SLIAC; Looking Back is a weekly interview series each Thursday this summer with former players and coaches who made an impact during their time in the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SLIAC). We hope you enjoy a look back through time and how the SLIAC played a role in who they are today. Today we speak with former Eureka College women's basketball standout Caty Eeten (Class of 2014).
Eeten, a member of the Eureka Red Devil women's basketball team from 2010-14, has spent the last two years as an assistant coach with the program. Eeten finished her career as the school's all-time leading scorer, leading the SLIAC in scoring as a senior at 19.6 points per game, and was named First Team All-Conference three times. She was also the SLIAC Newcomer of the Year in 2010-11 and the Player of the Year in 2011-12. Eeten is the all-time leading scorer in SLIAC history and holds numerous Red Devil single season and career records and was a member of the first Red Devil team to qualify for the SLIAC Tournament.
What has the transition been like going from a player to a coach?
"Transitioning from a player to coach was tough, especially the first year. I had to learn to facilitate in a completely different way. I'm thankful to be able to be around the game that means so much to me and share my passion and knowledge for the sport."
Has your perspective changed at all, going from a player to coach, in terms of what success means and how to achieve it?
"My perspective hasn't changed much from player to coach. How to achieve that success I truly believe changes from year to year. Each year everyone has to learn their role. I still believe championships are won in the off-season and in practice. Everyone has to buy into the program every day to make success possible."
What do you feel is the most important thing playing collegiate athletics can give to a person?
"I truly believe athletics can give so much to a person. It's all what you make of it. Most importantly I think it can give someone a sense of identity. As part of a team you have to learn your role. You learn to accept that role, whatever it may be, for the greater good of the team. Who are you going to be? How much effort are you going to give? In different game situations, how are you going to react? After a win or loss, how do you respond? These decisions and experiences all help make you into the person you are. Honestly some people don't realize the impact athletics has on someone. As you transition in life you learn to utilize those skills in all aspects. Whether it's in your job, marriage, or as a parent."
What are some differences you have seen across the conference from as a freshman back in 2010 to 2016 as a second year assistant coach?
"Conference play hasn't changed that much for me even from back in 2010. From playing as a freshman and being in the bottom part of the conference it's been amazing to see the change in our own program and our ability to continue that winning tradition. I've seen growth in other programs and players as well. It's fun to see how individual players grow. More so now as a coach than it was as a player."
What are some of your fondest memories you have had on the court during your time at Eureka?
"That is a tough question because I really am fond of them all, even the times we lost. I'm fond of the times where Coach Martin would get mad at us during games and break her clipboard (which my teammates and I still laugh about today). I'm fond of all the records I was able to break, especially after all the knee surgeries I had in high school. However, I would trade them all in a heartbeat for a conference championship! The best memories I have are really just memories with my teammates, more of the embarrassing uncoordinated things that we did. I'm really lucky to have had such a great experience at Eureka."
What does the newly renovated gym at Eureka mean for you and for the program?
"I'm extremely jealous of the new floor, I'm not afraid to admit it. It makes me feel old because I'm already to the point in my life where I get to tell people "Back in my day we use to have to play on four stacked floors." Although, I think we had more of a home court advantage with the old floor because we knew where all the dead spots were! However, it has been a great transition for our team, and school, in all aspects. I'm exited to see what is accomplished in that gym."
- #SLIACtion -