Coming off one of its strongest seasons yet, the Belmont women’s basketball team has welcomed freshmen Macie Culbertson and Jamilyn Kinney to help continue its momentum.
“It’s a lot of pressure, but we’re excited about it,” said Kinney.
Originally from Alma, Arkansas, Kinney knew as soon as she stepped on Belmont’s campus that it was the right school for her, she said.
Kinney and Culbertson both heard about Belmont during their sophomore years of high school.
Culbertson, who’s from Kingsport, Tennessee, was drawn to Belmont because of its community and because of the coaches.
Those coaches have been very supportive and available to help with the adjustment to college basketball, Kinney and Culbertson said.
One of the biggest challenges for the new athletes has been getting used to the new level of play.
“The speed is very different than in high school,” Kinney said, and Culbertson agreed.
But the two freshmen have also had plenty of support from the upperclassmen athletes as they prepare for the new season.
“They’ve helped tremendously, just being great encouragers and picking us up when we’re down,” Kinney said.
“They’re always there for me if I need to talk to someone,” Culbertson said.
Culbertson and Kinney have been playing basketball for as long as they can remember, and they’ll have to draw from their years of experience to help the Bruins keep the momentum going from last season.
In the 2017-2018 season, the Bruins were the Ohio Valley Conference champions and went undefeated in the conference. They had a 31-4 overall record.
Kinney hopes her contributions to the team will help “keep the legacy going,” she said.
“We all kind of know we have a target on our backs,” said Culbertson.
The Bruins will play their first game away on Nov. 7 against NC State and then come home for their home opener at the Curb Event Center on Nov. 12.
This article written by Joe Bendekovic. Contributing reporting from Teagan Malecha. Photos courtesy of Belmont Athletics.