Spotlight on Kate Kreager
Feb. 7, 2005
by Cathy Bongiovi Stewart
When Kate Kreager headed off to college as a freshman in August of 2000, she packed her bags for Cincinnati, home of Xavier University. After two seasons with the Musketeers, which included an upset of Tennessee in the 2001 NCAA Sweet 16, Kreager returned to Virginia.
The Oak Hill native had a change of heart. She wanted to get her education at the University of Virginia.
“I applied to a bunch of different schools in the spring after my sophomore year at Xavier,” Kreager shared. “I got into every school I applied to, but Virginia was by far the top tier, and it was closest to home, and obviously it’s the No. 1 public school in the country. It was really a no-brainer.”
Once on Grounds, basketball was the farthest thing from her mind. She concentrated on studying for a degree in politics and played an occasional pick-up game. Kreager enjoyed being closer to home.
“It’s nice especially after being further away my first two years,” she said. “Being able to play two hours away from my friends and family is really special for me. My parents have made almost every game, where as before they could only make some weekend games. It’s been nice to look up and see familiar faces and know that home is only two hours away.”
Not heavily recruited by the Cavaliers, Kreager didn’t consider trying out for the squad until Heath Boucek, younger brother of former UVa standout Jenny Boucek, recommended Kreager to the Hoos’ coaching staff.
In her two seasons with Virginia, Kreager has taken a strong leadership role, being named a two-time team captain. She is the first Cavalier in school history to be elected a captain before ever putting on a UVa uniform. Her contributions to the team have been immeasurable.
“Hopefully I provide some leadership and some consistency,” Kreager said of her role. “I just want to do what I can to help the team win and if that’s score 10 points or take a charge, it doesn’t matter to me as long as we win.”
But being a team captain has meant a lot to Kreager.
“It’s very special. I came to camp at Virginia when I was younger, and it’s always had a special place in my heart.” Kreager shared. “To come here and have that kind of impact, I’m thrilled, and I really relish the opportunity. It’s something I can look back on and cherish.”
And the awards speak for themselves. Kreager is a two-time Academic All-ACC honoree. Last spring she earned the team’s Bob Williams Award for outstanding athletic and academic performances along with the Thomas J. Ryan Scholarship for 2005 as a hard-working player committed to success.
Last May, Kreager received her bachelor’s degree in politics. This year she is enrolled in the Curry School of Education’s Professional Development program.
“I had an opportunity to get a master’s degree in a program called Leadership Foundations and Policy, and I felt that could be pertinent to life.” Kreager said. “Hopefully that works out for me, but I have no future plans in education.”
While her career path is undecided at the moment, Kreager knows she still has some basketball left to play. What she has learned during her time on Grounds has forever changed her.
“I’ll miss being in a team environment and having 11 or 12 other girls I can call sister and know that they have my back and I have theirs,” Kreager said. “It’s going to be a lifetime thing I carry with me. Even after you leave, you know you have those 11 or 12 women you can always count on.”
Get to Know Kate Kreager
Food: steakColor: baby blueMovie: Usual SuspectsActor: Ben AffleckBook: It’s Not About the Bike by Lance ArmstrongReality Show: The BachelorCD: Dave MatthewsSpot on Grounds: The Lawn
My favorite opponent is …
Three words that best describe me are …
competitive, driven, social.
I’d like to switch places for one day with …
My advice to young athletes is …
to follow your dreams.
One thing I always pack on road trips is …
my cell phone.
I chose Virginia, because …
it’s the No. 1 public school in the country.