Dec. 12, 2012
By Keeley Brown
Athletic Media Relations
Kim Austin Mbadinga-Nzamba returns to Colorado State University this time not as an athlete, but as a coach. Being a member of the women's basketball team from 1994 to 1998, during the programs most successful years, she knows what it takes to be a triumphant team.
Her last name is pronounced Ba-deenga - Zam-ba. "When you're looking at it, you put your finger over both of the first letters in both names and they're silent. Mbadinga means `fearless' and Nzamba means `God.' In coaching sometimes people don't know how to pronounce it so I do still tend to go by Coach
Austin or Kim Austin for simplicity purposes."
Austin Mbadinga-Nzamba spent the past six seasons as an assistant coach at Rice University in Houston, Texas. Before her time at Rice, she served as an assistant at Southern Polytechnic State where she coached the post players, served as recruiting coordinator, scheduling coordinator, and supervisor for weight training and conditioning. Prior to working with Southern Poly, Kim spent one year as an assistant with Life University, after a two-year stint at Saint Louis University.
Kim is a 1998 graduate of Colorado State with a B.A. in social sciences and a minor in sociology. She was a four-year letter-winner for the Rams, helping them to the Western Athletic Conference regular season and tournament titles. Austin Mbadinga-Nzamba played with All-Americans Becky Hammon and Katie Cronin.
"We had the most amazing team chemistry. We won together and lost together. We just wanted to get it done and we did. We really truly cared about each other and that's part of the reason why we were so successful. It's something that I want to implement into this team."
After graduating from CSU, Kim also played professionally overseas in Finland for Salon Palloilidat Salpa where she averaged 18 points and nine rebounds. "Playing overseas is different because here at the collegiate level there are higher expectations and it's more demanding time wise and just more structured. Overall, I have zero regrets in going and I'm glad that I did."
Having so much experience in all facets of the game will be beneficial to this year's team, which Austin Mbadinga-Nzamba has high expectations for. The CSU women's basketball team finished fourth in the Mountain West conference and were undefeated at home in conference games during the 2011-2012 season.
"I feel really good about our team, it's very promising. We have a great group of young ladies that are going to work hard. We're really excited that everyone came back, that's been really positive for us."
"Being back here I almost feel like I've come somewhat full circle. Not that it's the end, but it feels great. I can't speak for most student athletes but when you can come back to your alma mater and have nothing but great memories, I think you came from a great place. Words cannot explain what it's like to be back in Fort Collins. I'm thrilled."