The season may have ended for the ORU women’s basketball senior trio, but their story isn’t over.
However, the next step differs depending on which senior you ask. Kevi Luper, Jaci Bigham and Savanna Buck are all graduating in May.
Luper will be the only one of the three to pursue a basketball career.
“My plans are to play professional basketball at least for a year to see if I like it or not,” Luper said. “If I like it, I’ll play a few more years, if I don’t, then I’ll settle down and get a job.”
Luper will most likely play basketball overseas. She said that playing overseas sounds much more appealing than playing in the WNBA.
Bigham is going to stay at ORU and get her master’s degree in business management.
While completing her degree, Bigham will be a graduate assistant coach for the Lady Golden Eagles basketball team.
Bigham said there would be a smooth transition from the court to the sideline because head coach Misti Cussen allowed her to have a coaching role while playing.
“She trusted me and really gave me a lot of freedom to do that,” Bigham said. “It will definitely have its differences, but I’ll be familiar with what it’s like just from the experience she let me have this year.”
Bigham said she has been contacted by different agents about playing basketball but isn’t sure if she wants to go in that direction.
However, Buck won’t continue in some form of basketball.
After graduating, she will begin a job with Step 7 Promotions as part of their management training program. Step 7 is a company that creates exposure for high-end clients. While with Step 7, Buck will be working on her pharmaceutical sales certification.
Buck has also signed with FSE Agency as a fitness and athlete model.
When asked why she wasn’t continuing in basketball, Buck mentioned her five knee surgeries and said “it’s just time for me to move on.”
Just as their future plans are all different, each player will have a different memory of ORU.
For Buck, that memory will be the impact ORU and basketball has had on her life.
“What ORU represents is an amazing thing, Buck said. “[It] has given me an amazing platform to share my faith.” Buck said she grew “not only as a basketball player, but as a woman.”
“Playing at ORU has molded me into the woman I am today,” Buck said.
Luper said she would remember the atmosphere of ORU most and that “people [were] just so nice and caring.”
Bigham said it was experiences with teammates that she would remember the most.
“I will always remember the memories and fun times I have had with my teammates every year,” Bigham said. “The best moment has to be winning the championship and getting to go to the NCAA tournament.”
When asked about a game that stood out, both Buck and Luper pointed to the Southland Conference Championship game against Sam Houston State.
“It wasn’t because of the actual game itself,” Buck said. “It’s because of the emotion and the feeling after we won.
“I will always have the memory of running to Kevi and Jaci, embracing them and crying our eyes out because we finally did it. All that we had been working for, for four years, we finally made it.”
• Finished career with 2,867 points – 14th most in D1 history and most in ORU history)
• Finished career with 463 steals – 6th in D1 history and most in ORU history
• ORU Career leader in fifield goals, free throws, points, and steals
• One of 48 NCAA division 1 players to score over 2,500 points
• Finished career with 668 assists – most in ORU history
• Finished career with 1,505 points – 8th most in school history
• Recorded the second 200 assist season in ORU history in 2012-13
• Ranks in ORU top-10 in free throw percentage, steals and three-point field goals
• Finished career with 761 points
• Finished career with 544 rebounds
• 2010-11 Summit League 6th woman of the year
• Shot almost 39% throughout her career