The collegiate basketball career of senior Emily Kaus isn’t the prototypical story of a four-year student-athlete, but she has made the best of her time on the Bemidji State women’s basketball team. The center missed a season due to injury and won’t be cashing in her redshirt year, as she is on track to graduate in May. A force on the defensive end, Kaus has moved into fifth all-time at BSU with 78 blocks. We sat down with the Eagan, Minn. native and got her take on her time as a Beaver and her plans after graduation.
Why did you choose BSU?
(Emily Kaus): I chose BSU because I knew I wanted to be in this conference. It’s a strong and well known conference and I also wanted to be in nursing, so that narrowed it down to a couple of schools. Ultimately I chose Bemidji, I love the area around here.
How did your success at Eastview High School help you prepare for the college game?
(EK): It helped a lot, Eastview always has a strong women’s basketball program. We were able to go to state my junior and senior year and it was a fun experience. It helped me get more exposure and I was playing against the best competition, which helped my game.
You recorded 42 blocks as a freshman (tied for second in single season blocks at BSU), talk about your abilities to be so successful on the defensive end.
(EK): I have always enjoyed blocks, I think that they are an exciting part of the game. I like reading the defense and moving my feet and getting in front of the play. Blocks are a fun thing to do.
Do you and Kate Warmack have a blocks competition?
(EK): Yes we do. We both check the stats after the game to see who got the most blocks. It’s fun having two players that are big defensive blockers on our team.
Talk about the injuries you’ve sustained and the recovery process.
(EK): It was really hard, my freshman year I injured my right shoulder, but I was going to try to play through it the next season. I wasn’t able to play through it, so I had surgery in the summer of 2010. I then redshirted my sophomore year, I came back and hurt my left shoulder and had to have surgery on that shoulder last spring break. Now I am all fixed and ready to be healthy for a full season. The rehab was six months without any physical contact. It’s a long time to rehab, but I got stronger and got through it. It was hard to watch the team in areas that I could have helped. Having that time off made me a better person, made me more patient and helped in other areas of my game.
You’re surgically repaired now and going into your senior year, how has your role developed, now being a senior?
(EK): I definitely think I am a leader on this team. I do most of the dirty work for the team, I get the rebounds and blocks. I’m not the flashy player, but I like that role and I think it fits me pretty well.
Looking back how would you define your athletic career?
(EK): It was rough during the beginning with the injuries, but overall I think I have had a good career and I have had a great time here at BSU playing basketball.
Your older sister played Division I basketball at Creighton, how was it seeing your older sister getting recruited and being able to follow in her footsteps and play college ball?
(EK): Growing up with her was fun and we were always playing basketball. She is more of a guard so we would play one-on-one all the time. She would take me outside and shoot and I would take her down low and post her up. It was cool to see the process of recruiting and her getting letters from colleges. She helped me set goals for myself with wanting to play college basketball.
How would define your entire college experience at Bemidji State?
(EK): Nursing is a very hard program, I have definitely had to hit the books and study a lot. But I think it is all worth it in the end to have my RN degree. Basketball has just helped me make friendships and it’s been a great experience.
So why nursing?
(EK): Nursing is a great field that you can do so much with. My mom is a nurse, my sister is a nurse and I have a couple of aunts that are nurses, as well, so I have been around it my whole life. I enjoy talking to people, helping them and I like the medical background as well, so it was the way to go for me. I definitely want to do pediatrics. I love kids and love working with long-term diseases. I am looking to go down to the cities and get into pediatric nursing.
For more information on the Bemidji State women’s basketball program, follow the Beavers on Twitter (@BemidjiStateWBB or @BSUBeavers), like them on Facebook (facebook.com/BemidjiStateWomen’sBasketball or facebook.com/BSUBeavers) or sign up for the TXTUpdates from BSUBeavers.com text-messaging system through the "Mulitmedia" pull down menu on the main page of BSUBeavers.com.
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).