WALLA WALLA, Wash. – Four Whitman College seniors -- Garth Brandal for the men's team and Kristina Francis, Kelsey Krumdieck and Emily Shubin for the women's squad -- play their final home basketball games this weekend in Sherwood Center.
The Whitman teams host Puget Sound on Friday (6/8 p.m.) and Pacific Lutheran on Saturday (4/6 p.m.). The Whitman seniors will be honored during brief ceremonies prior to each of the Saturday games.
Here's a closer look at Whitman's four basketball-playing seniors:
Garth Brandal, a captain and 6-foot-3 guard, is averaging a career-high 9.4 points per game this season while shooting 50.4 percent from the floor. He scored a season-high 16 points last week at Lewis & Clark.
Brandal's start to his senior campaign was a slow one due to a preseason injury. He missed Whitman's first three games and then played limited minutes in the next four. In 12 Northwest Conference games, Brandal is averaging 10.8 points per game.
A two-year starter, Brandal averaged 8.4 points, 3.0 assists and 3.0 rebounds as a junior. His junior season included a memorable night against a run-and-gun University of Redlands, when he made 16 of 20 shots from the floor and scored a career-high 38 points. He just missed a triple-double that night with 14 assists and eight rebounds.
Brandal heads to this weekend with career numbers that include 500 points, 175 rebounds, 145 assists and 54 steals.
A graduate of Seattle's Shoreline Christian High School, Brandal is the son of Oyvind and Jeannette Brandal of Seattle. He is majoring in biochemistry, biophysics and molecular biology major with a minor in economics. After Whitman, he plans to attend medical school or work in biomedical research. He interned last summer with Dr. David Morris in the University of Washington Biochemistry Department, researching Fragile X Syndrome, which is the focus of his senior thesis. He has volunteered at two Seattle hospitals. He also plays varsity golf at Whitman.
Kristina Francis, the senior captain and 5-foot-7 shooting guard, is averaging 6.1 points, 2.8 assists and 2.7 rebounds this season. Her assist-to-turnover ratio (59 assists/24 turnovers) is excellent. She would be leading the Northwest Conference in that statistical category, in fact, if her assists-per-game number was slightly higher. Players must average 3.0 assists per game to be ranked in the assist-to-turnover ratio.
Francis ranks ninth in the NWC this season in both assists per game and 3-point field goal shooting. She is shooting 36.4 percent from long range, having made 28 of 77 her attempts.
A two-year starter, Francis averaged 5.8 points and 2.9 assists during her junior season, when she scored a career-high 26 points in an overtime victory over Corban College. She made four of her eight 3-point shots in that game while grabbing six rebounds, handing out three assists and making two steals.
Her career numbers include 479 points, 212 rebounds, 175 assists and 77 3-point baskets.
A graduate of Blaine (Wash.) High School, Francis is the daughter of Laurene and William Francis of Blaine. She is majoring in psychology and plans to pursue a post-graduate degree in business or intercollegiate sports management. She is co-president of Whitman's Student Athletic Advisory Council and a student representative on both the W Club, Whitman's athletic booster group, and the College Athletic Committee. She has been active in the Delta Gamma sorority and served as 2006 president of the Panhellic Council, the governing body for the Whitman sorority system.
Kelsey Krumdieck, a senior co-captain and 6-foot forward, is averaging a team-high 10.0 points per game this season as part of a very balanced Whitman offense. She is No. 11 in the NWC in field goal percentage and No. 12 in free throw shooting. She scored a season-high 22 points and picked off seven rebounds in a victory over Lewis & Clark last month.
A three-year starter, Krumdieck earned All-NWC Honorable Mention recognition as a junior, when she was fifth in the conference in scoring (12.2 ppg) and third in field goal shooting (51.3 percent). She also averaged 5.3 rebounds per game and was twice honored at the NWC Player of the Week.
Krumdieck 9.3 points per game as a sophomore. A knee injury limited her first season at Whitman, but she played in 19 games that winter and started six.
Krumdieck's career numbers include 854 points, 396 rebounds and 67 steals.
A graduate of San Diego's Rancho Bernardo High School, Krumdieck is the daughter of Julie and Kevin Krumdieck of San Diego, Calif. She is majoring in history at Whitman and plans to pursue post-graduate studies in the same field. She traveled to San Francisco last October for additional research on her honors thesis, which focuses on youth runaways and the counterculture during the 1967 Summer of Love in the Haight-Ashbury District. She has been active in her Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority, and she hopes to spend time after Whitman in London, England, working at a national museum.
Emily Shubin, a senior co-captain and 5-foot-10 forward, is shooting 50 percent from the floor while averaging 7.6 points and a team-high 7.9 rebounds per game. She ranks second in the NWC in offensive rebounding, fourth in rebounding overall, and fourth in field goal percentage. She has led Whitman in rebounding 18 times this season and has four double-doubles, one of which was a 14-point/15 rebound effort in a victory over Cascade College.
Playing primarily off the bench, Shubin also led Whitman in rebounding during her junior season, when she averaged 6.2 rebounds and 5.5 points. She transferred to Whitman for her sophomore season, which was limited to 16 games by an ankle injury.
Shubin's three-year career numbers, most of which were collected during the past two seasons, include 370 rebounds, 347 points and 76 assists.
A graduate of Bellevue (Wash.) High School, Shubin is the daughter of Jane and Greg Shubin of Bellevue. She is majoring in psychology and writing her senior thesis on factors contributing to effective preventative public health campaigns related to skin cancer. She assisted Whitman faculty member Brooke Vick with research last summer and fall on stigma and weight acceptance, and she interned two summers ago for the National Eating Disorders Association. An active member of her Delta Gamma sorority, Shubin plans to pursue a doctoral degree in physical therapy.
Shubin was recently named to the Academic All-District Second Team for District 8, which incorporates all NAIA and NCAA Div. II and Div. III schools in nine western states and British Columbia. The academic teams are sponsored by ESPN the Magazine and selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America.