As the air gets crisper and the leaves begin to fall, the excitement in Price, Utah, is palpable. It’s that time of year again when the Utah State University Eastern basketball team is gearing up for the 2023-2024 season, and the anticipation is building among the players. I had the privilege of sitting down with some key members of the team to get their thoughts on the upcoming season.
When asked about how they feel about this upcoming season, and the team’s responses were relatively consistent. They all express great confidence due to the strong camaraderie and unity that exists both on and off the court. Several of them mentioned that there’s no other team they’d rather go through the season with. The sense of togetherness among the players is a driving force behind their optimism.
Ellie Esplin, a freshman, explained her decision to choose USU Eastern, stating, “The awesome coaching and the positive team environment” were the deciding factors. It’s clear that the coaching staff plays a significant role in creating an environment where players feel supported and motivated to excel.
Ali, another freshman, highlighted some of the team’s strengths, saying, “We’re fast, we all care about each other, we have good team chemistry, and everyone is a team player.” These qualities undoubtedly bode well for the team’s success on the court.
Summer, also a freshman, chimed in with her favorite part of playing at USU Eastern, emphasizing, “Amazing teammates and the opportunity to get better every day.” The emphasis on personal growth and the support system within the team is a common theme among the players.
For those considering joining the USU Eastern community, the players have a compelling message: “Here not only gives you opportunities on the court, but it also gives you opportunities off the court to excel. They do everything in their power to make you feel included. Don’t be worried about being bored because there is stuff happening at all times.” It’s a testament to the vibrant campus life and the university’s dedication to the overall development of its students.
The team’s composition for the upcoming season includes five sophomores and nine freshmen. With a mix of experienced players and fresh talent, they are poised for success. In the NJCAA preseason rankings for the 2023-2024 season, USU Eastern is ranked No. 22, reflecting the high expectations surrounding the team’s performance.
Another exciting element is the coaching staff’s stability. The team’s head coaches, with nine seasons under their belts, bring a wealth of experience and expertise to the program.
Head coach Chelsey Warburton is entering her ninth season with the Eagles/
As for the players themselves, each brings a unique skill set to the team. From Ellie Esplin, a dynamic guard from Springville, Utah, to Teulia Fa’alogo, hailing all the way from Whangarei, New Zealand, the diversity of backgrounds and talents adds depth to the team’s roster. This diversity, combined with their shared passion for the game, forms the core of the team’s strength.
With the season just around the corner, there is an undeniable buzz of excitement and anticipation among the USU Eastern basketball team. Their collective dedication, strong team spirit, and commitment to both personal and team growth make them a force to be reckoned with in the upcoming season. As they step onto the court, they carry with them the hopes and dreams of an entire community, ready to cheer them on to victory.