It is important for us to honor and recognize the past as we move forward and our new “Where Are They Now” series is a great way to connect with our alumni and keep them involved in our program and community. We have had some truly amazing women go through this program who are now doing great things. It’s terrific to have these opportunities for our current players to hear from women who once walked in their shoes and have accomplished their dreams. It takes a village and every player both current and former is part of our village.
I am very excited to kick off “Where Are They Now” with Vicky Baker, a basketball and volleyball standout from 1985 to 1989.
- Courtney Locke
What is one of your favorite highlights from your time playing?
I have so many good memories from my time there. Many of the friends I made were lifelong friends that I still keep in touch with today. We worked hard both on and off the court, but we had fun. Crazy practice drills; classes together; driving to games in the team van; studying for classes by flashlight on the way home. There were no iPads or smart phones back then. When we traveled, we talked, played cards, and anything we could think of together.
To get us psyched up for a big game, our coach would have us choose a name of another player out of a hat to receive a “Fire-up” gift we made. Some of those were pretty elaborate creations or songs or skits. It was a great way to get to know your teammates and bring us all closer.
What is one of your favorite team highlight?
Probably one of the best things our basketball team did together was helping LeeAnn DeYoung become the first woman to score over 2000 career points and over 50 just in one game. Even though that seems like an individual achievement, it’s actually a team effort to get your high percentage scorer the ball at the right time. We all worked together to make it happen. A couple years later, another teammate named Lynn Hevezi had her own 50-point game and we all helped make it happen.
We also had the chance to play a game at the Butler Field House at Butler University. That is the court where the movie Hoosiers was filmed. It was crazy to be playing ball on that floor.
What is one of your favorite personal achievements?
I came in the game during the first round of the district playoffs my senior year with three seconds left in a tie game. I was fouled on a rebound and I went to the line to make both free throws to put us ahead. Time expired and we advanced to the next round of the playoffs. It’s that moment you always pretend will happen when you're practicing dozens and dozens of free throws. I can’t say that I ‘won’ the game. I just got those last two most exciting points of the game.
What did you go on to do after graduating?
I went on to medical school at University of Wisconsin-Madison and then moved north to Wausau, WI to do my family medicine residency. I fell in love with the community and have been here ever since. My first job was at the community health center in town providing medical services to non-insured and under-insured patients. Now I work at the Marshfield Clinic. I am a clinic-based family medicine provider now, but originally I did it all – clinic, hospital, and delivered babies. I am active in my church and have gone on several mission trips to countries all over the world providing medical services and teaching medicine to local providers. Five years ago, I felt a calling to become a parent and adopted a little boy from China, followed two years later by a little girl. Now I am a single mom of two crazy kids, a part-time doctor, and a volunteer youth leader at church. I don’t have much time or stamina for basketball, but my daughter has recently shown an interest in learning to play.
What advice would you give players at PNW?
Work hard and give it your all in practice and on the court, but be careful not to turn the game into an idol. Don’t leave the court with any regrets and be the best team player you can be. In the end, it will be the journey with your teammates who will become your lifelong friends that matters most. Put down the smartphone on trips, take out the earbuds, and look your friend in the eye. Share their joys and struggles face-to-face. Make memories that will last a lifetime and you won’t be disappointed.