Reaves and Chisholm lead as senior class

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Seniors Bjonee Reaves and Chanel Chisholm did not start there collegiate careers at the University of Cincinnati four years ago like the three newcomers we recently previewed are doing this season. Instead, the two savvy veterans arrived at UC via other programs and have now made their mark on an improving program looking to be competitive in the Big East.

An captain's job is not always aimed at scoring the most points or being the most productive player on the court at all times. While Reaves and Chisholm will be counted on as those type of key players this season, they know that their leadership and role model qualities are just as important.

Reaves who transfered to UC alongside Chisholm in 2009, first played the game she loves at Neosho County Community College is Chanute, Kansas after graduating high school in California. There she scored the ball at a prolific rate, averaging 20.6 points per game, which was good enough for fifth in scoring in the NJCAA that season. Now poised to continue her presence as a scoring guard and have the best season of her career, Reaves knows exactly what she needs to do to be successful. She's never been more hungry to win.

"I want to get stops defensively and I also want to shoot the ball consistently, that is my goal this year," Reaves said. "I want us to win. I want to be able to say we gave it everything we got and that our record reflects that."

Chisholm also came to UC after getting her start elsewhere, except it was not at junior college instead in the SEC. Chisholm of Long Island, New York attended Vanderbilt for two seasons until arriving with Reaves in 2009. Chisholm was a big addition for the Bearcats because she brought over experienced success with the Commodores making a sweet 16 appearance while she was there. Chisholm now knows the team must build off their prior experience and make this season one to remember.

"One of the biggest games we had last year was our Marquette game because it was our senior night and we wanted to go out with a bang," Chisholm said. "We had just finished a long losing streak, so it just showed that we had heart and character and even though we lost that many games in a row we were able to come out and compete again."

Both players are aware of what the job description entails when being a senior. Their play on the court must set a precedent for the rest of the team, but Reaves knows that being the floor general is also an important facet of an upperclassmen's game. She believes she must have coach-like attributes on the floor in order to pick her team up when they are down and lead by example.

"I would say picking the team up when they're down, making sure everyone is keeping energy and also not being hypercritical," Reaves said. "If I am going to tell someone that they should be doing this then I need to make sure I'm doing it too."

Chisholm's road to UC may not have been a scripted one. She had to make several stops along the way until she reached her final destination, and no, I'm not talking about the Long Island Railroad trips that she endured growing up in New York. I'm simply talking about her road to Cincinnati, which maybe a stressful one, is now a place she will always remember and can call home.

"One thing that I'll always keep with me are the people in Cincinnati, that is one of the main reasons I came here initially," Chisholm said. "I can be around these people every day and I feel like they really care and they genuinely support womens basketball and they want to see us win."

Both student athletes are poised for a breakout season and many memories to come alongside their final year in the red, white and black. The memories have already started to pile up however. The two accompanied head coach Jamelle Elliott and the program to New York City a couple weeks ago for Big East Media Day. Reaves and Chisholm represented UC and were able to interact with their fellow peers while have a good time doing it.

"It was an amazing experience being in a room with some of the top players in the country and hall of fame coaches, I was just in amazement," Reaves said. "I had a blast. It was my first time in New York, so going to Times Square and seeing that type of atmosphere was amazing and I actually wish I could do it again."

"I really enjoyed going to the media day because you get to see a lot of the girls you compete with and you get to see them off the court. I enjoyed that aspect," Chisholm said. "Also, I'm from New York so I got to see some family and friends and that is always nice."

The co-captains will take the court with their team tomorrow for their first exhibition game of the season. The Bearcats will host Northern Kentucky University at Fifth Third Arena at 7 p.m.

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