To get court-ready, UTSA women’s basketball freshman guard Carlie Heineman puts on two socks, two shoes and two (or more) songs by English singer-songwriter Sam Smith.
“I always put on my left sock first, then my left ankle brace and left shoe and Sam Smith – I guess you could say that’s my ritual,” said Heineman after a Roadrunner victory at the UTSA Convocation Center.
“Sam Smith gets me hyped to play,” laughed Heineman. “When I’m walking over here, I listen to Sam Smith’s ‘Make It To Me’ – every day before practices and games.”
Considering Heineman’s stellar performance in UTSA’s exhibition contests, her pre-game and pre-practice ritual sure seems to work.
After defeating the McMurry War Hawks 69-43 in the first game of the season, UTSA beat the Howard Payne Yellow Jackets 95-40 on, Nov. 8.
Newcomer Heineman assisted the Roadrunners with both victories.
“The first game was kind of jittery,” said the San Antonio native, “but now we are moving well together, and hopefully this continues throughout the year.”
Heineman made her debut with eight points, two rebounds, a block and one steal in her 19 minutes of play against McMurry.
The freshman followed that with 16 points, six rebounds, one assist and one steal in her 24 minutes against Howard Payne.
After UTSA’s 55-point victory, she commented, “It’s not necessarily about the score; we just want to get better and grow as a team – and hopefully that includes wins.”
For Heineman, Convocation Center victories are close to home.
“I live here,” she joked, gesturing around her.
“The atmosphere and the girls are really great. We all get along well. I feel like I fit in – it’s just a really great place to play.”
Heineman was a graduate of Brennan High School on San Antonio’s north side. Heineman’s short drive home allows her parents and little sister to support her at UTSA games.
“I used to come and watch the games when I was little,” said Heineman at the Convocation Center. “And now I get to actually be on the floor – every time I come in here it’s surreal.”
After soaring through the exhibition games, UTSA prepares for a Texas-sized challenge.
The Roadrunners will travel to Austin to face the University of Texas Longhorns on Saturday, Nov. 15 at 2 p.m.