Player’s mom and dad devout fans

Jamie Tanata

Jamie Tanata

Some fans travel to games simply because they like the excitement of the sport.

Other fans stand tried-and-true at the team’s side even when times are grim, like last Wednesday’s block out. Some fans are also parents.

Sophomore guard Heather Sieler’s parents, Art and Janet Sieler, have only missed two games since she began playing for SDSU.

“(We go to) support Heather and the rest of the team,” Art said. “The team members become our extended family, we’re there to tell them good job, win or lose.”

The 96-79 loss to the California (Pa.) squad shattered the team’s last chance to win a Division II Championship title, but those who watched the team fall would say they gave it everything they had.

“I think they gave it their all, this was their last chance to a Division II Championship,” Janet said.

“I was disappointed we didn’t win, but we ran into a hot team, that was shooting hot,” Art said.

“But we never gave up and I think that’s the heart of a championship team.”

“Cal. (Pa.) had a very good game,” Janet said. “They shot what, 80 percent? It’s hard to match that. How many teams can say they made it to the Elite Eight for three years in a row, conference champs for two years and regionals for three?”

“I think they represent the school very well,” Janet said about their high achievements.

Art said the Jacks were the team to come out initially, and pointed out that only two points separated the teams at halftime.

Although he said this was an intense game to watch, he thought the Jacks’ overtime steal against North Dakota State that brought them into the Elite Eight was hardest to watch.

Janet said she knew the Jacks’ advancement into the championship was over by the last three minutes of the game.

But the Sielers said they remain proud of the girls.

“I think they’re going to surprise some people in Division I,” Art said.

During the Sielers’ stay in St. Joseph, Mo., another spectator told Art it was interesting to watch the struggle between Heather and the player she was guarding because they shared the same jersey number.

“He thought it was really a battle to watch number 20 and 20 battling against each other,” he said.

Even when the team isn’t fortunate enough to pull off the win, one of the things that make games still enjoyable is the fans.

“The fan support made it really good,” Janet said. “At SDSU, the fans are awesome.”

Working at home as district sales manager for Farm Bureau Financial Services provides Art with a flexible enough schedule for him and Janet to attend all the Jacks’ games.

The Sieler’s family are fairly faithful supporters.

He said most of the family would try to attend SDSU’s home games, and all were planning on taking off work to watch the Jacks if they made it to the finals.

Since Heather is the youngest of four children, the Sielers have been busy attending all their kids’ games for years, through high school and college.

“We’ve been going to a lot of sporting events for 20-some years,” Janet said.

The two reasons Janet said she is proud of SDSU women’s basketball are her love for the game of basketball and appreciation for the other fans.

“The fans make it fun, the atmosphere, and there’s nothing like a game at Frost Arena,” she said.

“You develop some great friendships with the parents.”