All alone, standing just off to the side of her team’s huddle after fouling out with 45 seconds remaining, senior Megan Vogel fights back her tears, fearing she will never again don the blue and yellow of the Jackrabbits.
Her teammates could not overcome their eight-point deficit, bringing the brilliant career of Megan Vogel to an end on March 25.
For the past four seasons, Vogel has entertained the Jackrabbit Nation with fiery competitiveness, magnificent moves and most of all, true passion for the game of basketball.
“I would like people to remember me as a person that played with a lot of passion, with a lot of energy, not necessarily as a scorer or anything like that,” Vogel said. “I would rather be a player that always played hard for 40 minutes and gave you 105 percent … I know I’m going to give everything I have for 40 minutes. I hope that’s what people see when they watch the games.”
Passion. That’s one word Nancy Neiber, former SDSU women’s basketball coach and current senior women’s administrator, uses to describe Vogel.
“(She’s) passionate about the game of basketball,” Neiber said.
Any fan who has watched Vogel in the past four seasons can see how much Vogel loves the game of basketball, and how she lives and dies with each play.
“I guess it’s no secret that I wear my emotions on my sleeve, but hopefully that’s a good thing,” Vogel said.
Head Coach Aaron Johnston said Vogel has been the emotional leader of the team the past few seasons. Next year, he said, the team will need somebody to step up and fill the void.
Vogel has turned her passion, love and energy for basketball into a career. On March 30 and 31, she will participate in the WNBA pre-draft camp, held at Cleveland State University. According to WNBA.com, the pre-draft camp is an opportunity for WNBA coaches and general managers to scout potential draft picks. About 40 top prospects from around the world will participate in five-on-five action, attempting to impress WNBA teams. The WNBA draft is on April 4.
“The plan is that I would really love to play in the United States right now. Hopefully, I can go out there and play well enough,” Vogel said. “If I don’t (play in the U.S.) then I’ll probably end up going overseas and playing somewhere, but if I play in the United States, I’d love to stay here and then in the fall come back here (to SDSU) and go to grad school, and do some coaching hopefully.”
Playing professionally has always been a dream of Vogel’s.
“It’s always been a dream, ever since you were a little kid,” Vogel said. “It’s always been wanting to play as long as you can. I’m just not ready to have another job yet, I don’t think. (I) might as well keep playing basketball as long as I can,” she said.
Vogel said when she began her career, Johnston told her that her potential correlated with how hard she worked.
“I just did everything I could, spent as much time as I could so that I would know that I did everything possible,” Vogel said.
As hard as Vogel has worked, she could not have accomplished all her feats without the assistance of her teammates.
“If we had gone through the year and been 5-25, there’s probably no way I would have even gotten a look,” Vogel said. “It’s unbelievable. Our team has helped me in that way so much because teams can’t just focus on one player … there’s no question everyone on the team has helped our success which has helped me, in turn, accomplish one of my dreams.”
SDSU’s jump to Division I also added to the attention on Vogel, she said.
“You’re just playing against that better competition and so your statistics or how well you do is more legit,” she said. “You’re playing the best in the country, and if you can prove you can play with them, then people are going to take a look at you. There’s no question the move to Division I has helped me become a better player by playing against those (good) players, but just also being able to get noticed by how much we travel.
“You always want to know if you can play with the best. When you go out in those games and you play well, it gives you a sense of confidence.”
With her hard work and the team’s success in Division I, Vogel will go down as one of the greatest players in SDSU history.
“Megan is a totally complete player … the total package,” Neiber said.
Vogel leaves SDSU at first place in free-throws made, second place in points scored, third place in 3-pointers made and fifth place in total rebounds. Of the 10 all-time leader categories SDSU keeps track of, Vogel is in the top 12 in eight of them.
“I think Megan truly is one of the better seniors in the nation,” Johnston said.
#1.883598:3764445800.jpg:meganvogelwelcomehome.jn.jpg:Senior Megan Vogel hugs SDSU Alum Keith Jensen during a welcome home ceremony for the women’s team March 26. Vogel’s Jacks’ basketball career ended a day earlier with a loss to Wyoming in round four of the WNIT.: