Tuesday , October 13, 2015 - 2:14 PM
PROVO — Being a freshman on the Brigham Young University women’s basketball team is tough enough. For Amanda Wayment, the challenge was made even more difficult without the girl she had been teaming up with since the third grade – Shelbee Molen.
There was nothing that could have been done about that, though, because Wayment is a year older than Molen. But now, Molen is also at BYU and all is right with the world.
“We’ve literally played together our whole lives and I felt something was missing last year. Where’s my little friend? Where’s she at?” Wayment said. “But (her being here) – it’s like a little piece of home. She’s one of my best friends, has been my whole life. We get each other on the court, so it’s nice to have that.”
Wayment and Molen have been playing together since they were in elementary school. Wayment was in the third grade and Molen was in the second when they were both on a team coached by Molen’s mother, Pam Molen.
The two went to different junior highs – Wayment went to Wahlquist in Farr West and Molen to Rocky Mountain in West Haven – but the two continued to play together during the summer.
Both were star athletes at Fremont High. Wayment won Standard-Examiner All-Area Team’s Most Valuable Player honors her senior year in 2013 and Molen won the same honors as a senior in 2014.
Wayment’s transition to college was far from easy without Molen by her side. Although she expected to get playing time, she only ended up averaging 3.6 minutes and 1.4 points per game her first year.
“You come in thinking you know the game and you don’t know the game,” Wayment said. “It’s a different level. It’s faster, girls are stronger and it was kind of hard trying to get into rhythm, but I think coming into my second year it’s better.”
Molen acknowledges she has a bit of an advantage that Wayment didn’t have because she at least knows someone on the team.
“I think it’s a huge advantage just because I feel comfortable around her and she knows the rest of the team, so being comfortable around her made me feel more comfortable around them,” Molen said.
Pam Molen estimates she’s coached between 150 and 200 girls but only 12 of them have gone on to play Division-I basketball. Wayment and her daughter are the first to play on the same team.
“You could just see that they had a love for it,” Pam Molen said. “With Shelbee, it was hard to get her to stop wanting to make baskets. She would stay and shoot and shoot and shoot… I remember thinking, ‘I’m never going to get out of here.’”
BYU women’s basketball coach Jeff Judkins acknowledged that Molen initially drew his interest because of the tournaments she participated in and because of how much of an exceptional shooter and passer she. When Judkins went to watch Molen at Fremont, however, he couldn’t help but notice the degree to which Wayment stood out because of her toughness and determination to win.
Judkins can remember having sisters on the same team, but never two players from the same high school.
“I think it shows Fremont had a good program,” Judkins said. “Two Division-I players on the same team – very few high school teams have that.”
Sign up for e-mail news updates.