Cornemann to leave behind a legacy at SDSU

ANDREW LARSON Sports Reporter

Chloe Cornemann has come into her own as a key role player for the South Dakota State University women’s basketball team. In her senior year, Cornemann has continued a family legacy with Jackrabbit athletics, one whose history has ties with one of her current teammates.

Originally from Yankton, South Dakota, Cornemann was a three-sport athlete in high school, competing in volleyball, basketball and track. But her love of basketball outweighed the other sports, which prompted her to further her career on the court beyond high school even though she admitted she was a better volleyball player.

Given her family’s history at SDSU, Cornemann decided on becoming a Jackrabbit. Her father, Dave, wrestled for SDSU from 1981 to 1984 and won a national championship in the 167-pound weight class in 1984 while her older sister, Ketty, also played for Head Coach Aaron Johnston from 2007 to 2010.

The transition from high school to Division I basketball came as a bit of a shock to Cornemann at first.

“You can’t really describe it to someone until you’ve gone through it,” the senior guard said. “I remember my first time going in when coach A.J. was like ‘Chloe, go get whoever’ and I’m sitting there like ‘holy moly, I can’t even watch these girls they’re running so fast.’ I just remember the pace of play was crazy.”

In her first year, Cornemann played a key role off the bench, though seldom filled up the stat sheet, totaling 49 points in 461 minutes of action. Jessica Hart, who came in the same recruiting class as Cornemann, left the program after that first year. Despite the initial shock, Cornemann made it through, continuing to be an extra jolt of energy to the team off the bench.

Through her time at SDSU, Cornemann has forged a bond with fellow senior Gabrielle Boever.

Boever, now a sixth-year senior, was on campus two years before Cornemann arrived. However, their sisters, Maria Boever and Ketty, were on the women’s basketball team from 2007 to 2010 together, so they’ve had a connection for much longer than the four years they’ve been together.

“I’ve known Chloe for ten years or so,” Boever said. “She’s a great person on and off the court. Very easy going, easy to talk to and one of my best friends. She’s just a loveable person. Everyone loves her.”

Through their connection before SDSU, the newest Boever-Cornemann connection has taken it upon themselves as the lone seniors on this young Jackrabbit team to be the leaders.

“There’s always little things in the locker room that we talk about, that we address to the team,” Boever said. “On the court, they see how vocal we are as a group, getting up on great plays and always saying ‘good job’.”

Cornemann takes pride in being one of the seniors on the team and credits coach Johnston for helping make her a great leader.

“A.J. does a really good job at preparing his players so that when they get to their senior year, they are able to just step into that role and make the most of it,” Cornemann said. “He relies on his seniors very heavily. He expects us to lead the way in whatever [the team needs]. He expects us to take that role on.”

Playing time has continued to come sporadically for Cornemann, but she had her shining moment on Senior Day this past Saturday.

Coming off the bench against Indiana University–Purdue University Fort Wayne, Cornemann went 3-of-5 from three-point range for a career-high 10 points to go along with four rebounds, three assists and a steal in the win.

As the season winds down, Cornemann said the team’s ultimate goal is not only to make it to the NCAA Tournament but to advance to the Sweet 16. This message is on a piece of paper in players’ lockers, reminding them of the goal before practice every day.

With Cornemann continuing to be the vocal leader along with Boever, the Jacks hope to close her career on a high note.