March 1, 2001
By HELEN ALLRICH
On the basketball court she may look weak and small, but senior Kim Sorenson plays nothing but a big game. Starting at the guard position, Sorenson has proven to be a crucial member of the women's basketball team this season. However, her career as a Bronco will soon be over as she nears the end of her senior year. Yet Sorenson and the Broncos hope that with an at-large berth in the NCAA tournament, the end to the senior's career will be delayed a little longer.
"She is one of our unsung heroes," Assistant Coach Jeff Dow said. "She is one of our best defenders and a very crafty player. We have her guard the other team's best shooter."
Not only does she play excellent defense, but Sorenson is also an outstanding three-point shooter. This season she has made 28 three-pointers out of an attempted 79 with an average of 6.8 points per game.
She is a hustler too. For being smaller than most of the players she guards, Sorenson has had to work twice as hard to get the ball. Diving on the floor has become her specialty.
"We joke a lot about how she's always falling down," junior guard Caroline Gruening said. "That's just the way she hustles."
For this reason, Sorenson sports her trusty black kneepads. They may be lucky, unlike her white pair. She started wearing them in the eighth grade and has had the same pair since high school. "The one time I didn't wear them my knees got all bruised," Sorenson said. "After awhile my dad made sure I wore them."
Besides her kneepads and fighting on the floor, one cannot help but notice Sorenson's unique style of shooting. At the free throw line she bounces the ball a few times, stands on the tips of her toes and sends the ball straight up toward the rafters. The sky-high arch mesmerizes the crowd.
"Everywhere we go people wonder about her high arch," senior Annie Garrison said. "When we were in Illinois the radio guys were so amazed by it. That's all they talked about!"
Sorenson has been forever dedicated to playing basketball. She grew up in Washington as a quiet, shy girl and played basketball with her dad and brother. At the early age of five, she started throwing the ball up at the hoop.
"I used to come home early to play with them," said Shawn Sorenson, Kim's father. "It was a great way for me and Kim to communicate and a great place to get to know each other." Matt Sorenson, Kim's brother, plays baseball at the University of Puget Sound and remembers playing sports with Kim when they were younger as well.
"We used to play one-on-one with each other everyday," he said. "She used to beat me, but then I got bigger and stronger. But she can shoot way better. Overall, she is a better player."
By the time she reached Eastlake High School in Redmond, Wash., Sorenson's parents thought she might make it to the college level. After a successful high school career, all her dedication and hard work paid off when she received a scholarship to play for Santa Clara.
"The goal was not a scholarship," Shawn Sorenson said. "We did it because it was something we could do together."
Her parents have supported Sorenson throughout her life, appearing at all of her high school games and many of her college games.
"We love to watch her play," said Lori Sorenson, Kim's mother. "We even went to Europe with the team, which was fun."
"Fun" is a word that many use to describe Sorenson. Her eclectic sense of humor and urge to giggle make her an enjoyable person to be around. When she is not on the court, Sorenson loves to do "normal" college activities such as going to movies, parties and spending time with her boyfriend Mark.
"She knows what she wants and she is opinionated," said Mark Faust, Kim's boyfriend and a 1999 graduate from Santa Clara. "But deep down inside she knows what's right and is a very nice person."
Yet Sorenson still has some odd sides to her. She has developed an unique eating habit that began in high school.
"I'm a really picky eater," Sorenson said.
Sorenson's roommate agrees.
"She eats like a bird," said Colleen Eadie, Kim's current roommate. "She just snacks a lot."
After graduation Sorenson hopes to get a job in marketing management and one day dreams of being a wedding planner. As for basketball, she hopes to one day coach a high school team with her dad. Kneepads will be a must.