Don’t let her smile fool you — there was nothing nice about draining nine three-pointers for 27 points against Loyola Marymount on Feb. 22.
Senior guard Kim Beeston might be known for her sunny demeanor, but leading the West Coast Conference in three-point field goals has not given BYU’s opponents anything to smile about.
The 5’11” sharp-shooting Beeston is a force to be reckoned with on the court. Averaging 11.6 points, four rebounds and four assists per game, Beeston leads the BYU women’s basketball team this season as a co-captain and one of only two seniors on the roster.
“She is definitely one of our leaders,” said Kylie Maeda, sophomore point guard. “Her and Jen (Hamson) are our captains. On the court, obviously her scoring helps, but it’s also her leadership. She’s always there to keep us together and stay positive.”
Having played her last game in front of BYU fans at the Marriott Center, Beeston has high expectations for her team in the postseason.
“We for sure want to make it to the NCAA tournament,” Beeston said. “That’s our goal and it has been the whole season. I think that we’ve played really well to get there, so going into the West Coast Conference tournament I think we have a really great chance.”
The Cougars’ chances of making the tournament are looking good, according to ESPN’s Bracketology, which currently has them at a 12-seed in the tournament. Beeston is hungry for another trip to the big dance.
“I’ve been there one time in my career, and it’s awesome,” Beeston said. “You just get treated really well and it’s such a fun experience because not a lot of teams make it.”
The Heber City native had quite the career in her five years spent playing for BYU head coach Jeff Judkins. After a season-ending foot injury her freshman year, Beeston made an impact for the Cougars every year since, with career averages of 8.6 points per game, 2.6 assists and 3.3 rebounds.
“One thing about Kim, this year especially, is that scoring isn’t her whole thing,” Judkins said. “It’s her leadership on the floor, her defensive presence, getting her team the ball, and doing all those little things.”
Doing all those little things for her team has paid off, as Beeston sees more court time than any other BYU player, contributing in many ways to help her team execute offensively and defensively. Beeston also shows her all-around basketball savvy by having the third-best assist-to-turnover ratio in the WCC (2.0) — a stat unusual for anyone but a point guard to have.
Beeston started her career wearing Parker on the back of her jersey before marrying Spencer Beeston in 2012.
“I’ve been married a year and a half,” Beeston said. “I just try to focus so that when I’m basketball, I’m just at basketball, and when I’m at home, I’m at home. I try not to think too much about the other one when I am there.”
A school health education major, Beeston and her husband plan to move to Colorado after this year, where she hopes to complete her student teaching.
Until then, Beeston will focus on leading her team to victory in the postseason.
“Learning how to best lead this team came with time, but I’ve loved it,” Beeston said. “I try to be as positive as I can be, and this has definitely been one of my favorite teams I’ve been on just because everyone is so close and we’re all really great friends. So leading them has been easy and fun — I have just loved this year.”
Kylie Maeda said although any players can hypothetically pick up the scoring void Beeston will leave, there is more to it than that.
“Her fun personality (is what we will miss). She’s always smiling — even during the games she is smiling and having fun, and I think that’s what we’ll miss the most.”