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Heading overseas
Elsa Eckenrod.jpg
Photo provided Former Lady Pioneer Elsa Eckenrod recently earned an invite to play in Spain this summer. Eckenrod just completed her sophomore season at Maryville College.

Talent helped Elsa Eckenrod earn a chance to continue her basketball career in college. Now, the former Lady Pioneers’ skill could be taking her overseas this summer.

Eckenrod, who recently wrapped up her second season at Maryville College, has been invited to participate on a Beyond Sports Tour in Spain while getting a chance to visit Madrid, Valencia and Barcelona. The team will play four games against local squads, along with conducting a basketball camp in the community.

It was an opportunity too good for Eckenrod to pass up.

“I am beyond excited to go. I never thought I would get an opportunity like this,” said Eckenrod.

A chance encounter in the preseason, when Maryville faced Thomas More University, may have led to Eckenrod’s invite. Jeff Hans, the coach of Thomas More, is one of the three coaches who will be leading the team this June 3-13. The other coaches are Kristen Dowling from Clarement McKenna College and Casey Kushiyama from the University of Puget Sound.

Eckenrod is coming off a season where she started 26 games at guard for the Scots. The sophomore averaged 7.4 points per game while playing 25 minutes a game. She cracked double figures twice, including a career-high 12 points in a road win over Brevard.

Moving into a full-time role in college has been challenging for the 5-foot-9 Eckenrod, especially after battling on the wing and in the post during her high school days. She’s taken steps each summer to add to her game, ultimately gaining more confidence each season.