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Women’s basketball player profile: Mandy Kuiken

Growing up in a family with six siblings and playing a sport every season in high school, senior Mandy Kuiken has always engaged in an active lifestyle. It is no surprise that she has such an upbeat and energetic personality.

Mandy, who first began playing basketball at the age of six, serves as the point guard for Eastern’s women’s basketball team. For the past two years, she led both the basketball and tennis teams as captain.

“There is definitely a lot more responsibility that comes with being a team captain,” Mandy said. “It has become increasingly more important to me to consistently motivate my teammates and work at setting a good example for them to follow.”

The team strives to work hard and never quit, but their time together isn’t all seriousness. Mandy and the team share many laughs together, and she confesses to having random dance parties in the locker room.

Mandy’s charismatic personality is just one result of growing up in a large family in Pompon Plains, New Jersey. She and younger brother Ben, a sophomore on the men’s basketball team, always make sure to be at each other’s games. Mandy also has a twin sister, Kelly, who attends Roberts Wesleyan College in Rochester, N.Y.

One would think that playing three different sports throughout high school and two in college would be exhausting for Mandy, but she wouldn’t have it any other way. She lives for competition and being active, and she continuously perseveres through life’s obstacles.

“I believe that it serves as a platform to be a witness to those around me,” Mandy said. “As athletes, but even more so as Christian athletes, we have a responsibility to be in a constant pursuit of excellence.”

Mandy believes that the defining moment for the women’s basketball team so far this season was their win against Lancaster Bible College, 84-42. “It was fun, and that’s how it’s supposed to be,” Mandy said. However, she thinks that the best part is still to come, with nine more games left in the season.

Mandy graduates this spring with a degree in biokinetics. She plans to use her gifts as an international intern for Athletes in Action-a branch of the Campus Crusade for Christ program-where she will work with and minister to locals in another country.

Although she will miss her years of playing in competitive college sports, Mandy said that what she’ll miss most is the relationships with her teammates and coaches.

Her love for others combined with a competitive and persistent spirit is what makes Mandy Kuiken an irreplaceable part of Eastern’s women’s basketball team.

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