Eve Zelinger Talks Dartmouth Women's Basketball
This story was featured in the Holy Cross (Jan. 3) game program
During the Dartmouth women's basketball team's trip to Florida earlier this season, junior guard Eve Zelinger (Palo Alto, Calif.) reflected back on the state of the Dartmouth women's basketball team and summed it up with these words, "Dartmouth women's basketball is on the rise"
Zelinger, who has seen action in 50 career games and is averaging 2.5 points, counts her favorite moments as getting to know her teammates.
"My favorite series of moments have been getting to know my teammates, says Zelinger. "Bonding with them and getting to know them over the course of the season. We're already so close and it's been really fun getting to spend time with people you enjoy being with, especially this year. We have a solid group and we really all enjoy each other."
Zelinger, one of just three upperclassmen for the Big Green, has been tasked, along with fellow upperclassmen Faziah Steen (Detroit, Mich.) and Nicola Zimmer, (Chevy Chase, Md.) with bringing a group of seven freshmen and four sophomores together both on and off the court.
The California native takes that very seriously and works really hard to make the underclassmen feel like they are a part of the team both on and off the court.
"It's a fun group," said Zelinger. "Faziah, Nicola and I are all really close, in fact, we all live on the same floor and we have been able to spend a lot of time together. As far as the underclassmen, they are just a great group and we're very fortunate to be able to play together."
During the preseason, Zelinger and her fellow upperclassmen paired off with the "littles" and showed them around Hanover, with stops at Hanover staples, Lou's, Shyrl's Diner and Ice Cream Fore You. Just one example of how Zelinger, along with the rest of the veterans, have taken on leadership roles with the Big Green's young team.
"When you have such a large group it's important that everyone feels included and we have really tried hard to incorporate everyone into the family, so to speak."
When looking back on her collegiate career, Zelinger will count Dartmouth's trip to California during her sophomore season as one of the highlights.
"Without a doubt, playing in California in front of all my friends and family was great and something you don't get to do much at this level," said Zelinger. "I will say that this year's trip to Florida was pretty sweet too, I think it might have something to do with the warm weather."
Despite the current record, Zelinger believes that the Big Green squad is coming together and has it's best basketball ahead.
"Our current record may not show it, but we are coming together and this team is very different from the past two season on the floor and even off the floor. We move better, the flow is better and the chemistry is better and I think that it's going to start showing up in the win-loss column very soon."
The past two seasons Dartmouth has been unlucky in the win-loss category, but Zelinger thinks this group can be the group to change that.
"We haven't had the best records the last two seasons, but I believe that we can turn that around with this group. We all really enjoy each other and I believe that this program is on the rise."
Zelinger, who has had the pleasure of having games on her birthday the last two seasons, is again looking forward to taking on three-time Ivy League champion, Princeton, at Leede Arena on her birthday this season.
"I'm really looking forward to that game," said Zelinger. "It's my birthday and it will be Senior Day for Faziah. It should be a fun weekend." Last season, Zelinger posted a career-high 16 points in a Big Green win over Columbia, the day after her birthday!
If you know anything about Eve Zelinger, you know that there are two things that she is big on, anything involving crime and Jelly Belly sports beans!
In fact, Zelinger hopes to turn her fascination with crime into a career. During her high school days she was a Palo Alto Youth explorer, tagging along with the Palo Alto Police Department and even doing a few ride-a-longs and sting operations. She's also interested in the FBI and anything related to criminal justice. As for the sports Jelly Bellies, they can be found in her game bag. She always likes to eat a few of the blue ones before a game for a little burst of energy.
No matter what she's doing on the court or off the court, Zelinger does it with a smile and puts 100 percent into whatever it is she is doing. She lives her life based on the following quote, "Hard work beats talent, when talent doesn't work hard."
"I've taken this to heart," said Zelinger "And I try to give my best effort both on and off the court, I owe it to myself, my teammates and coaches."