Students team up off the court for Hoops ‘n’ Heels


Viki Muench | Staff Reporter
March 3, 2015; 9:15 p.m.

Beth Maenpaa is a graphic design major who plays basketball for Lindenwood’s women’s basketball team.
However, on March 26 she, along with her teammates, will give up the basketball for one night and exchange it with high heels and designer fashion. She will be modeling for the Hoops ‘N’ Heels fashion show to raise money for her team.
The basketball girls have paired up with fashion design students to put together the runway show, which will be held at 7 p.m. at the Lindenwood Cultural Center.
The tickets have been available since Feb. 16.
The proceeds will go toward the supplemental funds for the basketball team.
Maenpaa is already very excited about the show.

“As an athlete you often focus solely on your sport and school and not much else. To be a model in the Hoops ‘N’ Heels fashion show is a great experience that most people might not have. It might put some of us out of our comfort zone but it will be a unique and fun experience that I’m very grateful for.”
The purpose of the show is not only to support the basketball team, but also to showcase the talent and designs of Lindenwood’s fashion students.
Tony Francis, women’s basketball head coach, said “in an effort to bring attention to the hard work and dedication of female students, as well as our female student-athletes, we are pairing up with the fashion design students to showcase their talented work in front of prominent business women from throughout the St. Louis metro area.
“My responsibility to my student-athletes is to provide as much of a well-rounded education as possible. I feel this education must go far beyond the court. We thought this would be a fun venture where two extremely different disciplines can collaborate and support each other,” said Francis.
On the runway, the team will showcase different designs that include casual wear, business professional, evening wear, special creations by some of LU’s fashion alumnae, and the team’s usual basketball outfits.
For Maenpaa, being involved in the world of fashion is particularly exciting.
“I actually wanted to be a fashion designer when I was little and still have the notebooks I would draw outfits in, so being able to be a part of this experience is exciting for the little girl in me who wanted to be a fashion designer.”

Vanessa Zallo, Maenpaa’s teammate, is thankful for this opportunity.
“I am excited and nervous at the same time. I have never done something like this, but I know doing it with the team will make it that much more fun.
“Being an athlete my whole life, I am looking forward to being apart of helping other students showcase their talents in an area I am unfamiliar with,” said Zallo.
Francis said, “The fashion design students are beginning to have an understanding of the life of an athlete, and at the same time my student-athletes will gain an appreciation of the stress and life of the fashion designer.”
He encourages everyone to attend this event in order to support the dreams and efforts of all the young ladies.
Admissions for the tickets are $2 for students and $25 for the general public.
They can be purchased by sending an email to [email protected] or here.