Leaning over with her hands on her knees, Logan Carger tries to catch her breath after a three-man weave. Around her, the other girls do not seem as phased by the move. APSU women’s basketball team had just finished their first drill in a January practice.
“It was terrible,” Carger said with a laugh reflecting on the moments.
Despite basketball two full months into the 2018-19 season, Carger was in her first practice as a basketball player.
The champion athlete from Houston, Texas, had joined the team in a rather unconventional way. Carger, who won two regular seasons in the Ohio Valley Conference Championships with APSU volleyball and a 2017 OVC Volleyball Tournament Championship, decided to dedicate herself to another sport at APSU.
“Logan after the year emailed me and wanted to come out for the final year,” Head Coach Dave Midlick said.
Over the winter break, Midlick found his squad in a peculiar position. Injuries and a lack of depth pinned the women’s team between a rock and a hard place. With conference play starting at the beginning of January, the team needed outside help to find their feet.
That is where Carger’s basketball story at APSU began.
The 5-foot-9-inch addition to the team saw an opportunity and seized it. Difficulties were abundant, but Carger dove head in for the squad not caring rather she be a practice squad player or dress out in the APSU red and white.
“She decided to be a part of our basketball team and work with us these last few months,” Midlick said. “She just jumped right in.”
For Carger, conditioning was the biggest challenge. After competing on the high school level in a city as competitive as Houston, Texas, the now-grad student had no problem following plays and familiarizing herself with fundamentals and dynamics of the sport.
Although Carger has experience on the court, it never meant that her role was to be a fix all. The senior has made only six appearances for the team since starting with a one-minute cameo against Tennessee State in January and the most recent being a senior day start against UT Martin.
Carger’s statistics show that she has made only one rebound and two field goals all season. Without further inspection, the appearance of a new name on APSU’s stat line can seem minimalist and diminutive.
However, Carger’s impact is not surface-level and her role may be better described off the court.
“She is sacrificing a lot to be apart of our team,” senior Keisha Gregory said.
Carger is an encouragement for APSU. She personifies the concept of being a helping hand. APSU’s squad may not have been on the verge of a disastrous collapse or in desperate need of a lifeline, but she stepped in anyway.
Hardworking and trustworthy are the two things that Midlick looks for in his athletes. No two better words can describe what Carger has been for the program recently.
The former middle blocker sacrificed her off-season to challenge herself to reach the physical requirements of division one basketball. For a team of 12 women athletes, they had a new presence in the locker room. Someone that they may know from the relationship among student-athletes but now that face was on the inside.
There is a difference between the words “you all” and “we”. The message changes when it is “we.” It means more, it is more personal. It says that we are in this together.
Carger is that we for APSU basketball. A presence who is willing to dedicate herself to the betterment of a team and of a relationship. A new kind of teammate.