Redfield's Replays: January 10


Tia Weledji

St. Thomas Aquinas senior Tia Weledji has seen great success with the Saints’ girls’ basketball team.

She was a freshman on the 2011 undefeated Saints’ Class 5A state title team and last year she was on another 5A state championship team. And now she is looking to make it three state titles in four years of high school.

The 5-foot, 10-inch senior is the leading scorer for the Saints.

“Tia has been a four-year starter for us,” Coach Rick Hetzel says. “Started as a freshman on our 25-0 state championship team. She was a team captain on last year’s 24-1 state title team.”

Her parents, Conrad and Medie Weledji moved to America from Cameroon about 33 years ago.

She got started early in the game of basketball.

“Well my dad played basketball and he kind of just passed it on to us,” she says. “My sisters and I have played since we were about 4 years old. We have really grown to love the game over the years.”

Older sister Nelly is a junior basketball player at Brown University.

Why did she decide to attend Aquinas?

“Mostly because my sister (Nelly) was there,” she says. “And because they have a very high level of academics and athletics, which I knew would give me the challenge I needed.”

The senior has had a successful career for the Saints.

What stands out in her mind about her career?

“Definitely winning two state championships, one of them an undefeated season,” she says. “Those are the times that I will never forget.”

She played soccer before entering Aquinas, but gave up the sport when she was a freshman.

What are her strengths as a basketball player?

“I’d say attacking the basket and pull up jump shots,” she says. “And the ability to guard any player at any position.”

The senior is not only a basketball player for the Saints; she is a 3.9 grade-point average student.

“In my free time, I like playing the guitar, doing community service, and helping my dad coach his younger basketball teams,” she says.

She will be attending Princeton in the fall to play basketball.

“I will probably major in biomedical sciences, but I’m not sure yet,” she says.

But before heading off to Princeton, she has the rest of the basketball season and the possibility of adding another state championship in March.


Matt Besler

Blue Valley West graduate Matt Besler is one of 26 soccer players named to the United States National team training camp in Carson, Calif.

The camp started Jan. 6 with 23 players named to the World Cup later this year in Brazil.

Besler has played with the national team in a number of matches in the last few years.

The former Jaguar played collegiate soccer at Notre Dame and after graduation turned to the professional game.

He was a member of the Sporting KC team that captured the Major League Soccer (MLS) title in December 2013.

He made All-11 MLS team as a defender in the last two seasons.