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Members of the women's basketball team lead from the sidelines

BY BEN WOLFSON | DECEMBER 12, 2011 7:20 AM

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Two Hawkeyes dressed in street clothes gave out high fives, offered words of advice, and congratulated their teammates during each time-out of the Iowa women's basketball team's 98-45 victory last Friday over Western Illinois.

These two players were seniors Hannah Draxten and Megan Considine.

Draxten is in her first season as a student assistant coach after being on the team for three seasons. Considine, who joined the team in January 2010 as a sophomore walk-on, suffered a torn Achilles tendon that will sideline her for the entire season.

Draxten, a native of Fergus Falls, Minn., played in 30 games as a freshman in 2008-09. She made 23 3-pointers, the fifth-most in school history for a first-year player.

But she was limited to 28 games over her next two seasons and was forced to end her playing career earlier this year due to recurring back injuries.

"It's definitely different from being on the court," Draxten said on her adjustment from playing to coaching. "It [changes from] trying to produce out there, to just being energetic and keeping the team up and positive."

Considine was named a team captain before the season despite her career-ending injury and received heavy praise from head coach Lisa Bluder at the team's media day in October. Bluder was asked which player her team would look to as a leader after former star Kachine Alexander graduated.

"The thing we miss Kachine most is the fire she brings, the enthusiasm she brings," Bluder said. "Megan Considine was really trying to fulfill that role for us, and she was voted captain by our team as a senior; unfortunately, with her torn Achilles, she's on the sidelines.

"It's a lot tougher to be that role when you're on the sidelines. You can still contribute, but it's a lot harder to do."

Considine agreed, but said she has embraced her role as the Hawkeyes' emotional and social leader.
She said she always tries to bring positive energy and speak in a way that gives her teammates confidence.

"One of the reasons I got voted captain was because I worked hard, no matter how many minutes I was seeing." Considine said. "… I got on this team because a few people were injured — to name one, Theairra Taylor — and now I get to see her battle from rehab and play this year. It's still rewarding to watch her and know that I get the opportunity to be on this team."

Draxten said Bluder approached her about remaining with the team after she decided to end her playing career.

Draxten now aids Bluder and the rest of her staff as a student assistant coach. She attends practices to assist players with drills or do any extra work in the athletics offices.

Draxten said her new role is beneficial because she is interested in coaching in the future.

"I'm there to do whatever they need," she said. "I love basketball so much, I just don't know if I could give it up when I graduate. I want to be a part of it."

Follow DI women's basketball reporter Ben Wolfson on Twitter.


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