By Andrew Gogerty
ANKENY, Iowa—It's been a difficult 15 months for Faith Eagles senior forward Loretta Gamboe. In October 2017, her former school (Grace University, Omaha) announced it was closing its doors after nearly 75 years as an institution. Gamboe was just one year away from graduating from Grace with a degree in communications.
Forced to find a new school, a new basketball team, and new friends (all in her senior year), Gamboe became a Faith Eagle this past August. Shortly after school began, she became ill and missed several weeks of class as she recovered from her illness. The transition was difficult.
"It was really difficult," said Gamboe. "In early September, I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes and missed a couple weeks of school. I just had to have blind faith that God had a plan."
Gamboe came back to campus and battled through her adversities. Basketball was a therapeutic outlet for her.
"Being able to play basketball has been a nice physical and mental relief for me," said Gamboe. "Being out on the court allows me to forget about the trials I've been through and just think about basketball, which is something I love."
While she never envisioned her senior night being played in a gymnasium in the middle of Iowa, she made the most of it. With her parents in attendance, cheering her on wildly with signs and balloons, Gamboe had the best night of her career as a Faith Eagle, matching a season-high with eight points and four rebounds in 31 minutes of action.
With her performance on Senior Night, Gamboe helped the Eagles earn a 64-45 victory over Trinity Bible College. She was a big part of a balanced scoring attack for Faith, who got 14 points from Michaela Crider, 13 points from Lyndi Shepard, 9 each from Karina Fritz and Bekah Smith, 7 from Alicia Smith, and 4 from Janet Busenitz. It was the fourth win in a row for Faith, who has now won seven of its last eight.
The late season success of the Eagles provides even more optimism for Gamboe in the midst of a difficult senior year. In addition to the team goals of making a run in the postseason, Gamboe has a personal goal of attaining a double-double before the season's end.
"A double-double would be great," said Gamboe. "That and to glorify God, and just continue to improve."
Gamboe will graduate this spring with a degree in Biblical studies with an emphasis in communication. She hopes to land a job in Colorado and see where the Lord leads her from there.