The Mines women’s basketball team opened last season with a blistering 4-1 record before facing Colorado Christian Univeristy in their sixth game of the year. Just two minutes into that game, starting guard Angie Charchalis suffered a torn ACL and in the blink of an eye, was out for the remainder of her junior season. Mines suffered two more serious injuries and struggled the rest of the 2010-2011 season, managing to win only three more games. It would not be until 340 days later that Charchalis would be able to return to the court in an Oredigger uniform.
Even though the Lady Orediggers dropped their 2011-2012 season opener to Wayne State, the game meant more to Charchalis than the final score would indicate. It signaled the conquering of an injury that had threatened her career. “I was tough,” remembers Charchalis. “I missed [basketball] a lot. I wanted to play so bad. I wanted to be out there with my teammates… it was tough; we lost three to injuries, but it gave everybody a lot more playing time and gave girls the chance to play and develop.”
It is obvious that Charchalis was missed. Already through the first half of this season, the shooting guard from Craig, Colorado, leads the Orediggers in scoring with 258 points and 13 points per game. She currently accounts for 22% of all Mines’ scoring and is currently third overall in the RMAC in free throw percentage (84%) and fourth in steals (41). As a reward for her success, Charchalis was recently nominated to participate to play as part of the USAAI women’s basketball team and will compete all across Italy and Austria in the summer of 2012.
For her efforts, and perseverance throughout her career, Angie Charchalis is this week’s Athlete of the Week.
[Oredigger] What was it like coming back after your injury?
[Charchalis] It was great. I really missed it a lot and I worked really hard to get back.
What is your favorite basketball memory?
Definitely making the National Tournament my sophomore year. If I could go back and win that game again, I would, it was just such an awesome experience.
What makes you love basketball so much?
The competition. I guess I’m a really competitive person. I really love my team too, we all know that we have each other’s back, both in school and in basketball. On and off the court, we’re all together, we all love each other.
What do you do in your spare time?
Well, I want to go skiing when the season is over, and I’m learning to play guitar. And I’m trying to learn to speak Greek.
What has been your favorite class at Mines?
Calc I because of Jane Walker. It’s not because I like the class, but I really liked Jane Walker.
Least favorite class?
Info Systems. Uh. I just… I may be wrong, but… I don’t think I’ll ever use that stuff.
If you could add a class, what would it be?
I don’t know, Guitar 101 probably. I could get someone to teach me their ways.
What is the nerdiest thing you have seen on this campus?
There was this kid during Humans vs. Zombies that ran himself to exhaustion and collapsed on Kafadar. I mean, I don’t know why he didn’t just go into one of the rooms. I know the rules, I know you can go into buildings. I don’t know why he did that.
What is the nerdiest part about the basketball team?
When we play Cranium as team, everyone’s nerdy side comes out. With all the trivia, you find out how many really smart people we have on our team.
What is one thing that no one really knows about you?
I’m a terrible swimmer. Like, really bad. And I’m going to go play basketball in Italy and Austria over the summer.
What advice would you give yourself if you would do Mines over?
Don’t worry so much about bad grades. If I knew that, I could add a few years to my life from the lower stress.