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First-year Amber Tretter is leading the RedHawks to a bright future

Tretter has been a weapon on both offense and defense.
Tretter has been a weapon on both offense and defense.

The Miami University RedHawks women’s basketball team needed to establish an identity for their new beginning. With head coach Glenn Box at the helm of the program, the team had to make adjustments to find success with their young and relatively inexperienced team.

With five first-years on the team, Miami is tied with Ohio University for the second-highest number of first-years in the Mid-American Conference. Only five players from last team’s roster returned for this year. If the young team were to find any success, the transfer players and first-years would need to step up.

Despite being new to the team, first-year Amber Tretter has made a huge impact on the team’s success this season.

The 6’1” forward from Indiana was recruited to Miami under the previous coaching staff. She began playing basketball at a young age.

“I have played basketball since third grade,” Tretter said. “My friend’s mom actually coached us. She was a great coach and started us young, and we had a good group of girls. We played basketball with each other almost our whole lives.”

In addition to basketball, Tretter was involved in soccer and t-ball early-on, and she participated on the dance team through middle school. When she was 13, Tretter needed to make a commitment to either basketball or dance, which was difficult to do. 

She picked basketball, and in hindsight, she feels that her experience in high school has shaped her life in the right direction. At Forest Park High School, she led the team to back-to-back Indiana 2A State Championships in her junior and senior years. She scored the winning point in her senior year and received the Roy Mental Attitude Award for her performance. 

“Those are very memorable experiences that I went through,” Tretter said. “We’ve always had a dream whenever we are in high school that we wanted to get that state championship and to be able to accomplish that is just something that is really amazing and not a lot of people get to do.”

Following her senior year, Tretter knew that her achievements in high school would continue into her collegiate career. When looking at colleges, an important consideration for her was the architecture program, which she wants to major in. 

When Miami reached out, Tretter realized it was the perfect match for her athletic and academic goals. 

“Miami caught my eye because one of the main things I was looking for was the schooling part,” Tretter said. “I’m an architecture major, and not a lot of schools were able to satisfy both my wants in the academic part and athletic part. But Miami was one of them that was able to do that.”

Tretter was recruited to Miami under the previous coaching administration. When DeUnna Hendrix resigned as head coach after intimate texts with a student athlete came to light, Tretter decided to stick with the RedHawks. In her eyes, she was going to play in a new coaching staff regardless. 

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When she met the new coaching staff, she knew she made the right decision to stay. Box and the remaining RedHawks created a welcoming and supportive environment for Tretter and the other newcomers. 

Junior forward Katey Richason remembers meeting Tretter for the first time under the previous coaching staff, and expresses gratitude that she decided to stay.

“I had met her prior, when she came on her official visit,” Richason said. “When she first got here, you could tell she was a little bit quieter. But I could tell she was passionate about her major and passionate about the sport.”

Before the season, the RedHawks participated in team building activities to get to know everyone. From living in the dorms together to building a house for Habitats for Humanity, Tretter has grown close to the other first-years. She even went to the Battle for the Victory Bell football game against the University of Cincinnati.

The importance of team cohesiveness is no more important than to Box. He understands that having such a new team could lead to problems with synergy, but the RedHawks have been able to avoid that.

“They’re all close,” Box said. “I don’t think that there’s a big line drawn between the younger players and the older players. I think that they’re all very accepting of Amber and her talents.”

Tretter has been a weapon on both offense and defense. In her first year as a RedHawk, she has the most minutes on the team with 641 over all 22 games. She averages 10.3 points, 1.5 assists and 1.2 blocks per game and leads the team in free throws made (44), rebounds (157) and blocks (26). The 226 total points she has put up for the RedHawks has no doubt helped them too.

As the basketball season winds down, Miami continues to evolve in their first year under the new coaching staff. With a 6-16 record, Box focuses on keeping the team together. 

“How can we turn it around? I actually don’t see it like that,” Box said. “I actually see it as we’re just a work in progress. This is our first year and everybody’s here together. We try to win every game, we don’t sit here and reflect on the games we hadn't won.”

Responsibility has been handed down to the first-years more than ever. With their effort, the future of the program seems to be in safe hands.

“We have a bright outlook on the future,” Richason said. “There’s not a lot of teams in the country that could say they are as young as us, but it’s also not an excuse. We’re going to keep learning and keep pushing. I think we have a bright future with freshmen that want to win and freshmen that care.”