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The Mustang Buzz

Your University, Your News, Your Life

The Mustang Buzz

Your University, Your News, Your Life

The Mustang Buzz

Life of a Star Player After the Game

Shelli Hawkinson’s life after her successful college basketball career.

Life doesn’t always go as planned. Sometimes life throws you an airball and you just have to keep playing and be ready for the next shot it gives you. That is exactly what Shelli (Schoeneck) Hawkinson did when she was deciding on a college.

“I was 98% sure I was going to Moorhead State and try to play both basketball and volleyball, but fate had a different plan for me,” she said. That plan being coach Kruger asking her to tour Southwest Minnesota State university (SMSU). This was when her perspective began changing.

Being curious, she decided to watch the Mustangs play. She was immediately impressed by their skills. After seeing this she decided to take coach Kruger up on her offer to visit SMSU.

The campus immediately made an impression. She said, “from the moment I stepped foot on the campus, met the current team and coaches there was something different.” What made SMSU stick out to her was the campus and its layout, the distance from her family and as she says, “the feeling of family I got from the coaches, current players and entire community.” She soon was playing basketball as a Mustang. But how did she get to this point.

Shelli was into basketball from a young age and played as much as she could, recalling, “I was kind of a tomboy and loved all sports.” She said, “I played in as many sports as possible that my parents would haul me to growing up.” Her commitment shines as she was inducted into SMSU’s Hall of Honor.

Upon receiving this achievement, she reflects on how she got to this point and said, “Basketball is a team sport and the success I had was only possible because of great coaches and teammates.” Hawkinson shows great appreciation for her team and the work they have done together.

“My entire career I had the privilege of playing with so many selfless and committed players that were willing to work hard, had the desire to be and get better and play the role the team needed them to play.” Shelli said about how her single achievements are great, but the success of the team was much sweeter than what she could do alone. That being said, Shelli was a big part of the team.

“The quicker you find your role as part of the greater team, the quicker the team benefits and you start to see more success.” She said in regard to her importance on the team. “As a freshman my role was primarily to play defense and knowing and accepting that role allowed me to leverage my strength the way the team needed for us to be as successful as possible.” Shelli earned her name in the Hall of Honor with her impressive career.

In her time as a Mustang, she won 20 of 29 games her freshman year. Which was the first time in SMSU women’s basketball history. Then in her sophomore year her team won 25 games and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the first time. In her junior year SMSU was the champions of the NSIC season and tournament, with Shelli receiving MVP honors. To finish out her career as a senior she received the All-NSIC first team accolade. During this eventful basketball career, she was pursuing her other dreams.

When Shelli was young, she had an interest in banking she says, “I always wanted to be a bank teller. I always loved working with money and numbers.” While playing basketball she was going to school for business administration with a marketing minor. Her goal to be a bank teller seems small now as she works as an Innovations Product Owner at Bremer Bank. On top of school and basketball she was also working she said, “I have been with Bremer since 2000 and started part-time as a teller when I was in college.” Instead of basketball her family keeps her busy now.

Shelli and her husband, Josh, have 2 boys named Grayson and Hudson who keep their parents busy as Shelli said, “we chase our very active boys all over. Hockey, basketball, and baseball keep us super busy most of the year.” It seems like they got their athletic nature from their mom. Through her kids she is able to connect with basketball in a new way,

When Shelli helped coach Hudson’s 4th grade traveling team she said, “(coaching) gave me a great seat to watch his love for basketball grow.” While Grayson enjoys hockey more, he will occasionally be seen shooting hoops in the backyard sometimes. She hopes that her kids grow to love the game like she did because “Basketball at all levels taught me so many lessons I didn’t even realize until much later in life.” Shelli said. 

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About the Contributor
Tristan Primus
Tristan Primus, Editor in Chief
I am majoring in creative writing. I started writing for the Mustang Buzz for the fun of it, I like the writing and reporting of the paper. Outside of the paper I love music, I try listening to everything from Funk to Rap and I am constantly looking for more to listen. I'm also on the Intramural Ultimate Frisbee team.

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