Oregon State’s Raegan Beers, toughened by football brothers, brings thunder to Pac-12 women’s basketball

There’s no mistaking Raegan Beers’ fashion when she enters an Oregon State women’s basketball recreation.

The 6-foot-4 freshman ahead is pure energy. Opponents usually run two and three defenders at Beers when she will get the ball down low, due to the bodily punishment that is coming.

OSU coach Scott Rueck, who has been within the faculty recreation for practically three a long time, says Beers is the strongest participant he is had as a university freshman.

Beers’ reward is a mixture of bloodlines and competitors. Her mother and father, Ike and Kari, have been former Illinois highschool basketball all-staters who understood the sport. The competitors comes from her brothers, Rocky and Rowdy, and youthful sister Rylie.

Among freshmen, Beers leads the nation in double-doubles with 10. Her faculty recreation is what it’s due to what it took to develop up with two future FBS football brothers.

The Beers siblings are tightly grouped in age; Rocky (21), Raegan (19), Rowdy (18), Rylie (16). Rocky and Rowdy took care of their sisters, but in addition dished it out. As future faculty tight ends, man, they might dish it.

The Beers youngsters — Rylie (from left), Rowdy, Raegan, Rocky — at Raegan’s highschool commencement in June 2022.

The Beers’ house is in a cul-de-sac in Littleton, Colorado, a suburb south of Denver. The youngsters lived within the driveway, the place there was a conveyable basket. Ever since Rylie may play, they’d routinely sq. off in 2-on-2 video games; Rocky and Rylie vs. Raegan and Rowdy.

“The brothers didn’t present the sisters loads of mercy. I believe that is the place they obtained toughened up,” Ike mentioned. “They sort of handled their sisters like one of many boys, particularly when it got here to taking part in basketball. Which I believe is what actually helped my women get higher.”

Raegan is aware of higher now. There was a time when she may cling along with her brothers 1-on-1. But now that they are 6-5 and ripped for football?

“There’s no method,” Raegan mentioned. “I’ve extra ability than Rowdy, however he has extra energy.”

With two youngsters in faculty — Rocky at Air Force and Raegan at OSU — and Rowdy out the door this summer season for Florida International, Ike says they’ve determined to begin patching up a few of their house’s partitions the place the youngsters left holes. As Ike is talking to a reporter by telephone about his youngsters, there’s clearly noise within the background.

“That’s Rocky and Rylie doing gymnastics,” Ike mentioned.

It not often obtained out of hand, as Ike is so as. He’s a police sergeant with the City of Lakewood.

“It was organized chaos,” Raegan mentioned. “He units guidelines, like in the event that they’re crying, give them a minute, then you possibly can return out. He drew the road the place it wanted to be drawn.”

At first look, it’d seem that Ike and Kari have a humorousness in naming their youngsters, significantly within the circumstances of Rocky and Rowdy. Especially Rowdy.

But there is a purpose behind every of their youngsters’s names.

Rocky is not named after the preventing character, however Kari’s beloved uncle who died at an early age.

“When we obtained married, she mentioned our first boy, I need to title him Rocky,” Ike mentioned.

Raegan can be named after a member of the family, Kari’s father Ray. Then got here Rowdy, whose title has no household ties however is one nice title. It wasn’t misplaced on Florida International football coach Mike McIntyre, who on signing day in December informed the Miami Herald that Rowdy Beers is “the perfect title in faculty football.”

Months earlier than Rowdy’s beginning, the Beers considered a reputation beginning with the letter R. Kari steered Ryker, solely to get shot down after Ike mentioned he wasn’t giving his son the identical title as a jail in New York.

While watching the 2004 Olympics, it hit the Beers. One of the race stars throughout a swimming occasion was USA’s Rowdy Gaines. Ike instantly proclaimed that is an ideal title and Kari agreed.

With the title meant growing a thick pores and skin and a humorousness.

“First factor all people all the time asks, ‘Is that your actual title? Are you kidding me?’” Ike mentioned. “He’d have lecturers ask, ‘What’s your actual title?’ ‘Yes, ma’am, that is my actual title.’ We’ve had some enjoyable over time with names, for certain.”

Raegan says the siblings are shut, however it is a 12 months of transition. Rocky and Raegan are off to faculty, and Rowdy hits the highway in the summertime. They’ve been collectively twice since mid-summer, in August and some days at Christmas. The Beers household went to Fort Worth to watch Rocky and the Air Force within the Armed Forces Bowl.

They’re by no means far aside, although, on this period of cell telephones.

“We’ve obtained a gaggle textual content, simply the youngsters. Still discuss trash,” Raegan mentioned.

The mixture of Raegan’s pure energy and expertise taking part in towards her brothers made for a clean transition into membership basketball and the nationwide stage. That got here in center college. As Beers’ recreation matured in seventh and eighth grade, she observed coaches exhibiting up and beginning to watch.

“My coach would say, they’re right here to watch you. I used to be like, ‘Me? Why me?’” Beers mentioned. “I hit the purpose the place I used to be like, ‘Wow, I may do that for 4 extra years after highschool.'”

Beers was stronger than most ladies she performed, plus she had the expertise of going up towards her brothers. It wasn’t a lot of an issue on the membership circuit, the place officers have been used to contact. But highschool? That was a transition. Beers attended Valor Christian, a college competing at Colorado’s 5A stage, the state’s highest classification. Still, this wasn’t membership, and Beers’ energy was no match for many in highschool. Fouls have been an issue, even when Ike, her youth coach, and Raegan disagreed.

“I used to be greater, they usually give the little women the good thing about the doubt loads of the time. Like she fell over, so it have to be a foul,” Beers mentioned. “I had to study and regulate.”

Rueck noticed it firsthand when he took a visit to Denver to watch Beers, as a sophomore, play a highschool recreation. Within 90 seconds of the primary quarter, Beers had two fouls and had to go to the bench. Beers recollects Rueck yelling on the official.

“It was fairly humorous,” Beers mentioned.

Rueck mentioned it wasn’t simply the concept that he could not watch Beers play, however that it is unfair to her.

“What it teaches them isn’t to be bodily and that’s the reverse of what this recreation finally turns into ultimately,” Rueck mentioned. “Rae is so explosive. She’s entitled to her area.”

Beers had many faculty presents, though she would not know the overall. Oregon State shortly turned a finalist as a result of Beers was attracted to this system’s tradition. What gained over Beers and her household was a Zoom name she had with Rueck the evening earlier than committing.

Rueck took a number of of Beers’ highschool video games and broke down what he noticed, what he favored, and what OSU may do to assist her enhance.

“I believed that was so cool, that he is taking the day out to do this. I’m not even dedicated there but and he is taking time to present you what he loves about me,” Beers mentioned.

Oregon State-Hawaii

Oregon State’s Raegan Beers (15) and Talia von Oelhoffen rejoice a three-point basket throughout Oregon State’s recreation towards Hawaii on Monday evening in Gill Coliseum. (Karl Maasdam | Oregon State athletics)

Beers has been a success since her first day in this system. Beers averages 24 minutes a recreation, greater than anybody on OSU’s roster apart from sophomore guard Talia von Oelhoffen. Beers is averaging 14.4 factors and eight.6 rebounds a recreation. She’s a three-time convention participant of the week. Beers’ 10 double-doubles are already among the many college’s high 10 for a season, with a minimum of 11 video games remaining.

Rueck mentioned one key for Beers as a freshman is her potential to overcome errors.

“Her growth has been astounding,” he mentioned. “She has the character to come out and simply play. It’s not heavy. She would not overthink. She loves the sport and desires to play, and play onerous. It’s onerous to do it a lot better than Rae’s finished thus far this 12 months.”

Beers is arguably the Beavers’ best participant, though she’s began solely as soon as in 19 video games this season. Oregon State begins 6-foot-9 sophomore Jelena Mitrovic, with Beers taking on halfway by the primary quarter.

Rueck and Beers suppose it has been useful for Beers to come off the bench. She will get 5 to seven minutes of watching recreation motion and the way the opponent defends Mitrovic. Perhaps extra necessary is gauging how officers are calling the sport.

“I see how aggressive Jelena is allowed to be, whether or not the refs are calling ticky-tack, or in the event that they’re letting them play down low,” Beers mentioned.

In one other method, this is able to be the beginning of a probably nice Oregon State profession for Beers. A freshman averaging practically a double-double? Wait till she actually figures out the school recreation. But the switch portal is entrance and heart for faculty athletics in 2023. Coaches hope to retain their greatest for 4 years, however numerous elements make it troublesome.

Beers makes it clear she’s solely occupied with this season, and never 2025 or 2026.

“I like the varsity thus far,” Beers mentioned. “I’m hoping to be right here. Love my workforce, love my coaches. I do not know the place I’m going to be in two, three years. But I’m going to be taking part in basketball. If that is at Oregon State, that is going to be nice. I’ve a sense it is going to be.”

— Nick Daschel reported from Corvallis.

ndaschel@oregonian.com | @nickdaschel

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