Women’s basketball: Rombach balances basketball and grad school

By Chuckie Maggio @chuckiemaggio

The term “student-athlete” has been cheapened for decades, with academic fraud and amateurism scandals galore. However, the St. Bonaventure women’s basketball team is doing its part in the classroom, with a 3.41 team grade-point average that ranked 23rd in Division I basketball. Four SBU women’s players (two past, two present) made July’s Atlantic 10 Commissioner’s Honor roll for the spring 2015 semester by carrying a 3.5 GPA or higher, including Ottawa, Ill. native Kelcie Rombach.

Rombach’s fourth season for the brown and white will be as a graduate student after she completed her undergraduate degree in English a year early and is currently working on a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree. Rombach’s teammate, Emily Michael, is also working on her MBA after earning her undergrad degree in management last year.

“It’s rare,” Rombach acknowledged. “I’m proud of being able to finish my degree in three years and start working on my Master’s.

“I’m not exactly sure what I want to do after school yet. There are so many ways you can go with an MBA.”

On the court, Rombach’s primary roles are to play tough defense and knock down shots. In the exhibition game last Saturday against Edinboro, she played 15 minutes, more floor action than she saw in a single game last season, where her high was 14 in a game against Toledo. She scored 11 points on four-of-six shooting in that Toledo game, a performance that showcased her potential to produce offensively even when surrounded by other talented guards like Nyla Rueter, Mariah Ruff and Imani Outlaw.

Despite her ability to shoot the ball and chip in on both sides of the court, Rombach recognizes that her on-court performance alone will not be enough this season. There are six underclassmen on this team that will seek upper class guidance in order for the team to have a successful season, and the 5-foot-11 guard will do her part to help.

“I just want to help the younger players and make sure they have a good season,” said Rombach. “I need to be a leader and do my best to help us win.”

There is a lot of hype surrounding the team this year, which is to be expected since on paper, the group is loaded; all 12 players played at least nine minutes in the exhibition, each grabbing at least one rebound and getting their feet wet. For Rombach, who has seen both success and struggle in her Bonaventure career, the goal is clear.

“We want to win an Atlantic 10 championship.”

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