Team competing at NAIA Division II Women's Basketball Tournament - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Team competing at NAIA Division II Women's Basketball Tournament strike up friendship with Siouxland Students


A group of young women from Marian University is competing for a chance at division 2 national championship title. 

But, it's the work they are putting in off the court that is teaching them lifelong lessons. 

"We see them or we hear them cheering in the stands and we just stop and take a deep breath and smile and we realize that it is bigger than basketball," says Kellie Kirkoff, a guard for Marian University Women's Basketball. 

It's an unlikely friendship four years in the making.

These women are from Indianapolis, but each year they look forward to seeing the Hunt Elementary students.  

"It's one of those things where yeah, winning games are cool but, a relationship you can build with kids, that's something that you hold onto for a lifetime," says Katie Gearold, Marian University Head Women's Basketball Coach. 

 Each year the team strives to teach the young students that anything is possible. 

"You know these kids get to go to college and help inspire young kids who have dreams, too. Whether it's to play college basketball or whether it's to be an artist or a painter or President of the United States, you know, just to help kids to know that if you work hard and you're committed and you sacrifice some things along the way, you can make your dreams come true," says Gearold. 

Year after year, the friendship continues to blossom. 

And for these women it's all about one thing: 

"It is bigger than basketball, you know. It's not just the game. It's about building relationships and holding those in your heart for the rest of your life," says Kirkoff. 

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