Former Cal Poly women’s basketball standout Molly Schlemer has signed to play with a professional team in the top league in Germany, making the 6-foot-5 center the latest in a string of Mustang pros and the second to come from Righetti High.
Schlemer will join the ChemCats Chemnitz of Germany’s Damen Basketball Bundesliga. Former Mustangs and Warriors teammate Kristina Santiago is currently with a Bulgarian team in her third season abroad. Rachel Clancy, who along with the other two was also a Big West Conference Player of the Year, played a stint in a Spanish league.
“We are so happy and proud of Molly,” Mustangs head coach Faith Mimnaugh said in a news release. “She has worked so hard for this opportunity.”
Schlemer finished her Cal Poly career as the fifth-leading scorer and rebounder in school history. She also led the 2012-13 team to the only NCAA Tournament appearance in school history at the Division I level.
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Last season, Schlemer averaged 16.9 points and 10.1 rebounds for the Mustangs, who along with her output on the boards, grabbed the most rebounds per game of any Big West team in 15 years.
In April, Schlemer competed at the ProHoops Combine in Nashville, Tenn., before also being invited to play on the NetScouts Basketball USA All-Stars Tour of China.
She helped lead the Americans to an unbeaten record by averaging 9.8 points and 6.7 rebounds.
The signing was abrupt.
“Even after Molly completed her trip to China in the spring, she has disciplined herself to work out with coach (Kari) Duperron and Kristina Santiago to be ready to travel on a moment’s notice,” Mimnaugh said. On Wednesday, “she is literally traveling on a moment’s notice with a game awaiting her on Saturday. I know with her skill and determination that she will make excellent contributions to the ChemCats Chemnitz club.”
Alkebulan returns to help Mustangs rebound
Cal Poly men’s soccer striker Kaba Alkebulan left last Thursday’s showdown with UC Irvine early after knocking heads with an Anteater defender in the second half of what ended a scoreless tie.
The redshirt freshman appeared to suffer a head injury and his status for Sunday’s game against CSUN was uncertain after the UC Irvine match, but Alkebulan returned to have his finest game of the season against the Matadors, scoring two goals including the game-winner in overtime.
“I was feeling a little uncertain going into Sunday, if I was going to play a lot,” said Alkebulan, who ranks second on the team with four goals. Head coach Phil Ruskin “asked me to start, and so, I just tried to give the team what I had at the time, and I gave it my all.”
Going into Big West matches this week at UC Riverside and Cal State Fullerton, the missed opportunity to hand UC Irvine its first loss of the season after the Anteaters came into the match ranked third in the coaches’ poll and second in the RPI still stung.
As it turned out, archrival UC Santa Barbara would end UC Irvine’s unbeaten streak on Saturday.
Cal Poly is 1-0-1 and picked up four points to sit third in the North Division standings, but they could have easily had six points if not for an unsuccessful penalty kick and several other shots.
“At the end of the day, we lost points in that game because we didn’t finish our chances,” Ruskin said. “I look at that game, and I think how many opportunities we had to win it, especially late on in regulation and even in overtime.
“I look at it as dropping two points instead of gaining one with the tie.”
Split isn’t all bad news for Mustangs
Cal Poly women’s soccer head coach Alex Crozier isn’t panicking over a 1-1 start to conference play. The Mustangs did the exact same thing last season before winning six straight to run away with the Big West title last season.
Heading into home matches with UC Davis on Friday and Hawaii on Sunday, Cal Poly opened conference play with a dominant 3-0 win over Long Beach State and a disappointing 2-0 loss to CSUN.
Cal Poly did almost the exact same last season, beating the 49ers 2-0 and losing to UC Irvine 4-3.
“You say we ran through the conference last year,” Crozier said, “but we had a lot of close games.
“By the time we got to conference, we’d been pretty battle-tested. I feel that way this year, too. We took a nick on Sunday, but we’re playing well. I think we’re looking pretty well for the future.”