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Calli Delsman succeeds at MSU

Submitted Photo Minot State University senior Calli Delsman sports the number 12 jersey, having been on the team since her freshman year.

Basketball has been a part of Calli Delsman’s life for 16 years, getting her love of the game from both of her parents. In fact, she showed a level of skill that Minot State University wanted to have on their team.

Delsman is originally from Waukesha, Wis., and started playing recreation basketball at the young age of five. Her mother played basketball in high school and her father played in college, so it’s something like a family tradition. Her older and younger siblings play, as well.

As Delsman went through school, she also played soccer, softball and volleyball, but her love for those never came close to what she felt for basketball.

Around third or fourth grade, she started playing for her school team. During the off-season, she participated in one season with her church, moving up to playing in the YMCA. She said she preferred to play in the YMCA league over her church because “it was a little more competitive and realistic.”

Upon her graduation from high school, she began to scout out colleges to seek her degree in broadcasting professional communications with a focus in public relations and journalism.

“My dream job is to be a public relations specialist for a sports team,” Delsman said, “but I’m also kind of interested in working for a non-profit, as well.”

She really liked the class and campus size of MSU so that was the major factor in her choice of where to attend college. The icing on the cake, though, was being offered a full basketball scholarship.

Her favorite part about playing basketball is the long-lasting relationships she has formed with her former and present teammates. Delsman said she is still in regular contact with the people she played basketball with before she graduated high school.

“One thing I want to focus on is being able to help my teammates,” she said. “Now that I’m a senior and I’ve been here for three years, I’ve been through pretty much anything they can experience. I want to be able to help them if they do have any issues or are struggling, that they can come to me and I can help them with anything they’re struggling with.”

In that way, she has really stepped up and taken the responsibility of being a mentor. Being a student athlete also puts a lot of pressure on Delsman, between going to practice, games, attending class, getting homework done, and having enough time to sleep and eat.

“What people don’t necessarily know about being a student athlete is all of us are grateful to be able to play, and a lot of people aren’t (playing) for the same reasons,” she continued. “Obviously, some people do want to go play at that next level and that’s their ultimate goal. Others like me, for example. Mostly I’m just here to be able to get a good education to help me further my career.”

She started the fall of this year as a senior. Unfortunately, COVID-19 has caused MSU to push back or even cancel the fall sports.

Delsman mentioned that their first practice was originally supposed to be on Oct. 15, but it was pushed back to Nov. 27. In turn, the competition dates were pushed back from November to January of 2021.

If the basketball season is canceled entirely, she will be able to stay an extra year at MSU to be able to play her four years of basketball. The 2019-2020 season was cut short right as they were supposed to start their national tournament, which would have been started in March.

She does have a plan as to what she wants to do if she has to stay another year. Both Delsman and her boyfriend play basketball for MSU, and her boyfriend’s goal is to play in a smaller professional league, who has a friend that plays for a pro team in Spain. The couple hasn’t talked about it too much, but if an opportunity comes up for her boyfriend in a different country, she would want to go with him and experience what the world has to offer.

Just in case they end up going somewhere that Spanish is the dominant language, Delsman said she is planning to take some Spanish courses during the upcoming spring semester to be prepared. On top of that, she said she has Hispanic heritage that she wants to learn more about.

Basketball has been her entire life for so long that she said she is not quite sure if she wants to continue playing after she graduates from college. For now, she is focusing on being the best student and the best athlete that she can be.

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