Freshman Look To Make an Impact For Colorado Women's Basketball

Ron KnabenbauerCorrespondent INovember 24, 2008

(Image of Colorado Freshman Julie Seabrook)

The CU women’s basketball program has a bright future, thanks in part to their two freshmen who have joined the squad this season in Alyssa Fressle and Julie Seabrook.

“They’re a breath of fresh air, they’ve got good energy, and they got a lot of life to them,” said women’s head coach Kathy McConnell-Miller.

“They’re really positive every day in practice, they’re two of our hardest workers, and they both bring very different things to the table. They’re a very fun freshman class and both are going to contribute tremendously to this program.”

The two freshmen are really good friends, and even when they leave the basketball court, they’re never too far apart, as both Alyssa and Julie are roommates.

“She’s a great roommate, she’s hilarious, we get along really well, I think,” said a laughing Seabrook about Alyssa. “I think it’s cool that she’s from Colorado because she can show me the boundaries of the state and she knows more places than I do.”

Though these two women live together, they couldn’t have come from two different backgrounds as Fressle comes from Highlands Ranch, Colorado, where she led her high school team to three straight Class 5A State Championships, while Seabrook comes from North Vancouver, Canada, where she spent her senior year in Hamilton training at the National Elite Development Academy (NEDA).

NEDA selects 12 girls each year throughout Canada who go to high school in the Hamilton community in the morning but then practice and work on basketball for the rest of the day.

Seabrook said she wished she could have played for her old high school in her senior year but made the journey to eastern Canada to develop more as a player.

“I definitely missed playing with my teammates in high school, it was such a fun time, and I really missed them,” Seabrook said. “I wish I could have played with them my senior year but for me to develop as a player, I think it was a better choice for me to go to NEDA and play with some of the best players in Canada.”

The six-foot-three forward also has some international experience, as she played in Buenos Aires, Argentina last summer at the 2008 FIBA Americas U18 Championship for Women.

At the tournament, Seabrook led the Canadian team to a 4-1 record with their only loss coming to the U.S. and helped advance Canada to the World Championships this summer in Thailand.

“It was a good experience,” Seabrook said. “We only lost to the states, which I think is really good and Canada Basketball is pretty happy with our progress.”

Fressle on the other hand, had a dominating high school career not only winning those three state championships, but also nabbing the 2008 Colorado Player of the Year, the 2008 Colorado Gatorade Player of the Year, and was nominated to the McDonald’s All-American team.

Though she grew up just down the road in Highlands Ranch, Fressle said she thought she would go out-of-state for college. That was until she visited CU.

“Growing up I kind of wanted to get out of Colorado,” Fressle said. “I never really realized what Boulder and Colorado had to offer until I took my visit, and I ended up just falling in love with the place, the school, and everything it had to offer.”

Though the five-foot-ten guard has had some great experiences on campus, she said her best so far this semester has been with the basketball team.

“Definitely basketball is the best part of being in college so far,” said Fressle. “Being with your teammates, growing on the basketball floor as well as off the floor, and developing that chemistry has been a good time.”

However, Fressle admits that the hardest part about transitioning from high school to college is all the freedom you get.

“You don’t have someone else telling you necessarily what to do all the time so you have to be the one to be like I need to get sleep or I need to sit down and do this homework, because you’re ultimately responsible for school, basketball, and everything else,” Fressle said.

Outside of basketball, Alyssa likes to have a good time with friends, while Julie enjoys singing and hopes to join a choir when she gets some extra time.

However, both freshmen do agree on one thing, playing the video game Rock Band.

“Oh yeah, we’re awesome,” Fressle said.

Seabrook added that they both excel in different instruments in the game.

“Alyssa plays the drums while I play guitar,” Seabrook said.

Though these two freshmen come from two different backgrounds from two different countries, it seems like the future of CU women’s basketball is in good hands.

Something that McConnell-Miller also agrees with.

“The expectations are great, every time we put them on the floor we know what they can accomplish, and there is a need for both of them in this program right now,” McConnell-Miller said. “Every single game and every night out we’re going to turn to those two for help and be an impact for this team.”