Photos by Jose Juarez/Oakland Athletics Communication
Bethany Watterworth put a cap to a historic career as an Oakland Golden Grizzly for the women’s basketball team, making second-team All-Horizon League.
Watterworth finishes her career 23rd on NCAA’s active scoring list with over 1,900 points. Only five other players in program history have eclipsed that total.
“It’s an honor to be named second-team All-Horizon in our first year in the league,” she said. “It means a lot to me, but it’s more of a team award.”
Watterworth was named first-team All-Summit League when the Grizzlies were a member of the conference.
What makes this award special, though, is the fact that Watterworth had to rehab from a back injury that kept her out for over a year.
She led the Grizzlies with 14.5 points per game while shooting 48.5 percent from the field. She averaged 18.7 per game in her junior year before the injury.
“With all that I had to go through the past couple years, it was just really cool to play,” Watterworth said. “I had to wait over a year and a half, so the fact that I was just able to go out and play and pick up where I left off is amazing.”
Watterworth returned to action this season with a minute-count that limited her playing time. She was only practicing half-court with the team through their first two games, and it wasn’t until the team’s third game where she saw over 10 minutes of playing time.
She had her biggest game of the year against Green Bay, scoring 28 points. That big outing took place in the middle of a 15-game stretch where she averaged double-digit points against Horizon League opponents.
The team finished 8-8 during league play under first-year head Jeff Tungate.
“She’s a real competitor that loves the game of basketball, and she’s even a better person than she is a basketball player,” Tungate said.
Watterworth’s currently pursuing a doctorate of physical therapy program and says there a chance she may remain close to the team.
“There’s a possibility, I’d like to remain involved,” Watterworth said. “We’ll see what happens, but I’ll definitely be keeping tabs with the team.”
She hopes for the opportunity to integrate her training in physical therapy back to the locker rooms.
“I feel like I can relate to people who have injuries,” Watterworth said. “One of the biggest things and complaints people come in with into a physical therapy clinic is with their back. I can say, ‘look I know exactly what you’re going through, I’ve had that pain.’”
She loved her experience at Oakland University, and liked the fact that she came from just down the road. The athletic department gave her the chance to live with a softball player, track player, and a soccer player.
“Overall my experience has been great and I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world. Just to play division I basketball at Oakland University.”
Neal Ruhl shares his thoughts on Bethany here.