Over the course of ISU’s history, there have been some phenomenal athletes who have attended the university. These Sycamores not only balance excelling in their sport, but also their area of study. Rhagen Smith, a senior nursing major and forward for the women’s basketball team, has accomplished both tasks and plans to use the skills she’s learned as a result in her future career.
Smith has played basketball since she was four years old in her hometown YMCA league.
“My mom was my inspiration in playing basketball,” Smith said. “She coached from the time I started playing until the eighth grade.”
As Smith’s skills at ISU progressed, so did the bonds she made with other players and coaches.
“I have great relationships with my teammates and coaches. Each of them brings something different to the table,” Smith said.
The coaches of the ISU women’s basketball team not only bring their knowledge of the game to the team, but also unique personalities that make the experience better, she said.
“I have an extremely trusting relationship with Head Coach Joey Wells,” Smith said. “Assistant Coach Josh Keister is the comedian of the group. Coach Janet Eaton is so loving and always exudes positive energy. And last but not least, coach Jenna Smith. She has been such a huge blessing as she has been such a fantastic mentor for me. We played the same position in college, so I lean on her for a lot of tips and advice when it comes to post play.”
Smith’s teammates have also played a crucial role in developing her into the player she is today.
“My teammates are my sisters,” Smith said. “I love each and every one of them in their own unique way. My roommate Regan Wentland is someone I know I’ll be close with for life.”
Even with her teammates and coaches at her side, Smith still had obstacles to overcome during her career.
“The hardest hurdle I have had to overcome is being a nursing student and an athlete,” Smith said. “Nursing school is tough and takes up a lot of time with assignments, studying and clinical hours.”
Besides being a student-athlete and nursing major, Smith is also the vice president of the Student Athletic Advisory Committee at Indiana State and the female athlete that represents ISU at the Missouri Valley Conference meetings.
“Through being involved in SAAC I got the opportunity to represent the entire Missouri Valley Conference by attending the annual NCAA Student Leadership Forum in April of my sophomore year,” Smith said.
Smith’s career here at ISU has come to an end, but she has big plans for her future. “I have been offered and accepted a nursing position at Union Hospital, Terre Haute, in the Intensive Care Unit,” Smith said.
Smith has some final thoughts to share with the rest of ISU’s students regarding her time here at ISU.
“Take advantage of every moment in your college career,” Smith said. “Get involved in other organizations. Get to know the faculty and staff, other athletes and students that aren’t athletes. Work hard, manage your time wisely and make lots of memories. I am so thankful that I was blessed with the opportunity to play basketball and earn my degree in nursing at Indiana State University. I will always be proud to be a Tree!”