Kate Foultz, a sports communication major, is the leading scorer for the women’s basketball team this year after turning her struggle with injury into a breakout season.
“She also had some physical issues back in high school, then a little bit her freshman year, and I think that held her back a little bit,” head coach Bill Gould said. “While her improvement has been tremendous, I’m not really surprised at all because I knew she was a very good player so she’s now back, I think, to where she should be and I thought she could be.”
Foultz leads the team with 206 points so far.
Foultz tore her ACL in senior year of high school and learned she had rheumatoid arthritis before arriving at Emerson.
“It’s hard to play basketball with a torn ACL and arthritis. So I was like, ‘this is a lot,’” Foultz said. “Freshman season was definitely a rough time. It was just a lot of finding out how to physically adjust to the game and finding out what my own personal body can handle.”
While these injuries held her back freshman year, the change in her play has not gone unnoticed by her teammates.
“We knew when we recruited her my sophomore year, we [wanted] Kate on our team, senior Maya Savino, the team’s captain, said. “She has that agility, she’s athletic. We could put her anywhere, inside or out, and she’s going to do well there.”
Foultz said adjusting to college-level basketball took some time.
“You leave high school being one the best players on your team, and then in college everyone was the best player on their team,” Foultz said. “So it’s a lot of adjusting to the pace of the game and knowing that even if a team is bad, they’re all at least collegiate athletes who can play basketball.”
Foultz played high school basketball at Newbury Park High in Thousand Oaks, California with teammates who now play for Vanderbilt University and Gonzaga University. She also played for the AAU team West Coast Premier, which she said was a challenging basketball experience.
While the NEWMAC is a tougher league than high school, Foultz feels that she hit her stride this year with her performance. Aside from recovering from injuries, Foultz said she prepared for this year by adopting a better outlook on the game and remembering that she is a good basketball player.
Early opportunities helped lead to Foultz’s high scoring season. Foultz said injuries to other players early in the season allowed her to play more.
“I think I was able to just have the ball in my hands a lot more and have opportunities for myself where I was able to score, and it helped build my confidence,” Foultz said.
That confidence resulted in her leading the team in her breakout season. Her 206 points place her 16th in the NEWMAC for scoring, and she’s 21st in field goal percentage, and 17th in three-point shooting percentage.
This season, Foultz has nine double-digit scoring games, including four with 18 points or more. In her highest scoring game this season against Coast Guard on Dec. 2, she scored 20 points.
“She’s just such a threat from the perimeter, she’s a smart player, and her defense just keeps getting better and better,” Gould said. “Overall I think she’s just having a great, great season.”
Recently, Foultz said she is in a shooting slump. Her offensive production has been down, scoring only five against Springfield College, six against Wheaton College, and seven against the United States Coast Guard Academy in the last three games. Foultz said she can get out the slump, however.
“I’m gonna keep shooting and hopefully those shots go in,” Foultz said. “Our team is big on ‘shooters shoot to get hot and shooters shoot to stay hot.’”
Off the court, Foultz studies sports communication and hopes to find a career she enjoys in the field. While she feels unsure about what exactly she wants to do, she has some ideas.
“Something combining [public relations], writing, working with teams or athletes, or social media,” Foultz said.
Foultz said she might enjoy ghostwriting for athletes in The Players’ Tribune.
While she studies sports communication now, the broadcast journalism program at Emerson initially attracted her to the school. Having her twin sister attend Emerson also helped Foultz decide to come to Emerson.
“We both have very independent lives here. We’re by no means attached to the hip,” Foultz said. “We’re roommates too so it made that process a lot easier and it’s nice having her, especially since the rest of my family is on the West Coast.”
The women’s basketball team’s next game is on Wednesday on the road against Clark University at 7 p.m.