The Charlotte 49ers women’s basketball team will be led by seniors Laia Raventós and Ka’Neeshia Brown, who will be playing their final season in a 49ers uniform this year.
Raventós, a 5-foot-7 guard from Spain, entered the program in 2015 and has been nothing but sensational since joining the team. For the 2017-18 season, Raventós was named as a part of the All-Conference USA First Team and All-Conference USA Defensive Team. It is no surprise that she was listed on the Preseason All-Conference USA Team for this upcoming year, but Raventós cares more about the team than individual honors.
“I think it is important, but at the same time, what matters is how the season goes,” Raventós said. “I care more about winning and about the team. Not really individual awards, but more team awards.”
Raventós and her teammates have been putting in a lot of work this offseason to improve from last season.
“I feel that we have been working harder than last season. Especially because we started so early together,” Raventós said. “In previous years, we started right before school. This year we had more time to prepare together and focus on our fundamentals.”
Raventós enters the season as the most experienced player on the roster as she has started the majority of her games played since her freshman year. With this experience, she shows a lot of confidence and leadership for this team.
“I definitely feel more comfortable communicating with my teammates and taking this leadership role,” Raventós said. “I feel that our freshmen are going to be great. I think we have good team chemistry with our team.”
Brown enters the season as a senior on the team as well. Brown joined the program last year after she transferred from Daytona State College. Brown hopes to improve off of last season where, in one game, she grabbed a career-high four rebounds against Western Kentucky late in the season.
“A lot of us, including myself, got into the gym a little bit more,” Brown said. “Coach Consuegra really emphasized putting in the extra work to make us better as a team. Last season, we were a really great team, but we really didn’t put the effort in by getting in the gym and getting in the extra work.”
The Charlotte women’s basketball team enters the season projected to finish fifth in the conference standings. However, Brown believes this team has the potential to go for the conference championship.
“We have a goal this year and that’s to win a conference championship. In order to achieve that, we have to come together and work hard, push each other and get one percent better every day,” Brown said. “It all starts in practice. Practice makes perfect. You always want to play like it’s your last game. You can’t slack off, so you want to go as hard as you can every day because we have the potential this year and we’re going for that conference championship this year.”
It’s been a long offseason for the women’s basketball team after being knocked out of the Conference USA tournament in the first round last season and these lady seniors are ready to get back on the court.
“I’m very excited,” Raventós said. “It’s been a really long offseason. We’ve been practicing since early July and I think we’re all excited to start playing basketball again and putting our hard work into the game. I think we’re all excited.”
Coach Consuegra and the team are confident they can make it to the top this season, Raventós and Brown included. Being that there is a lot of hard work that goes into that, these Niners are ready to do it and to enjoy their final season in Halton Arena.
“It’s my senior year and I just want to go out with a bang.” Brown said.