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Where Are They Now?

Former Vol, Rasheeda Love, Settling in as Teacher-Coach at Elverado High

Editor’s Note: This is the fifth in a series of features of former John A. Logan College athletes, who chose to make their home here in Southern Illinois after completing their education.

Logan Media Services

Rasheeda Love (Photo provided)

Rasheeda Love (Photo provided)

CARTERVILLE – One of the all-time great guards on the John A. Logan College women’s basketball team is about to begin her second full year as teacher/coach in the Elverado School District at Elkville.

Rasheeda “Beba” Love, a Hall of Fame inductee who played for the Vols from 1999 through 2001, is originally from Milwaukee, Wis. before later moving with her family to Mount Vernon, where she graduated high school in the spring of ’99.

Although she only stood 5-feet, 8 inches tall, Love could play any position on the floor, but excelled at the point guard position. As a freshman at Logan, Love averaged 11.1 points and 4.8 rebounds per game to go along with 2.4 assists and 1.8 steals. She was named “Newcomer of the Year” in the Great Rivers Athletic Conference and was also selected All-Region 24. The Vols finished 23-10 during that ’99-’00 season and lost to Southwestern Illinois College in the finals of the Region 24 postseason tournament.

The numbers were even better the following year as the sophomore knocked down 13.6 points and 5.2 rebounds per game, as well as 3.8 assists and 2.7 steals. A team captain, Love led the Vols to a 29-7 overall record, including eighth-place finish at the National Junior College Athletic Association finals. For her efforts, she was named All-GRAC, All-Region 24 and Third Team All-American.

Her two-year career over at Logan, Love moved on to Bradley University in Peoria, where she was voted to the “All-Defensive Team” her senior year and led the Braves in steals (66) and assists (125).

Love graduated Bradley with a bachelor’s degree in Family and Consumer Science. She was hired on as an assistant women’s basketball coach at SIUC, where she remained for five years, before joining the staff at Tennessee State in 2009. Finally, in January of 2012, Love changed gears somewhat and gave up collegiate coaching so that she could accept a teaching position at Elverado High School in nearby Elkville.

In her spare time, she helps coach the girls’ basketball team and serves as the school sponsor for the Family Career Community Leaders of America Club. This fall marks her third school year at Elkville and second full year.

“I’m now in the process of working on my master’s degree,” said the 32-year-old Love. “I live in Carbondale now and eventually would like to get married and have children.”

A woman of faith, Love first credits her successes in life to God, as well as her parents, Maria and LaMarr; grandmother, Alzena; and brothers, Ahmad and Mahadi. Love doesn’t stop there. She is also quick to point out the importance of her junior high and high school coaches at Mount Vernon, Sandra Clark and Sara Rennie.

“They taught me a whole lot more than basketball,” she said. “They taught me a lot about life. I’m especially close to the Clark family. Sandra has always treated me like one of her daughters (Page and Amanda) and I have spent many family gatherings with them. Not only did Sandra and Sara teach me…they inspired me and encouraged me to become the best person I could be. I owe them so much.”

Love described herself as “extremely competitive, a tenacious defender and emotional” when still playing the game, someone who was glad to play whatever position needed to help her teams win.

“I really enjoyed my experience at Logan,” she said. “We had a lot of success as a team in the two years I was there, placing eighth in the nation my sophomore year. Coach (Marty) Hawkins and Coach (Kristin) Shelby were great to play for and the people at the college were always so helpful – everyone from the cafeteria workers and secretaries to the professors. They wanted you to succeed and the small-family environment there was one of the best things that could have happened for me.”

Hawkins said Love will always be one of his favorite players.

“Her approach to the game and to life is what always impressed me the most,” he said. “With that great big smile, the enthusiasm, and all the energy in the world, Beba was the life of the team.”

Hawkins said he has not coached a player at Logan who moved quicker from baseline to baseline and who played so smart.

“If we were in a man defense, she could force the other team’s ball handler to change directions. And if we were in a diamond press, she was often the centerfielder playing the role of ballhawk. Beba was a tremendous competitior…one of a kind. I am very proud of what she accomplished here and after she left here. She will continue to be a tremendous asset as a teacher/coach at Elverado. Everyone who’s around Beba will learn something from her.”