BY Joe Becker
Twenty year old Cassie Beucherie is a Junior at Lewis & Clark College and plays for the Pioneers, who are ranked 8th in the country in Division III womens basketball. She loves the game and the team she plays with. "It's incredible," says Beucherie, "I've never been on such a team that clicks so well. There's no drama and on the court it's just amazing to see how well it works."
The five foot ten, junior guard isn't the best player on the team but she is the best singer. In fact she sings the national anthem before every Pioneer home game. She sings the anthem before the other sports at Lewis & Clark as well. She even sings on the team bus. "She sings all the time," says senior forward, Daron Dean, adding, "she actually takes requests. So we think of songs we like and we ask her to sing them and we all jam out. It's a lot of fun."
Cassie is from Sultan, Washington, and plays piano and a few other instruments and dreams of being a professional singer. "I'm actually a vocal performance major here at Lewis & Clark, so that's my dream to be on the big stage I guess."
Recently she took another step in that direction singing the National Anthem before the Blazers-Pacers game at the Rose Garden. More than 18-thousand fans were on hand. "It was amazing," says Cassie. "I forgot that the lights would go down and there would be a spotlight and everything." Beucherie did a fantastic job and received thunderous applause from the fans. "Let's just say my heart was pounding pretty hard," says Cassie. "It was really cool to know that my coaches were there. I felt a little more at home." Teammate Kristina Williams was there as well. "It was just amazing," says Williams, who has seen Beucherie perform dozens of times with the anthem and a-cappella groups around campus. Her basketball coach, Juli Fulks felt the same way, "Honestly, I had chills. She does it here for our games every night and to see it there and to hear the entire place react to it. It was amazing. I was incredibly proud."
Beucherie is a big Blazers fan too. Her favorite player is forward J.J. Hickson, "Because he works hard, he's tough and we share the same number." says Cassie, who also wears 21. The week got even better for Beucherie and her teammates. They beat George Fox 64-59 to snap the Bruins 43-game home winning streak. I'll bet they were singing all the way home on the bus.