WALLA WALLA, Wash. -- Determined and talented. Resourceful and graceful. Intelligent, kind and compassionate.

Kim Evanger Raney came to Whitman College after a stellar prep basketball career at Issaquah (Wash.) High School, where she was the 1998 class valedictorian and averaged 18.2 points per game during her senior season. She capped that season by earning Class 3A Most Valuable Player honors in the KingCo Conference.

Whitman graduation: Kim surrounded by parents
Heidi & Marc Evanger and siblings David & Kaley.

Kim, a 5-foot-10 forward, enjoyed a fine four-year basketball career at Whitman despite a series of chronic leg injuries.

She led Whitman in rebounding in each of her four seasons, collecting a total of 531 rebounds while scoring 593 points. Her career totals also include 132 steals and 42 blocked shots.

As Kim began her senior season in the fall of 2001, Michelle Ferenz arrived on the Whitman campus for her first season as coach of the women's team. Ferenz remembers Kim as the "toughest competitor" and leader of that year's team.

"Kim had suffered multiple knee injuries, and by the time she was a senior she was playing in a lot of pain," Ferenz said. "But she never complained and never wavered in her commitment to the team and her love for the game. She just accepted the situation and had a very good senior season.

"Kim was also an exceptional student," Ferenz added. "It was not uncommon for a professor to stop me on campus knowing that I was her coach and comment on how much they enjoyed having her in class."

Kim and husband Patrick Raney

Ferenz treasures her many memories of Kim. "She embraced life, and she had a great sense of humor. She always had something positive and usually funny to say. It is hard to put into words what a wonderful person Kim was and how much she is missed."

"In my first season as a college coach, she was a blessing, a true leader who made her teammates better on and off the court," Ferenz said.

"She epitomized the type of player and person I needed to build a winning program at Whitman. In that way, she continues to influence my recruiting and coaching each and every day."

Cathy Crosslin, who played basketball at Whitman (graduating in 1989), coached Kim in her first two college seasons, and for many years prior to that as coach of a girls select team in the Seattle area.

"I had the honor of coaching and mentoring Kim throughout her lifetime – I think she was 12 when we first met," Crosslin said during Kim’s memorial service, which attracted about 1,500 people to the Crossroads Bible Church in Bellevue, Wash. "I watched her grow into a confident, intelligent and beautiful woman, consumed with a passion for life."

Kim and Ernie, the black lab
she shared with husband Patrick.

"Kim glowed with passion and faith," Crosslin said. "She was radiant and drew people to her. Many people call her a rock – but she really was more like a magnet.

"Kim drew all types of people to her, and then truly blessed them with her presence because nothing Kim ever did was about her; it was about God and the person that God wanted her to become. People felt best about themselves when they were around Kim."

Crosslin also described Kim as "astoundingly beautiful yet amazingly humble. Her beauty flowed from within, and when you looked in her eyes you could see that she was woman filled with love."

As a player, Kim was both competitive and fun-loving, Crosslin said. "She was one of my most serious players, yet by far the goofiest," Crosslin said. "I cannot tell you how many times I tried to remain serious during practices and games, only to burst out in laughter at one of her antics."

Kim’s serious side showed most often during games.

"She was a fierce competitor, the ultimate team player, and an example to all of what it means to be dedicated, committed and loyal," Crosslin said.

"Kim played through all kinds of pain and never complained. At one time her sternum was cracked during a close game, and she drilled me with those intense, beautiful blue eyes and demanded that I put her back into the game ... I didn’t do it – but I won’t lie – I was tempted."

High standards were part of Kim's approach to basketball and life in general, Crosslin said.

New friend: foreign study
in Australia, junior year

"Kim refused to accept anything but the best from herself," Crosslin said.

"She came to me on more than one occasion to ask that I yell at her more during practice and games. Unfortunately, though Kim could handle it, it scared the other players.

"She wanted me to continue to raise my expectations so that she would raise her performance. What Kim doesn’t know, is that by knowing her, I raised my expectations of myself as a woman and as a friend."

To view a slide show video of Kim,

please visit the website below:

www.kimevangerraneyfoundation.org