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Warrior Wire: Celeste Mershimer

graphic by Emily Carroll

by Celeste Mershimer

A senior sport management major, Celeste Mershimer competes for RU women's basketball. Here is her story in her own words.

Family Foundation

Looking back on the past five years of my college journey, I can confidently say that God has been present through it all. I am from Amanda, Ohio, a small town about 45 minutes southeast of Columbus, Ohio.

My mom and dad, Nikki and Gerald Mershimer, are my role models. They have been living examples of what it means to love God and others. The rest of my family includes my older brother Caleb, my younger sister Chasidy, and my younger brother Christopher, who are all so important to me. I am eager to celebrate my graduation with them in April.

College Hoops

I started my collegiate athletic journey at Ohio Dominican University in 2019. I was a part of the Women’s basketball team there for two and a half years before deciding to leave.

While I did learn many things and built friendships, I had no joy in what I loved doing most: playing basketball. I was at a point when I would accomplish success and feel nothing. I had experienced some of the lowest points of my life while being there.

Mentally, I was in a place that started to make me question who God created me to be. I kept trying to force myself into an environment where I wasn’t comfortable enough to be myself. Halfway into the 21-22 season, I knew I needed to transfer. I wanted to make the most of my basketball career while I still had the time. I had trust in God and excitement for what was to come.

Celeste Mershimer with her parents at senior day.

Where I Belong

I contacted Rochester University’s women’s basketball head coach at the time, Brent Wichtner, to come practice with the team and visit campus.

From the moment I met the team, I felt a strong sense of belonging, more than I could imagine in the past two and a half years at ODU. The girls made me feel like family. I felt open enough to be myself on and off the floor. I could finally enjoy playing the sport that I love without fear and anxiety. I had to work through an anxious mindset that I developed at my previous school.

At Rochester, I could surround myself with coaches and teammates who had patience and faith in me. They were able to help me work through my struggles and let go of any negativity. My first season at RU was the 22-23 season. Becoming WHAC champions that year is a highlight of my career and a moment I will never forget. I am grateful that I was led back to RU for my senior season because it was an opportunity to play for Jared Ocampo, create new friendships, lead the team and mature as a player and a person.

My Journey

Each year in my college career has looked different: different teammates, different coaches and different levels of success. Now that this year is ending I am grateful that I get to finish my college education and athletic career at a place where I am a part of something bigger than myself or any sport.

RU has provided me with a place to grow. I have shared my faith, played basketball, built lifelong friendships, created memories, and got a quality education. Graduating this spring with my Bachelor’s in sports management, I look forward to seeing all my hard work come full circle when I walk across the stage and get my degree.

I thank God for how far He has brought me, where I am now, and where He will guide me in the future. God, I give you the glory and trust your plan for my life. Order my steps!

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