Amaka Chikwe is a sophomore on the women’s bas­ketball team. (Hillsdale College Ath­letics, Courtesy)

Q: What was the recruiting process like that brought you to Hillsdale?

AC: I was playing a few games at the Uni­versity of Toledo in high school. The coach saw me and she was like “Our slots are full for your class, but I know a coach at Hillsdale and I’d like him to check you out.” She con­tacted him and he watched me play in Atlanta. He called me after that tour­nament. He offered me a full ride to Hillsdale, and I got a tour of the school in the Spring. The campus was very beau­tiful, and I met with a few of the staff here at Hillsdale. They were very warm and wel­coming, and I knew that this is where I wanted to go.

Q: What are you studying and what do you intend to do after school?

AC: I am studying exercise science and I’m thinking about going to nursing school after undergrad.

Q: You missed your first season here because of an injury. How dif­ficult was that and what was the recovery process like? What did you learn from not being able to play?

AC: There was built up car­tilage post my ACL surgery. I had to get my meniscus scoped. It was very hum­bling. Bas­ketball always came nat­u­rally for me, so I had to actually work to be able to play again through rehab. I saw the team dynamics through the way they played and I got to learn the plays we were running a lot better. I was able to become a better teammate, encour­aging those playing, and sup­porting the team in the best way I knew how.

Q: Who are your role models? Here at Hillsdale or in general, and how have they impacted you and your bas­ketball career and your life in general? Sorry that’s a really loaded question.

AC: Rachel Smith. She was a former bas­ketball player. She grad­uated and played for a year or two on the team. But she was like a big sister to me, and was very strong in her faith. She helped me with my growth and helped me realize that I’m a student and an athlete and that I am a daughter of Christ.

Q: How has the com­munity on the bas­ketball team encouraged you in your time here at Hillsdale?

AC: The girls are really goofy and caring at the same time. Even though we practice all the time, there’s still joy being with the group of girls. We do fun things outside of bas­ketball, espe­cially like bowling and going to the movies. They’ve also really helped me adjust to the aca­demic life here. My freshman year, if I was strug­gling in certain classes, they were the ones helping me.

Q: What is the role that bas­ketball has in your life as a whole?

AC: Bas­ketball brought me here to Hillsdale, and so I’m def­i­nitely here for a reason. But, I would say bas­ketball is fourth on my list. God is first, then my family, then school, and then bas­ketball.  I’m def­i­nitely grateful for the gift that was given to me and the oppor­tunity to play bas­ketball. It has helped build me in char­acter and as a person in so many ways.

Q: Do you have any rou­tines or super­sti­tions you follow on game days or during the bas­ketball season? Any­thing that you do before games?

AC: I shower in the morning and then do my PGP: pre-game poop. And then before every game we pray the Lord’s prayer and then we dance to a song. Every game.