During games at Indiana University’s Assembly Hall, you will find them behind the bench, on the sidelines, in the huddle and behind the baskets.
They’re the ones taking care of the Hoosiers in real time — making sure that the behind-the-scenes operations run accordingly while the ball is in, and out, of play — all in their free time.
Three Jackson County alumni fulfill the duties as managers for the Hoosiers’ women’s basketball team.
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Brownstown Central’s Jonah Persinger and Kasandra Rieckers, and Seymour’s Seth Stuckwisch contribute their time to the program.
Persinger, a junior biology major, has worked with the team for the past three years.
“For practices we (managers) all kind of do the same things,” Persinger said. “Game days, we each have different duties. At practice, it depends on our class schedules and who can get here the soonest. During games, I’m in charge of towels and water during timeouts and breaks. I also make sure the bench is cleaned off and get anything the players need.”
Rieckers and Stuckwisch, both freshman education majors, made use of the opportunity to join the staff in their first year at IU.
“I wanted to do this to stay involved,” Stuckwisch. “All three of us were pretty active with sports in high school. It’s a good opportunity. Knowing Jonah, we talked about it and thought it was pretty cool.”
The two freshmen knew each other before moving to Bloomington, as they attended elementary and middle school together in Brownstown before Stuckwisch went to Seymour.
Stuckwisch’s cousin is also Persinger’s roommate.
The managers work for Hoosiers second-year head coach Teri Moren, who graduated from Seymour in 1987.
“Sometimes, during games, I’m behind the bench or behind the basket,” Rieckers said. “We make sure everything is good to go.
“I’ve learned more about the game by working with coach Moren.”
Persinger, who played basketball at Brownstown Central, said he has learned a lot about basketball from Moren.
“(Moren) is a very defensive-minded coach, and it’s really interesting to see how they practice” Persinger said. “I have learned a lot in practice from what she says to the team. I like the way they do a lot of ball screens and corner action on offense. They kind of changed their offense from last year. It’s nice to be able to learn all these things about the game. You have to take advantage of every opportunity.”
While he doesn’t spend as much time doing it now, Persinger is one of the managers who travels with the team for road contests.
“You establish a lot of relationships and network a lot,” Persinger said. “You get to meet a lot of really cool people. Through this, I have met WNBA assistant coaches, Division I coaches and players from across the country.
“On the road, we were in charge of all the food. The players had to come to our room to grab them.”
During the Big Ten Tournament, the managers take the hardwood themselves and take on opposing teams’ managers.
“During the Big Ten (tourney), the night before a game, our manager staff will play the other team’s managing staff,” Persinger said. “This year, there is a mini Big Ten league. There will be a trophy this time around.”
Stuckwisch said that he thinks the opportunity to work with the team will help him in the future.
“It’s a good environment,” he said. “I think that it will set us up in life to be successful.”