Senette signs with Judson Christian (Basketball)

June 14, 2010
Karen Senette

Raised on ‘Pistol’ Pete Maravich tapes, Karen Senette learned the game of basketball by watching one of the all-time greats. She even uses ‘Lil Pistol’ as her e-mail handle.

So it’s no surprise she plays with a little flair.

“I like to shoot and if the defense gives me any space I like to take advantage of that,” Senette told me. “I like to drive and draw fouls.”

At 5-foot-5, the former Soldotna High School guard plays larger than her stature. The all-state playmaker averaged 15 points and five assists in her senior season at SoHi. She also played on a select team with the Alaska Youth Basketball Association, traveling to tournaments across the Lower 48.

Now she’s taking her game to Judson University Christian College in Illinois. The NAIA school participates in the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference.

“Judson was a good fit for me,” she said. “It is a very good school and I like the small campus it provided because I think it will help me become more involved. I am also really excited to be near a big city like Chicago.”

Senette (3.75 GPA) doesn’t know her major yet, but you can bet she will study her Pistol Pete tapes.

“I love the old ball-handling videos Pistol has,” she said. “My family has them all on VHS and I have definitely been known to watch those for drills. They are classic.”

Senette has a college-ready game thanks to her high school coach, Molly Tuter, a former WNBA player, and her club coach, Dorena Bingham, a former East High coach who was an assistant at the 2010 McDonald’s All-American Game. Together, they have made her the player she is today.

“Molly Tuter was a big influence in my basketball development,” she said. “I went to her camps every summer for about four years and got to play against high school and college players from a young age. She let me know that my desire to play college basketball was different and that it was going to take a lot of work. She motivated me so much and made me realize my love for the game.

“Bing gave me the opportunity to play in front of college coaches and some of the best players in the country. She’s obviously an amazing coach and she pushed me to become a better player, but she is an even greater role model and all the time she devotes to the girls on the team is amazing and often goes unnoticed. I know I wouldn’t have this offer at Judson without her.”

She is eager to help out a program that went 9-18 last season.

“I’m ready to work hard and hopefully win some games,” she said.

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