Kasidy Caldwell (standing in the picture above) is a 5-foot-10 senior forward and in her second varsity season. She comes off the bench, averages a few minutes a game, and Loyola head coach Jeremy Schoenecker has called her an invaluable member of the team.

Maroon & Gold: You played only your third home game of the season last week, a 44-35 win over Fenwick on Thursday. The team only has three more. How important is it to play in front of your fans?

Kasidy Caldwell: There was a really good feel in the gym for that game, a lot of energy. It’s easy to feed off of that. But we do a good job of creating our own energy on the road, too. I don’t think it’s been a bad thing that we play so many road games.

M&G: What was your role on the team last season? How has it evolved now that you are a senior?

KC: Last year, I had a big role on the bench. I knew I was going to play much, and I really had to earn my minutes. But I wanted to bring intensity and energy to the bench. During practices, I was on the scout team, I would rebound for our shooters. I did the little things that needed to be done. Because of how hard I worked last year, I have more of a leadership role this year. I feel like I am a link between the girls who play a lot and the ones who don’t. It’s important to have that unity.

M&G: What sort of things do you do while on the bench?

KC: I make sure everybody is cheering and focused on the game. I am a person who players can talk to about a certain play or if they need to understand something. I am always pushing people. I try to be a beacon of effort. I also want to make sure everybody is having fun. I keep that in the forefront.

M&G: What are your strengths as a player?

KC: I am someone who is willing to do the little things, like boxing out, rebounding, making the good pass, setting a screen. Just knowing the plays. I want to work hard and set a good example. I hope players see the way I play and mimic that. But I have amazing teammates who make me want to work hard for them.

M&G: What is the most enjoyable thing for you to do on the court?

KC: It’s hard to choose a favorite. I would say taking a charge or setting a good screen. Some people might think those things are minor, but when you add them up over the course of a game, they make a big difference.

M&G: What are some of your interests outside of basketball?

KC: I am doing Arrupe in the spring. It’s a service program at Loyola. It’s once a week, and you go to different locations and help people out. You might go to a school and tutor kids or go to a nursing home. I am looking forward to the experience. Service is something I admire about Loyola. I also play the acoustic guitar. My dad is big into music, and it’s something he passed on to me. If I am having a rough day, I pick it up and starting playing. It takes my mind off of things.

Photo credit: Melissa Krein/Loyola