After leading Hopkins High School (Minn.) in scoring and rebounding her senior year, Kara Elofson arrived at Binghamton with an impressive résumé but behind a talented group of letter winners on the depth chart.
As a freshman at Binghamton, the 5-foot-10-inch forward saw limited playing time, but in 2010-11, she became a starter and ranked third on the team in scoring and rebounding, averaging nine points and eight rebounds per game.
The following year, Elofson saw a reduction in playing time, as the team had four seniors, but the forward was still able to average more than five points and five rebounds per game despite being hampered by a shoulder injury.
This year, Elofson is one of three seniors and a fundamental part of the team, both on the court and off. She has started 22 of the 24 games she’s played in and averaged six points and five rebounds in 24.5 minutes.
“It’s been great seeing Kara grow, especially coming back from that shoulder injury [her junior year],” BU head coach Nicole Scholl said. “She’s been a great leader for us, and as a head coach, you’re going to miss your seniors when they go.”
From her freshman year until now, Elofson said she believes that she has improved across the board.
“I think conditioning helped me the most with improving on all my other skills, and I’ve definitely improved on my outside shot,” she said. “A couple of games have been going by where I’ve taken that shot and it’s been going in, which is good since in the past I never really tried to take it that much.”
Off the court, the Minneapolis, Minn. native plays an active role in the development of her younger teammates.
“We will have a lot of ups and downs, especially as you’ve seen this season, but if you keep your focus things will fall into place eventually,” Elofson said she tells her teammates.
Freshman forward Morgan Murphy said Elofson leads by example.
“Often times Coach tells me to watch her, see what she’s doing. I see what she does, and I’ve seen that she’s had a lot more confidence with her shot this year, so I know that’s something I can work on improving,” Murphy said. “She’s not a flashy player, but she’s very fundamentally strong, both on offense and defense.”
When Binghamton takes the SEFCU Arena floor against Hartford today at noon, Elofson knows it could be her last game as a Bearcat. But regardless of this weekend’s results, she hopes to have helped her team’s future through her leadership and example.