Wright State’s Dutch center Richelle van der Keijl out hustles defenders for rebounds on the court, and as a mass communication major off the court she has had experiences similar to those of the reporters that interview her.
This semester Van der Keijl has written several of her own articles for her advanced news writing course on the class’s website, DailyFlipz.com. Though she favors public relations work over interviewing, Van der Keijl finds the experience of discovering new places in America interesting.
“The fun part about it is that you see a lot of new places and hear a lot of new stories from people,” Van der Keijl said.
Van der Keijl says writing and interviewing can be a challenging aspect of her field of study, but she does see some benefits in it.
“I never really wanted to go into journalism, but here mass communication focuses on journalism. That is pretty hard, especially interviewing people and then writing at the beginning,” Van der Keijl said. “I’m getting better at it. I think it is really good for myself to write a lot of stories to get better in English.”
Van der Keijl took a shot at interviewing her teammates and head coach Mike Bradbury for one of her articles about the start of the team’s season. Being interviewed by one of his own players was an unusual circumstance for Bradbury.
“I think she might have been the first one. She did a great job, Bradbury said. “Richelle is very smart, and she is going to be successful in whatever she does.”
Standing tall at 6-5 and possessing the ability to get physical on the boards, Van der Keijl can cause problems for opponents in the rebounding game. Her physicality was on display against Austin Peay earlier this season when she was able to score a LeBron James-esque basket with defenders wrapped around her.
It is the physical battles for rebounds with her opponents that Van der Keijl enjoys most about her position.
“It is fun to play hard and know that they can beat you up and shove you down,” Van der Keijl said. “I like that aspect of the game. I would rather be a center than a guard even if I could shoot.”
According to Bradbury, Van der Keijl has become increasingly tougher and aware of what is happening around her on the floor.
“She has gotten a lot tougher since she first got here, and she knows what she is doing,” Bradbury said. “You never have to worry about her being in the wrong spot. You can trust her.”
Van der Keijl continued her strong start to the season with an impressive 12-rebound performance in a win against nationally ranked Georgia Washington over the weekend in Texas during the Lone Star Showcase tournament.
Van der Keijl has plans of playing professionally after her playing career at Wright State ends next season and later a profession that centers on public relations and marketing. Whichever course she takes, it should be tough to knock Van der Keijl down from succeeding.