Christina McQueen enters the Hive, the fast-food style cafe on campus. The day has taken a toll on her body but not her spirit. After a few minutes of conversation, her genuine character and friendly personality start to shine.
Fresh out of basketball practice, she comes across as gregarious and warm-hearted, towering over the student employee who hands over a burger and fries.
From highschool to Division II
McQueen said life at Cedarville University is a change from Gardner-Webb University where she spent her last two years before transferring to Cedarville.
At Gardner-Webb, McQueen played against bigger schools like Liberty and High Point. It marked the beginning of her college experience.
But for her, northern Ohio is home.
McQueen, who stands 6-foot-2, played high school basketball in Findlay, where she broke school records for blocked shots (72) in a season and in a single game (nine). She was also selected to play in the Ohio-Indiana girls’ all-star basketball game. From there, the next choice was where to attend college. McQueen said she had a number of options, including Southern Illinois, North Dakota State, University of Massachusetts Amherst, and Canisius, all of which contacted her in hopes that she would suit up for them.
But McQueen chose Gardner-Webb, a private liberal arts school located 50 miles west of Charlotte, North Carolina. After two years, however, McQueen transferred to Cedarville.
Making the decision
Kirk Martin, the head coach of Cedarville’s women’s basketball team, said there were several factors that went into the decision.
“With Christina, there was just a whole lot of really clear things that showed she’d be a really good fit with our program,” he said. “She’s local, she wanted to come back closer to home, Gardner-Webb’s a Christian school. There were just a lot of good things reflected that she would be a good fit for our program.”
For McQueen, one of the biggest factors in the decision, she said, was family, as she and her mom, Colette, are close. McQueen said her mom is her biggest fan and has watched two other daughters, Candice and Jonette play college basketball at Urbana, Findlay and Tiffin.
McQueen said it was hard on both her and her mom when she went to play basketball at a school 10 hours from home. Unlike with her two older daughters, Colette couldn’t come see McQueen play basketball because of the distance. A few days during Christmas break was the only time McQueen and her mom saw each other in between summers.
A different school
Now that she’s at Cedarville, McQueen is trying to adjust to life at a new school.
“This is a very different lifestyle, a lot faster,” she said. “There’s something different about this school. Something drew me here, and I’m trying to figure it out.”
One difference between Cedarville and Gardner-Webb is the course load, she said. While school at Gardner-Webb was challenging, she said it was not rigorous. Despite this, she has remained calm thus far. McQueen said she is not as stressed as last year and thinks that Cedarville will be better for her spiritually.
“I’m here for a reason,” she said. “Since I got here I’ve said, ‘Something better is gonna happen here.’”
So far, McQueen has impressed the coaches in practice. Martin said he likes what he’s seen from her.
“She adds a lot of quickness, she’s got a really good background as far as understanding the physicality of being a post player at the collegiate level, and she’s got a really pretty shot from 15 feet, too,” he said.
McQueen said she is looking forward to the upcoming season and hopes she can help the team be successful.
“I’ve never had a ring, and I want to be useful, bring something to the table, maybe even be the X factor,” she said. “I hope me and the new extra players and freshmen push us to the championship.”
Dave Guidone is a senior social studies education major and sports reporter for Cedars. His hobbies include eating, snacking, shooting hoops and laughing. Hebrews 13:8