This Thursday will be the last time Alabama gets to play in front of the its home fans at Foster Auditorium. With this game comes senior night, the time of the year where the veterans of the program say goodbye to the home crowd.
This year’s seniors, Nikki Hegstetter and Khadijah Carter, will bid farewell to Foster Auditorium after one final game against the Tennessee Volunteers.
“It will be bittersweet,” Hegstetter said. “It is your last game, you have played for so long, and then it’s the last time here. It is going to be hard.”
Senior night comes with a flurry of emotion for both players, but Carter said she believes the night will be special and is excited to show her gratitude to the fan base.
“I just wanna go out there and give it all that I got,” she said. “I just want to be a big spark.”
Both players have had to transition into the leaders of the team. This year, with the low amount of upperclassman, the seniors have had to lead the team more than ever as the two helped their younger teammates learn what it means to play in the SEC.
Both Carter and Hegstetter have helped the program evolve since coach Kristy Curry took the job in 2013. Hegstetter was one of the young players that dealt with the coaching change, while Carter came into the program during Curry’s first year.
“This program means a lot,” Hegstetter said. “This program has changed me and has made me realize stuff about myself that I have never really even thought about before. It has made me a better person.”
The two senior’s time at the University has not been all about basketball. While it was a platform, the two have formed bonds and relationships that will last. Both seniors have learned to deal with many types of people by becoming close to their teammates, and those experiences are something coach Curry thinks is important.
“That is what we are trying to get all of these student to do, which is to win at the game of life,” Curry said. “I know every day I can see that we are trying to do that. These two will definitely be winners in the big game that matters the most.”
By spending the past three or four years at the University, the two have made their fare share of memories to carry with them. The two have not only developed as basketball players, but have used the program to grow as people.
Carter, in particular, expressed how playing basketball made her tackle life with more confidence.
“I have learned that I can do things that people said that I couldn’t,” she said. “People doubted me and I have made it this far.”
Even though the night is special for personal reasons, the two are still going into the game with the same mentality as any game. Alabama, through all the emotion, still has a tough opponent to play as Tennessee comes into Foster Auditorium.
The team lost its previous match up with the Lady Volunteers, falling 70-42 and it will be looking to send the seniors out with a win at home.
“A win would make it the best night ever,” Hegstetter said.
Source:: The Crimson White Sports