but BSUBeavers.com caught up with the five seniors from the Bemidji State men's basketball team to reflect a bit on their collegiate careers and what they will take away from the hard court as their time as a Beaver comes to an end.
#1 Dermaine Crockrell
What will you remember the most about your time as a Beaver?
Dermaine Crockrell: My teammates, to see people from different states come together as one and represent Bemidji State.
What do you bring to the team that’s different from any other teammate?
DC: I bring a little bit of quickness, athleticism and leadership ability. I try to play as hard as possible in every game.
How has the pressure been in the last moments of the game?
DC: It feels pretty good that coach trusts in me. He just puts the ball in my hands and puts it all on me to make the best decision either pass it to my teammates or go in and try to make a basket.
#2 Lance Rongstad
What is the defining moment of your career?
Lance Rongstad: It goes back to my very first year here, before I even thought about going out for basketball. I had class with Jake Lindstrom and I was in the gym playing with him and Bryce Tesdahl and I ended up playing some 1-on-1 with Pat Cassidy, who was on the team at the time. All three of those guys were really encouraging, saying you gotta go out (for the team), we think we can use you and you’re a good player. So those guys were probably the ones that gave me the confidence to want to come out. And being able to learn and grow under former Coach Matt Bowen for three years really made me the player I am today.
What is your greatest memory?
LR: It’s going to have to be the Winona State game last year at home. It was the last game of the year, we had the opportunity to win the conference championship outright and we had to beat one of the best teams in the conference. We were able to do that and cut down the nets in front of a packed gym. That’s something I’ll never forget, for sure.
#10 Jason Edwards
What was your favorite memory of being a Beaver?
Jason Edwards: There was a lot of great memories, but I would say the most memorable was tearing down the nets last year when we won the conference championship. That was definitely the most memorable right there.
What pushed you to get that starting point guard role and keep it all year long?
JE: I think I had a lot of motivation, kind of resentment from last year from getting a new coach and what not, bringing in other guys. Obviously I’ve had to work, I didn’t start the first two games, but I felt like I could contribute to the team. I was here last year, so I just worked hard every day and made sure I contributed to the team this year and start.
What do you bring to the team that’s different from your teammates?
JE: I would say my passion, energy, and enthusiasm. I can’t control my height or my size but I can control my heart so that’s the main thing I can bring everyday.
#13 Sean Jones
What was your first impression of Bemidji State?
Sean Jones: My first impression was this is a small town with loyal fans to Beaver Athletics on a beautiful campus.
What have you learned in your short time of being a Beaver?
SJ: As a Beaver, I’ve learned things don’t always happen the way you would hope, but to remain positive and lean on good friends.
How fortunate do you feel to be able to play basketball at the collegiate level?
SJ: I feel so fortunate to able to have my education paid for by my talents on the court. I know a lot of my peers would love to be in my shoes. I don’t take any of the experiences for granted.
#23 Mason Walters
How would you compare your freshman season to your senior season?
Mason Walters: Over time, what you want to do is grow as a player and I think in my time here, I have been able to do that. Each year I just looked to improve and help the team the best way I could.
What stands out from the past four years as you wrap up your time here?
MW: Last year, winning the conference and advancing to the NCAA tournament was a big positive memory to look back upon and also all of the great teammates I’ve had over the years.
At what point did you feel you could play at a high level in this league?
MW: I think the first game that I started my freshmen year was at St. Cloud State and it was a little nerve-wracking at first, but I played a decent game. I think at that point I knew it would take a lot of hard work, but I felt that I could be a starter and play well in the following years.
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Nestled in Northern Minnesota’s wooded region and located on the shore of Lake Bemidji, Bemidji State University sponsors 15 varsity athletic programs with NCAA Division I men’s and women’s hockey membership in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association, while its 13 NCAA Division II programs hold membership in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC).