The Indiana Wesleyan University women’s basketball team doesn’t have a star player this year, according to Head Coach Steve Brooks. The numbers support Brooks’ statement, too. According to the team’s statistics on the IWU Athletic Department website, no one on the team is averaging even 11 points per game this season.
The team does have a star leader, though. And her name is Teneil Krebs (sr).
Krebs, a 5’10” guard, has earned a leadership role on the 8-1 Wildcats partially because of her fierce desire to win.
“She’s a competitor. First and foremost, she’s a competitor. She’s a very achievement-oriented kid,” Brooks said. “You don’t have to come to our practice and stand very long to say, ‘Wow, [number] 24 is all over the place.’”
Guard Jessica Brown (jr) said Krebs isn’t only competitive when playing basketball.
“On the court, she’s competitive, but she’s also competitive in her academics. She’s, like, a 4.0 student, so she’s always striving to be the best she can be,” Brown said. “And she always pushes me to be the best that I can be in all aspects of life.”
And although Krebs is very competitive, Brooks said she isn’t loud about her desire to win. She doesn’t lay into her teammates when they mess up or try to fire up the Wildcats with a rousing talk in the locker room.
“Teneil isn’t going to get up and give a ‘rah-rah’ speech in front of everybody, but she is going to meet you in McConn [Coffee Company] and talk to you one-on-one,” Brooks said. “She is going to be able to build a relationship that her teammates trust and go to her.”
Trustworthiness just may be the characteristic of Krebs that has the biggest impact on her team.
Brooks said the Wildcats sometimes participate in an activity called a “perception test,” where Brooks asks the team questions such as, “Who’s our best three-point shooter?” and each of the players respond with their answer.
When the question of trustworthiness came up, Krebs was the unanimous response.
“Every one of the kids, every one of them, said Teneil was somebody that I trust, somebody that I would go to to get help with a personal problem, or whatever,” Brooks said.
Brown wasn’t surprised by the results in the slightest.
“She’s one of my best friends. Ever since I’ve come in my freshman year, she’s been someone that I can go to for anything,” Brown said. “It’s not just for basketball, it could be for anything in life.”
In addition to competitiveness and trustworthiness, Krebs also brings a spiritual component to the Wildcats that helps keep the team grounded in faith. Brooks said she is “really sensitive to her own spiritual growth and the growth of her teammates.”
When Krebs graduates, Brown hopes to model the leadership she has shown.
“She is an amazing spiritual leader on our team,” Brown said. “My goal is to be one of the spiritual leaders on the team [next year], and Teneil’s been able to show me how to do that.”
Krebs has her priorities straight, and she hopes her team can continue to keep basketball in its proper place as something important, but not the most important thing in life.
“I just try to lead by example. It comes with the realization that basketball is not our top priority,” Krebs said. “Once we all realize that God is first, then basketball falls in place.”
This story is a part of Co-Editor-in-Chief Jared Johnson’s “Stars in the Background” series on overlooked stars in IWU athletics. For more information, click here.