SAIT’s Rachel Caputo hopes to break team’s basketball scoring mark

Normally when a player leads the team in scoring, they might be considered a selfish ball hog. In Rachel Caputo’s case, her teammates and coach insist she is anything but that.

Caputo, who is in her fifth year at Southern Alberta Institute of Technology, plays for the women’s basketball team. She is also set to break the team record of 1,407 career points set by Lisa Erickson in 2001. Erickson also played under her married name of Ozcan.

Caputo said she would be upset if she didn’t break the mark due to an injury that is currently preventing her from playing.

“It would bother me quite a bit,” Caputo said. “I think once I get back in there, and as long as I stay healthy, then it will be all right. I’ve just got to stay positive and work on getting healthier.”

Kaitie Beard, a teammate of Caputo’s at SAIT for the past two years, had nothing but high praises for her friend.

“She’s probably the best teammate you could have,” Beard said. “She’s the most humble person I’ve ever played with, and not selfish whatsoever.”

True to the humble nature described by Beard, Caputo was not boastful when asked about surpassing the record.

Caputo, white, shows off her defensive ability by stealing the ball from Mozanga Ekwalanga, blue. At press time, Caputo is just 15 points away from SAIT’s all-time scoring record.

Photo by Neil Hilts

“It will be pretty neat to be able to say that I’ve done that. It’s definitely a big honour,” Caputo said.

Growth seen by coach

Head coach Donovan Martin said that when Caputo arrived, she was known as a defensive specialist, but now she has worked on her game and has become dominating offensively as well.

Martin also said Caputo could be the best player that he has ever coached.

“She is extremely and deceptively strong,” Martin said. “She’s also got incredibly quick hands that make her a real force on defense. She’s got tremendous anticipation.”

Leadership

Martin named Caputo captain last year.

“When you have somebody out there performing and putting in the type of effort like she does, in practice as well as in games, working as hard as she works, it boosts the team,” Martin said.

Staying at SAIT

After getting her diploma in marketing, Caputo decided to stay and get a new media production and design diploma, while playing basketball. She also has maintained a 4.0 GPA over the past two years.

Caputo said she decided to stay longer at SAIT because she loved the environment and the game, amongst other things.

“I’ve been having fun. It’s a good program. I like my coach, and all my teammates I play with are great,” Caputo said.

nhilts@cjournal.ca