Student Interns with WNBA Champion Detroit Shock
Working as an intern for the Women’s National Basketball Association
world champion Detroit Shock was the chance of a lifetime for Alma
College student Jennifer Bassett-Payne.
The Traverse City senior majoring in athletic training was on duty courtside when the Shock clinched the WNBA championship earlier this month over the San Antonio Silver Stars at Eastern Michigan University’s Convocation Center in Ypsilanti.
“Interning with the Shock has been the most exciting thing I have done,” says Bassett-Payne. “I was fortunate enough to work under head athletic trainer and strength and conditioning coach Laura Ramus, who is such an influential person in the athletic training world. She is so knowledgeable. She was a great teacher.”
Jennifer Bassett-Payne, volleyball player and intern with the Detroit Shock.
Bassett-Payne interned with the Shock from June through August.
Her work made such an impression that Ramus invited her back to work
the Shock’s home games in the Eastern Conference and WNBA finals.
“That was an awesome, amazing experience,” she says.
Bassett-Payne approached Denny Griffin, Alma College’s athletic training director, a year ago about the possibility of doing an internship.
“I am a huge Pistons fan, so when he asked me where I would like to intern, I said the Pistons,” she says. “But the Pistons’ season had already started, so he suggested I apply to the Detroit Shock because he knew Laura Ramus. I sent my resume last December and then did a phone interview, which took an hour. I got the call in February that I was selected. I was really excited.”
Her work bounced between athletic training and team management activities. On team practice days, she typically arrived two hours early to prepare the Whirlpool, water, Gatorade and practice facilities for the players. She also worked hands-on with the players, assisting with injury treatments and strengthening and conditioning exercises.
On game days, she typically arrived by 8:30 a.m. for a 6:30 p.m. game, making sure uniforms were ready, the court was prepared and referees were accommodated. During the game, she took care of the players’ warm-ups, heating pads and other accessories. She stayed after games until 3 a.m. doing laundry and cleanup.
“There were times I took players to doctor appointments, and I got to see different diagnostic tests done,” she says. “I got along well with the players. I’m still in contact with some of them; they ask me how school is going. The whole coaching staff also was awesome to work for; [Assistant Coach] Ricky Mahorn liked to play practical jokes on me.”
Following graduation next April, Bassett-Payne intends to pursue an advanced degree in physical therapy. She also has been asked to return to work with the Shock next season.
Bassett-Payne also is a member of the Alma College women’s volleyball team. A graduate of Traverse City St. Francis High School, she is the daughter of Barb and Tim Payne.
Posted: Fri, October 17th, 2008 at 9:40AM