Athletics & Recreation

Benham leaves marks in hoops record book

From shooting hoops with her dad and two older sisters on a dirt driveway in Muleshoe, Texas, to the bright lights of college basketball in DU’s Magness Arena, Sara Benham has come a long way.

Benham (BA communications and business ’07) is currently working toward a master’s of accountancy at DU.

“Muleshoe has about 4,500 people, so Denver is very different,” says the six-foot forward standout on the University of Denver’s women’s basketball team who finished a stellar career earlier this month.

When Benham was looking to leave Muleshoe for college she says she wanted a school that would push her to become a better student, player and person.

“DU has done all those things,” she says. “It’s taught me to see and think from different perspectives and it’s taken me to the next level.”

True by just about any measure. Benham has left her mark at DU and in the record book, joining Sara Fadenrecht (1995–98) and Misa Pavlickova (1999–2001) as the only players at DU to have at least 1,000 points, 500 rebounds, 100 steals and 100 blocked shots. And she joined Melissa Garcia and Ashley Atkinson in second on the all-time games played list at 116.

Benham is now fourth for all-time in blocked shots with a 121. The feat earns her a rank of 22 in the Sun Belt Conference all-time blocked shots list. And she’s in the top 15 in rebounds, steals and total points in her career.

“Sara joins some impressive company in the DU record books,” says Celya McCullah, assistant director of athletics media relations at DU. “She has a great amount of talent and her name will be left in DU history for some time to come.”

The word to describe her play — especially to rack up those kinds of numbers — is aggressive. Yet, she’s admittedly shy.

“I am shy around new people, but I’m working to get better about that,” she says.

She attributes her aggressiveness on the court to being the youngest of three girls. “My two older sisters beat me up quite a bit and made me tough,” she adds with a short laugh.

But besides the aggressiveness and impressive numbers and records, Benham says basketball at DU taught her a lesson she expects to use in the rest of her life.

“I think the most important thing I’ve learned is perseverance,” she says. “No matter how bad things are or get, you keep going and you don’t give up.”

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