Lady Griz Basketball Pre-Game Rituals


This time of year is special.

A time to reflect, eat a lot, complain about eating a lot, and promise to not eat like that in the new year. Am I right? It is also a time to give thanks for those you love around you.

This year I have a lot to be thankful for, my family’s health and happiness and wonderful friends, without whom I would be lost.

Some of those friends I have recently reconnected with are my former Lady Griz teammates. Since taking on the role of a blogger and color commentator, both focused on Lady Griz basketball, I have been spending a lot of time reminiscing about on- and off-court memories, crazy fun road trips, and pre-game rituals.

It all kind of came together a couple weeks ago as I spent a weekend in Las Vegas with eight of my teammates. We had not all been together since our playing days. After being together for a short time, we fell back into our old road trip routines. Without divulging too much of our great escape, other than that we acted like we were back in college, I will share a few roommate moments: Megan found a Catholic Church within 24 hours of our arrival, I closed the drapes and cranked the heat in our room, and Laura constantly organized our room for the entire weekend.

Routines, rituals, superstitions… call them what you want, they formulate after spending a lot of time together.

Coaches even have rituals. I will let Coach Selvig start it off: “I drive to the Rattlesnake trailhead listening to Il Divo on my way to the games. Been doing that for a few years. This year I also find myself praying a lot that we will start shooting the ball better!”


Kelly (Pilcher) BeattieFormer Lady Griz player Kelly Pilcher.

Hometown: Missoula, MT

Current City: Midland, TX

Years Played: 1990-1994

Status: Married to Ken Beattie, four girls: Kayla 16, Alissa 14, Makenna 11, Leia 9

Job: Stay-at-home mom and basketball coach at Midland Classical Academy

Pre-game ritual: When I was a senior I HAD to wear this Montana Griz scrunchie I got from the book store over my ponytail. One game I couldn’t find it so I made my mom go to the store in the Fieldhouse (it was a home game) and buy me a new one. Also I used to crack an orange drink from the bucket of drinks they gave us in our locker room and down it before the game. (Don’t tell Rob.)


Julie DemingFormer Lady Griz player Julie Deming.

Hometown: Portland, OR

Current City: Portland, OR

Years Played: 2000-2004

Status: Girlfriend Stacy

Job: MRI Technologist at Oregon Health & Science University

Pre-game ritual: Brooklynn and I made a special rap each game to insert into our team chant and most of our raps had some unique flavor about each opponent to pump the girls up. It worked great!!! Plus we had a lot of laughs.


Juliann KellerFormer Lady Griz player Juliann Keller.

Hometown: Turner, MT

Current City: Havre, MT

Years played: 2001-2005

Status: Engaged to J.D. Solomon

Job: Asst Women’s Basketball Coach at Montana State Northern and Sports Information Director

Pre-game ritual: Always had to have Extra green gum.


Joy (Anderson) KendallFormer Lady Griz player Joy Kendall.

Hometown: Hutchinson, MN

Current City: Missoula, MT

Years Played: 1989-1993

Status: Married with two boys, ages 10 and 12

Job: Network Funding, LP – American Mortgage

Pre-game ritual: Trish Duce (Olson) and I always had to be the first ones there so we could be on top of our games! So with all of the makeup and hair prep, getting ready started at about one… jamming out to Journey, Salt ‘n Peppa, and of course, Poison.


Lauren (Cooper) KollerFormer Lady Griz player Lauren Koller.

Hometown: Corvallis, OR

Current City: Boise, ID

Years played: 1996-2001

Status: Married to Chris Koller, three kids: 5-year-old twins, Adelyn and Jack, and 2-year-old Lily

Job: Stay-at-home mom, work one day a week at Idaho Hand Clinic

Pre-game ritual: Krista and I would get to the gym, get taped, heated up, head to the floor, and shoot around together. When my parents were in town, dad would come down to the floor and shag for us, get us pumped up, and make us laugh.


Brooklynn LorenzenFormer Lady Griz player Brooklynn Lorenzen.

Hometown: Corvallis, OR

Current City: Portland, OR

Years Played: 2000-2004

Status: Married to Grant Murphy, two dogs: Mocha and Puff

Job: Footwear Developer – Brand Jordan (Nike, Inc.)

Pre-game ritual: I had to have the same pre game meal from Finnegan’s, pre-game 20 minute nap, Trident gum, listen to music, have Holly apply lotion to my legs so my hands weren’t slippery, and have Todd the DJ play Britney Spears’ song, “I’m a Slave 4 U” during pre-game shoot around. Not supersitious or ritualistic at all.


Lynsey Monaco
Former Lady Griz player Lynsey Monaco.

Hometown: Dillon, MT

Current City: Bozeman, MT

Years played: 2001-2005

Status: Single

Job: Foundant Technologies

Pre-game ritual: I would always go to the bench during warmups with 1:23 left on the clock and say a silent prayer during the National Anthem.


Ann (Lake) RauschFormer Lady Griz player Ann Rausch

Hometown: Missoula, MT

Current City: Missoula, MT

Years Played: 1990-1994

Status: Married to Troy Rausch with two boys, 9 and 7

Job: Pharmaceutical sales AstraZeneca

Pre-game ritual: Purchased and wore a new pair of socks for each home game my senior season.


Johanna (Closson) SteenekampFormer Lady Griz player Johanna Steenekamp.

Hometown: Whitefish, MT

Current city: Missoula, MT

Years played: 2004 -2008

Status: Married to Jan Steenekamp (pronounced Yan), one baby, Liam, 7 1/2 months old, and our Italian Greyhound, Rafa

Job: Stay-at-home mama and freelance artist

Pre-game ritual: I always had to count the stripes on the flag during the national anthem (OCD?) and always had to have Orbitz sweetmint gum.


Laura ValleyFormer Lady Griz player Laura Valley.

Hometown: Tigard, OR

Current city: Las Vegas, NV

Years played: 1998-2002

Status: Single

Job: Flight attendant for Virgin America

Pre-game ritual: Music…lots of music and sometimes even dancing before! Before one game Brooklynn, Julie, Amy, and I did a dance routine in the locker room. Good times.


Karen Wilken

Former Lady Griz player Karen Wilken.Hometown: Fairbanks, AK

Current City: Bainbridge Island, WA

Years played: 1997-2000

Status: Married to Paul Johnson. Two furry, four-legged friends: Iris (9), Eva (4)

Job: Web Producer & eCommerce Specialist for fly fishing brands Sage Manufacturing, Redington Tackle & Apparel, and RIO Fly Lines under Far Bank Enterprises.

Pre-game ritual: Kissing my mini Alaska flag pin from my dad. It’s minute, was in my locker, and I did it every time. Following that: Chest bumps, cheering chants, getting our hair looking good, getting prepped mentally, then bonding together on prayer. We were all bonded by prayer. Even when things were askew, prayer brought us together for one Lord’s Prayer one last time before we fought for it. And I appreciate that.


Want more behind-the-scenes action from the Lady Griz? Check out other posts from Krista Redpath Pyron and more players: Once a Lady Griz, Always a Lady GrizReintroducing Shannon Cate, and Lady Griz Tradition: Some Get to Wear It.

   Visit the All Things Lady Griz archive.


Krista Redpath Pyron played basketball for the Lady Griz from 1995-2000. She went on to play professional basketball for Virum in Copenhagen, Denmark. Krista is self-employed and resides in beautiful Missoula with her husband, Dave, and their two young boys, Evan and Oliver. She looks forward to writing frequently about her extended family – The Lady Griz.