As a senior with a lot on her plate, including school, work and basketball, Sydney Bauman, center on the women’s basketball team, gives her all on the court and for her team.
Bauman, a 6 feet, 3 inches tall senior history education major from Glen Ellyn, Illinois, broke the single-season record with 63 blocks, set a career record with 133 blocked shots and currently is the all-time leader in blocks per game at 1.4. She became the 21st player in school history to pass the 500-rebound mark in her collegiate career during the 2018-19 season.
Guard Nakiah Bell, a senior psychology major from St. Louis, said Bauman setting a record makes sense with all the hard work she has put in.
“She puts in a lot of work, she does a lot of extra conditioning, extra basketball workouts so her setting a record isn’t surprising,” Bell said.
Bauman said she is proud of the accomplishments she has made in the four years she has played for SIUE.
“I think it’s really cool setting a record, but I am just proud of the work I have put in,” Bauman said. “I just happened to be at the right place at the right time [on the court].”
Head Coach for the women’s basketball team, Paula Buscher, said that Bauman has been a good defender.
“One of the things she has always been able to do for us is being that person that’s been that lockdown defender and a great rebounder, and obviously blocking shots as well,” Buscher said. “This year we have asked her to do a lot more as far as scoring and leading and I think she’s doing a great job.”
Buscher said Bauman works hard off the court as well.
“She is, like most seniors are, super busy; she’s up early and goes straight to student teaching, then comes straight to practice, she has one evening class and then goes straight into lesson planning for the next day,” Buscher said.
Bauman said she enjoys watching Netflix and spending quality time with those she cares about.
“I’d be lying if I said doing anything but watch Netflix [during my free time], but I love to hang out with my friends, love to hangout with my teammates outside of basketball and really spend time with people that I care about because that’s so limited to me,” Bauman said.
Bauman has played basketball since she was four years old and said her mother put her in basketball so she could find strength in what made her stand out.
“I was always in the 99 percentile for my height and my mom put me in basketball because she wanted me to use what made me different to be successful and find pride in what made me different,” Bauman said.
Buscher was the reason Bauman decided to play basketball at SIUE.
“Coach Buscher is the reason I came here; I met her, and I had been recruited by a decent amount of schools, but when I came [to SIUE] I felt how much she cared,” Bauman said. “I knew that she cared about my future, she cared about me as an individual and about my individual growth.”
Teamwork is what Bauman said she loves most about playing basketball.
“You have to work so hard with four other people and I don’t think there is anything quite like making a good play or celebrating a good play with your teammates,” Bauman said. “It’s not necessarily about putting the ball in the hole yourself, but about coming together as a team with one common goal in mind.”
Buscher said Bauman has become a leader in the years she has played for SIUE.
“She has really taken on, especially this season, a lot more leadership of the team and she’s willing to do whatever it takes for us to be successful,” Buscher said.
Bell said playing with Bauman over the years has been fun.
“I like playing with her, it’s been a good three years. She is a good teammate, and off the court she is a great teammate. She’s fun to talk to and fun to be around,” Bell said.
Players will come and fill old positions, but Buscher said she’ll miss Bauman as more than just a player.
“[I’ll miss Bauman] as a person,” Buscher said. “There will always be someone else to play defense and someone else that can come in there and do certain basketball skills, but you miss the personalities and the people the most.”
Bauman said playing for SIUE has been a great experience.
“It’s been a complete blessing and I wouldn’t want to spend my four years doing anything else with anyone else,” Bauman said. “I love my teammates, I love my coaching staff and I know that everyone has everyone’s best interest at heart.”