The Class of 2019 will be inducted into the M-Club Hall of Fame during the annual festivities on Fri., Oct. 25 in the J.W. Jones Student Union Ballroom and will be recognized during the Homecoming football game on Sat., Oct. 26. Tickets for the Friday evening banquet are $25 each and may be purchased by contacting Kiersten Orton (firstname.lastname@example.org) in the athletics office at 660-562-1977. Seating for the event is limited and the deadline to reserve your spot at the banquet is Oct. 18, or until tickets are sold out.
By Trent Spinner
Athletic Communications/Media Relations Student Assistant
From the bench to the court, the newest M-Club Hall of Fame member Danae (Wagner) Ites’s story lives and dies by the fact that her teammates believed in her ability to be among the best.
Ites showcased her skills for the Northwest women’s basketball team from 1988-1992. During this time the team was trying to make strides toward success and with her help they grew the program’s history.
When Ites came to Northwest she started her path by sitting on the bench and coming in from time to time. Now most freshmen fall under that same category, but as she entered into her sophomore year, before basketball season began she still was unable to reach the goal of being part of the starting five. But her teammates knew her potential and made that known.
“I wasn’t even supposed to be a starter my sophomore year, until one of my teammates stepped up and asked coach if we could try something different with me in there, the night before our first game,” Ites said. “We did and it worked and from that point on I was a starter.”
With the help of her teammates Ites grabbed the opportunity and ran with it on her way to ranking second on Northwest’s all-time scoring list with 1,538 points. Her coach’s expectations were never for her to become an all-time great and her expectations were always focused on the team side of things, so points didn’t matter.
In her team mindset she settled in and became a go-to scorer on the Bearcat team. But still after all her accomplishments, all the glory goes to the team effort.
“Any given night there were three of us on the court that could go for 20, so it really wasn’t about one of us it was about working together,” Ites said. “If I wasn’t hitting so well I would make sure to get the ball to the person that was … it was everyone working together.”
During her tenure at Northwest the team accomplished a feat that was crucial to the foundation of the bearcat basketball history as they made the NCAA tournament for the second time in program history.
“I was hoping that we would get inducted as a team,” Ites said. “It had been a while since we had made the national tournament and our team did that.”
Even though her basketball career at Northwest ended, her passion for the school still lays the foundation for her family. Both her son and daughter followed their mother’s footsteps as they passed through the same halls she did.
Northwest was and always will be her home and now that she is being inducted among the elite, she couldn’t be happier.
“I just kind of was blown away, I think I had some tears, things like that just don’t really happen to me,” Ites said. “I was very very humbled and honored to be chosen to be inducted.”