With a basketball in hand and a hoop in her back yard, along with visits to courts at local schools and the community center, Savanna Samuelson is diligently shooting her way toward making the 10,000-shot club.
As part of her Pacific University summer workouts, the 2019 Mount Si High graduate had unleashed 7,104 shots at press time, making 3,054 of them or 43 percent. She’s set on completing the mammoth task before she leaves for Pacific’s Forest Grove, Oregon campus in August.
Samuelson will get in the shooting and ball handling work wherever she can, the former Wildcat said with a laugh.
The 5-foot-8 shooting guard signed on the dotted line her senior year to attend Pacific, a Division III school that made contact via her recruiting web site. Samuelson visited a couple other schools, but steered her future toward Pacific with its small-school atmosphere, where she’ll get invaluable one-on-one time with her professors and play under the wing of Boxers head coach Alecia Wilson.
“She said everything that I love about a coach. What she enforces in her team was something that I wanted to be a part of: being a team and working hard will get you playing time, and the trust factor,” said Samuelson, who aims to major in environmental biology and minor in coaching.
Samuelson, who was voted team captain her senior year and hit a season-high eight points a couple of times, helped lead the team to an 11-12 overall record and spot in the district playoffs.
“We had a good group of girls this last year and I love them all, I’m excited to see what they do this next year,” said Samuelson, who rebounded from a torn quad in her left leg to finish the season strong.
“I took on a leadership role and I feel staying positive (was key) — because a lot of our starters did get hurt this last year, so the younger, underclassmen seeing that and being like, ‘We can still do this’ and we still did it, which was awesome,” she said.
The Record asked Samuelson a series of questions to get a behind-the-scenes glimpse into her life:
What do you think makes for a good coach out there on the court?
I just feel there has to be trust in the players. If you prove to me that you work hard in practice and that translates to you playing well and outplaying everybody else, you’re gonna play. I also feel like having a positive attitude and incorporating all the other players and not looking down on others that make mistakes — and mistakes are gonna happen. It’s how you rebound, you just need to go to the next play. That’s something I struggle with, so that’s something I would instill in my players. I love defense, you have to be good at defense.
What super power would you like to have?
I wanna fly. I can go wherever I wanted, whenever. Or breathe under water, that would be cool.
What’s the best thing to do with your friends?
I love going to the river when it’s nice out.
What’s your biggest pet peeve?
Being blamed for stuff I didn’t do (laughs).
You seemed right on top of that answer.
Oh, yeah (laughs).
If you could go to dinner with one person, who would that be?
Do you have any kind of superstition before a game or a routine that you go through?
I’ve had a couple over the years. If I wore my hair a certain way and I played really good, I’d wear my hair that same way on game day. Or if I played really good in a pair of socks, I’d wear the same socks. Those are some weird ones.