Getting the job ]done for the team

By Brian Hayes

For three years they have done the little things that make life a little easier for both NIU head coach Jane Albright-Dieterle and the women’s basketball team.

Whether it’s getting a water bottle or a towel, being an extra body in practice to help with a drill or setting up the practice equipment, team managers Tiffany Meadows and Tennea Collier do not mind doing any of the little things. In fact, they love it.

“I love my job,” said Meadows, a special education major from Sycamore High School. “You get the benefits of being a player, and you don’t have to sweat as much.”

“It’s very fun,” said Collier, a human and family resources major from Chicago’s Lindbloom Technical High School. “The girls are fun and silly, and we help keep them together.”

During practice, the two work together with equipment and with the players in various drills. In game situations, you will find Meadows on the bench with towels and water, and Collier in the stands videotaping the action on the floor.

“We make sure that there is a ball available at all times during practice,” said Meadows. “That is the definition of our job.

“(At games) I have the best seat in the house. It used to be difficult to get the water out to them in the timeout. They (the players) are very demanding. But I have a system now.”

“Our job is very much behind the scenes,” said Collier. “We are helping both the players and the coaches, and you have to like the people because we deal with all of it.”

They both expressed how well they get along with everyone and how much of a ‘family-type’ atmosphere exists among the team

They are also in full agreement as to the highlight of their three-year association with the program—the NCAA Tournament.

“One of the best feelings,” said Collier. “We gave as much support as we could.”

“”There is nothing like that feeling of having that sticker (NCAA Tournament Floor Pass) on you,” Meadows said. “There is security right up to the court, and if you do not have that sticker, you cannot go anywhere.”

There’s a long season ahead but maybe one more sticker might just be there at year’s end.