QU Basketball’s Spagnola, Evans Reflect on time with Garber

Committing to a college coach is a deciding factor during a student-athlete’s recruitment process.

Jeni Garber has devoted a decade of her life to Quincy, Illinois while serving as the Quincy University women’s basketball head coach.

After 10 years, it was announced that Garber and QU mutually agreed that her contract will not be renewed. This announcement came Monday, March 1, just two days after the team concluded its 2-18 campaign under Garber’s direction.

“Her integrity and character are rightly admired by her students and colleagues,” QU President Brian McGee, Ph.D., said.

One in which includes a key component of the current crew, redshirt junior Maddie Spagnola, who hails from hometown Elgin, Illinois.

Prior to her season ending injury her junior year, Spagnola started all 27 games leading the team in minutes (29.1), points (12.4), and steals (43) in her sophomore season.

Although Garber is leaving the program, her influential lessons will live on.

“Garber taught me patience and how to handle tough situations with an open mindset and that there is always a solution to every problem,” Spagnola said. “I think the biggest thing she is leaving behind to us players is her love for the game and the respect she earned from all of us around her.”

During Garber’s tenure at QU, she led the Hawks to three NCAA Tournament appearances and had a record of 127-150.

“My most memorable moment here at QU with Garber as my head coach was when we beat D1 SIUE last year,” Spagnola stated.

The 2020-2021 squad featured Jazzpher Evans, who was one of five freshman selected to the GLVC All-Freshman team after her impressive first year with QU.

“I had gotten to know Garber well so it was upsetting to know she wasn’t going to be around anymore,” Evans said.

While averaging 23.9 minutes per night, Evans put up 11.4 points per game, shot 40% from the field and was ranked second on the team in steals (24).

Evans could be a vital asset to the QU basketball program moving forward, and Garber left an impact on her game.

“She was always willing to talk to us and I think she left us with courage,” Evans stated. “Many people may have doubted us just because of our history but we went into every game no matter how tough the other team was with the attitude that we could win.”

As QU searches for new strategies of competitive success in women’s basketball, Evans will remain in the gym.

“My focus this off season is to improve weaker parts of my game and study the game,” Evans said. “I know the team wants to really focus on our man defense and really pushing the ball up the court.”

Evans thinks the team needs something completely fresh.

“Hopefully we get a coach who takes the time to understand us all as individuals and players,” Evans said.

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