Redding native leads seattle redhawks to first march madness yale university programs

Last saturday, she made history. Now a college sophomore, kamira sent her basketball team, seattle university, to its first NCAA tournament appearance in program history. Seattle earned the ticket by winning its conference tournament in las vegas — a tournament that crowned kamira its MVP.

“she’s only a sophomore and she’s being a leader on that team,” said hermann, who has seen her maturity on the court and in her college postgame press conferences.

Friday at 4:30 p.M., kamira’s team will need all the leadership it can get as no. 15 seed seattle (18-14) faces the no. 2 seed (30-4) oregon ducks in eugene.

It’s a tough matchup. But sanders has faced tougher. Selfish, stubborn parents of other children, a chaotic and frustrating recruiting process and a forced revamping of her lifestyle haven’t stopped this 5-foot-7 seattle redhawk from skimming the sky.Humboldt state

“she was in the third grade at liberty christian,” her father, wendell sanders said. “and she was playing fifth- or sixth-grade basketball, and she’s scoring 10 to 12 points a game.”

Still in elementary school, kamira stopped playing soccer, a sport she loved, to pour her devotion into basketball. She started playing AAU, competing in games in the bay area and as far as los angeles. Her mother, jennifer nelson, remembers a tournament at the hardwood palace outside sacramento, where the other, older team didn’t show up. So kamira scrimmaged against girls her own age.

“she was playing on boys teams in fifth and sixth grade,” hermann said. “she was too good for anybody her age." “when the rains would come … he wanted to know why god gave the storms power to take away the sun.”

liberty christian

As kamira attended liberty christian for middle school, her parents realized it’d be hard for her to get noticed at a small K-12 school. With her mother fours hours away in stanford for heart surgery of kamira’s then 10-day-old brother, kamari, her father started looking for a more recognizable school.

Instead, her parents landed on sequoia middle. In her eighth-grade season, she helped the school win a championship, her mother said. “over and over, the rains would come.”

The next chapter of her life began with half the stress of the last. Hermann was happy to have her on his team at enterprise, where she continued to blossom.

The only time the sky was falling was when it rained accolades. She became the school’s all-time top scorer, the no. 2 scorer in section history. And scored more than 2,000 career points by the time she was a senior.Liberty christian kamira still remembers the shot that put her over the milestone, and the confusion she felt after she heard officials blow the whistle.

Kamira had already attracted the attention high-profile college programs like USC, UCLA and arizona through introductory recruiting, or, “‘hi, who are you?’ kinds of letters,” as her mother calls them.

By the time it was kamira’s senior year of high school, her parents learned they hadn’t followed all the steps to make her eligible to play in the NCAA. College programs still had kamira on their radar, but they couldn’t offer scholarships.

The university of hawaii was particularly relentless in its recruiting but had to end the courting ritual when, late in the process, she still hadn’t been granted eligibility.

About two months before the start of kamira’s freshman year, her mother said, humboldt state hired a new coach.Liberty christian one who already had her own players on the way. One who had her favorite guards set in her mind. One who decided that if kamira joined the team, she wouldn’t see the court.

Former assistants at humboldt state, joddie and skip gleason, earned a job at seattle university and knew of a guard from redding that they had to have.

Kamira’s stint in seattle sounded too good to be true. She’d be able to live in a big city a short plane ride or a long car trip from home. She’d get all the playing time she wanted. And she’d get an education that would last long after her basketball career ended.

Kamira said getting through her first year of college was the toughest challenge she’d ever faced. Being on her own in a new city. She lived between four hospitals as ambulance sirens became her lullaby.Kamira said when she wasn’t in her room she was in class or exhausting herself in practices.

No more seeing her parents every day. No more going to whiskeytown with her friends to survive the heat. She even had to find all new places to eat. She missed her favorite redding restaurant, red robin, where she’d order a tavern double cheeseburger every time.

“when I was at home, I had my family. I had friends I can go to. My teachers and I were close,” kamira said. “growing up there, the environment, I was just well known.”

But while the adjustment to seattle kept her down, her talent soon lifted her up. “he broke through the clouds and there it was … no storm could take the sun away. The sun was always shining.”

It took a few months, but kamira found her stride. When the regular season began, kamira didn’t just get some playing time, she started every game.Liberty christian by the end of her freshman season, she was named the western athletic conference freshman of the year.

“I kind of knew she had it in her,” kamira’s father said. “but just to know that it happened — it’s just a little bit different knowing it happened than knowing that they have it in them.”

If the sophomore slump exists, kamira can’t find it. While her 20-point performance in the WAC title game, including hitting two last-minute free throws, helped earn her the tournament MVP and a trip to the NCAA tournament, kamira isn’t resting on her laurels.

She already has plans to play professional basketball overseas after college. On a trip with teammates to europe, she saw the eiffel tower, the anne frank house and wants to make a run at a pro career in portugal, the home country of joana alves, one of her best friends on the team.Humboldt state

Friday at 4:30, kamira will be focused on a tense tournament matchup against oregon. But after dealing with other children’s pushy parents, fickle coaches and living on her own in the emerald city, she’s not ducking.