Ethan’s Darbi Gustafson Leads Northwestern to NAIA Tournament
Ethan's Darbi Gustafson Leads Northwestern to NAIA Tournament
ORANGE CITY, Ia- You don’t want to get in senior post player, Darbi Gustafson’s way when she gets the ball down low.
Darbi Gustafson, Northwestern Senior (Ethan native) says: “Whether that’s getting on the inside for offensive rebounds or running the floor hard every time, I think my attention to detail and working hard has definitely made me the basketball player I am today.”
But her power moves didn’t happen overnight. In fact, both she and Head Coach Chris Yaw agree that her biggest improvement since freshman year has come from putting in that extra work.
Chris Yaw, Northwestern Women’s Basketball Coach says: “She has just gotten better and better and better. That’s involved being in the weight room. That’s involved just doing workouts. Those two things together just allowed her confidence to just grow like crazy.”
Coming from a small school in Ethan, South Dakota, Darbi is a multi-talented star athlete and even tried pursuing both volleyball and basketball. Until her heart told her to follow the “arc.”
Darbi says: “I just excelled from it (I guess) at a young age and I just really enjoyed it. Ultimately, basketball was my first love so I chose that over volleyball.”
Darbi is one of three seniors leading the charge for the Raiders and she is seen as a leader among her teammates, which is one of many qualities Coach Yaw will miss.
Yaw says: “Things that you end up missing overtime is who they are, not what they’ve done. I’m sure it will fall under that category of who she is as a person.”
Over 14-hundred points later, Gustafson has become a house-hold name for the Raider community. After the final buzzer goes off, Darbi will never forget how this team always celebrates the good and the bad in order to become better.
Darbi says: “We push each other to be the best. Every day in practice, (you know) if you’re not showing up and giving your 100% someone will call you out on it. We just don’t take it personal and we just know that we the best from each other.”
All eyes are on the NAIA Championship title. In Orange City, Iowa…..Christine Manika-KDLT Sports.