VERMILLION, S.D. (KELO) — The South Dakota women’s basketball team enters the Summit League Championships as the favorite after completing its second perfect regular season in three years. A portion of the team’s success can be tied to the energy from the bench, including the Coyotes’ hype woman, Claudia Kunzer.
Newton’s third law states that for every action, there’s an equal and opposite reaction. For the USD women, it’s usually after each made bucket, that an equal or greater celebration follows, with Claudia Kunzer leading the way.
“It was really fun for me. It was something else to do on the bench to get everyone involved, and get the crowd involved, and it really helps the people on the court,” USD Junior Guard Claudia Kunzer said.
From carefully crafted pre-game handshakes.
“Chloe Lamb and my handshake we have been doing since freshman year before we go to bed every night,” Kunzer said.
“She kind of pats me down with the three-point signs and then we salute,” Senior Guard Ciara Duffy said.
“We were talking about it one day and I was like Claud I’m not creative, you are, you come up with something, and it took her like two minutes and she had something figured out for us,” Junior Forward Monica Arens said.
To personalized celebrations after each made bucket.
“Ciara Duffy’s was probably was my favorite when we went like this for that celebration, but now we’ve brought it to a bring an arrow back and shoot it up, which I really like too. Chloe Lamb’s is also one of my favorites, ice in the veins, because she’s always does hit the three,” Kunzer said.
With her teammates each having their own personal favorites.
“She’s just like ah, and screams,” Lamb said.
“She stands up like this, and does the legs like this,” USD Senior Guard Ciara Duffy said.
“I think she went in for a lay-up, it was an and-1, and she kind of did the Dwyane Wade like, he just ooped it to Lebron James and was just like this,” Junior Liv Korngable said.
Kunzer is always bringing the energy.
“Like I don’t need Netflix, or TV, I have Claudia for my entertainment,” Junior Guard Liv Korngable said.
“If you don’t like basketball, if you don’t like watching basketball, you might as well still come and watch Claudia on the bench, cause that’s a show in of itself,” Lamb said.
And her impact upon the team’s success goes well beyond the box score.
“It’s contagious. So the rest of us see her, and we want to do the same too,” Lamb said.
“She’s their biggest supporter. She’s always the happiest person for everybody’s successes, and she’s such a positive teammate, and she’s ultimate teammate, absolutely,” Arens said.
“With them succeeding, that I’m also succeeding, and the whole team is succeeding, and it’s really something that’s truly amazing,” Kunzer said.
South Dakota opens tournament play against Omaha at noon Saturday.