On and off the court, Deno scores

Cassidy Deno, senior and guard for the PNW women’s basketball team, said she hasn’t stopped playing basketball since she started in the third grade.

Through basketball, Deno said she has learned how to work with others, to never give up and to always give 110 percent on and off the court.

Deno is ranked first on the team in total points (596), points per game (19.2), three-pointers made (76), three-point percentage (40), steals 51 rebounds per game and free throw percentage (88.4). She is also ranked fourth in free throw percentage in the overall NAIA.

Deno has also been a CCAC Player of the Week two times. She received her second honor for her performance against this November’s games against CCSJ and Ambrose.

Deno said she owes her accomplishments to the help of others and can’t imagine playing for any other school than PNW.

“I am very honored to have earned the variety of accomplishments I have while playing here. None of those would have been possible without each and every one of my teammates and coaches,” Deno said.

“My relationship that I have with my team is irreplaceable. I will never forget all the girls I’ve played with all four years. We have always had a very closely knitted team and I consider all of these girls my best friends.”

Katie Wampler, friend of Deno and teammate, said Deno is dedicated, hardworking and diligent.

Wampler and Deno met at a showcase four years ago and have maintained a close friendship since then.

“I don’t think Cassidy has changed since knowing her. She is a kind and hardworking individual and has continuously shown these attributes in the four years I have known her,” Wampler said.

Wampler said that Deno leads by example and is someone people look up to.

“Cassidy is our go-to shooter for the team. She is the leader on the floor and impacts our team by motivating us to work hard and give it our all at all times,” Wampler said.

Deno agreed with Wampler that she sees herself as a leader and said she has worked hard to maintain that role.

“I would say my role on the team is to be a leader, whether that is verbally or by example. I want to do whatever it takes for my team to be successful. My role could change game to game, but whatever it is I will do it. I have always tried to be a leader, even as a freshman,” Deno said.

“Cassidy is an all-around player. She rebounds very well, plays hard defense and leads the team in scoring. We would have a gap to fill if we did not have her on team,” Wampler said.

Deno is also a NAIA Third Team All-American, a CoSIDA Academic All-American, NAIA Scholar Athlete. She maintains a 3.78 GPA and has been on the Dean’s List and Honor Roll.

“Coach always emphasizes the importance of academics and says something about it almost every day at practice,” Deno said.

“It’s not always easy balancing school and basketball, but you learn how to manage your time and set priorities for yourself. This has taught me a number of skills that I will continue to use the rest of my life.”

Deno said that apart from her teammates’ support, her other major support system is her family.

“I get a lot of support from my family, especially my mom. She has only missed a few games my entire college career,” Deno said.

Deno is bittersweet and cannot believe this is her last year. She is also excited to see what her team will accomplish this season.

A member of Faculty Communication of Athletics, Deno said that her experience at PNW has been amazing.

Deno emphasized the one thing that has changed her in many ways: basketball.

“I have learned so much because of it and it will stay with me even when I am no longer playing,” Deno said.