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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Jan. 28, 1999)
Schwartz’s style helps keep Comhuskers loose
■ Free-wheeling attitude
helps, hurts Nebraska
during season play.
By Christopher Heine
Brooke Schwartz is such a char
acter that her soul must look like a
guard, small for
team clown for
ball team. Ladies
behold the power
This unusual, Germanic nick
name characterizes the junior from
Gering’s love of basketball and life.
728 Q ST
Schwartz’s teammates called her
“athletic,” “supportive,” “energetic,”
“a joker” and “a smart aleck.”
“The power of The Schwartz is
happiness,” said Husker forward
Schwartz has had the opportunity
this season to find good times at
almost every position. The 5-9 start
ing guard also jumps at center on
opening tips and plays small forward
when the Huskers have a shorter line
up on the floor.
Gilmore enjoys watching her
smaller teammate jump cfenter
against taller players. Schwartz has a
team-leading 24-inch vertical leap.
“The other team is usually like
‘Who’s this short, red-headed
chick?’” Gilmore said. “Then she
goes up and gets the ball for us. It’s
like we’re telling the other team to
watch out because we have some
Coach Paul Sanderford has called
Schwartz “the best pure athlete” on
Travis Schwartz, Brooke’s twin
brother, said his sister has always
“Brooke would always be out
there playing football at recess and
beating up on the guys,” he said. “She
has always been kind of a tomboy and
Schwartz gives her twin brother a
lot of credit for her game. More so,
she said she wouldn’t want to live
without him. .
“Travis is my oxygen,” she said.
“We’ve known each other for all 21
years and nine months. He probably
knows when something is wrong with
my jump shot before I do.”
Twin brother, who also is a man
ager for the Husker squad, wasn’t the
only person to take notice of
Schwartz’s abilities during ho* child
Indiana Hoosier legend Keith
Smart liked what he saw while watch
ing Schwartz play at a basketball
camp as a first-grader.
“All of the sudden this big guy
came up to me and said, ‘Hey, you’re
going to be good,”’ Schwartz said.
“My dad asked me later if I knew who
that was, and I had no idea.”
One way or another, people seem
to n’otice the talented, fun-loving
The power of “The Schwartz”
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The other team is usually like ‘Who's this
short, red-headed chick? 'Then she goes up
and gets the ball for us."
seems to be at its fullest glow when
rallying die home crowd by throwing
her fist in the air after making a fancy,
reverse lay-up with her offhand.
“I think of myself as an emotional
leader on this team,” Schwartz said.
“When we do something good I like
to go crazy and feed off our crowd.”
Gilmore said the guard’s spirited
play serves the team well.
“She performs well under pres
sure,” said Gilmore. “I think she plays
her best ball when she’s out there hav
“She really keeps our entire team
Most of the time, Schwartz’s
loose-as-a-goose style has helped her
on die basketball court. She has aver
aged 13 points and seven rebounds
per game this season.
However, one wonders how a top
notch athlete like Schwartz would
perform if she put on a game face like
her idol, Larry Bird.
Sanderfon! sounds like he some
times wonders the same thing.
“I don’t think Brooke has played
nearly as well as she was earlier this
season,” he said. “Defensively she’s
stopped making things happen.
“We need her to score 16 to 20
points a game. She’s the type of ath
lete who can play at the top level.”
NU guard Nicole Kubik agrees
that her backcourt mate hasn’t shown
her full ability.
“I think sometimes she’s in like an
ozone,” Kubik said. “She’s just out
there and not really concentrating. At
the same time, all of these things
we’ve been talking, about make
Brooke who she is.
“She’s such a great person and I
wouldn’t really want her to change
into this really intense person.”
Gilmore also likes what Schwartz
brings to the team.
“She’s always playing around -
not letting anyone get down or any
thing,” Gilmore said.
“She’s a great personality for the
team because she brings so much to
Nebraska's Van Hamburg
sees life after swimming
By Brandon Schulte
Sasha Van Hamburg and Adam
Pine may forever be linked together
as Nebraska swimmers. In July they
will be linked together in marriage.
Anyone who follows the NU
swimming program has heard of
Pine, & two-time All-American. But
few have heard of his fiancee, Van
Hamburg, who has stepped out of his
shadow this year.
The junior from New South
Wales, Australia, has already quali
fied for die NCAA championships.
After placing second at the Big 12
championships last year in 400-yard
individual medley, she should be a
force to be reckoned with this year in
In fact, without Van Hamburg’s
talent Pine probably wouldn’t have
come to Nebraska. Van Hamburg and
Pine came to NU as a package deal.
A lot ot times wnen you have
two swimmers at this level, one over
shadows the other,” Pine said. “Sasha
finds enjoyment in other things in her
life. We don’t live and die in swim
NU Coach Rick Paine first saw
Van Hamburg swim at the Australian
Olympic trials in 1996.
While she didn’t make the squad,
she was able to final in five different
Interestingly enough, she isn’t the
only swimmer in her family. Both of
her parents, Roger and Diana Van
Hamburg, competed in the Olympic
Games as swimmers. They also swam
in the 400-yard intermediate medley.
What impressed Paine on that day
and continues to be a staple of Van
Hamburg’s swimming are her versa
tility and toughness.
“Look at her,” Paine said. “She’s
not very big, she’s not intimidating,
you can watch her time sprints and
she’ll put you to sleep. But she is just
an outstanding competitor. 1 watched
her at her trials and she never gave up
and finished each race as hard as she
Her versatility comes into play in
her strongest events, the 200- and
400-yard individual medley. This
race combines all four strokes, the
enjoyment in other
things in her life.
We don’t live and
die in swimming
backstroke, breaststroke, butterfly
“She’s excellent in all four stokes,
but not outstanding,” Paine said. “Put
all of them together though and she’s
the best all-around swimmer at each
and every meet.
Paine likens Van Hamburg to for
mer NU swimmer and Olympian Jan
Bidrman, noting their similar tough
ness and understanding of prepara
Van Hamburg came to NU
because it offered her a chance to
swim while getting an education,
something she couldn’t have done in
“I saw (coming to Nebraska) as a
new experience.” Van Hamburg said.
“It was exciting getting the chance to
Van Hamburg has a positive out
look on life. Pine describes her per
sonality as “bubbly” and “energetic,”
while Van Hamburg just hopes she is
seen as a happy person and someone
who can make others laugh. Her pos
itive thinking also carries over to her
“Every racing experience is like a
new experience.” Van Hamburg said.
“I love swimming. I get so much
enjoyment out of the competition. I
try to do better every time I get into
the water to race.”
After her swimming career is fin
ished, Van Hamburg, an advertising
major, wants to return to Australia
and eventually run her own agency.
But that doesn’t rule out a return
“Here in Nebraska everyone is so
friendly,” Van Hamburg said. “I con
sider Lincoln a second home.”
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