Meet the player who brings energy to court, calmness to her teammates

Amber Kartchner a redshirt freshman management major from Logan, was named Western Athletic Conference Player of the Week for her performance on Feb 18. Annie Sorensen | Sun News Daily

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Not only does Utah Tech University’s women’s basketball guard help teammates “channel their inner Chicken Joe,” she brings an undeniable energy to the team.

Coming from Brigham Young University, Amber Kartchner, a redshirt freshman management major from Logan, became a Trailblazer on June 6, 2022. She sat out the 2021-2022 season as a redshirt at BYU.

Kartchner chose Utah Tech because she knew many girls on the team and wanted to be part of the culture. 

“When she came here, she was trying to find herself as a basketball player again, and I think she has really found her confidence and is playing free,” said Assistant coach Matthew Thune. “She can do a lot of things on the offensive and defensive end for us.”

Kartchner was named Western Athletic Conference Player of the Week for her performance during a home win against the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley Feb. 18.

During this game, Kartchner had five rebounds, five assists, three steals and went 7-of-10 from the floor. 

On Feb. 11, Kartchner reached her career high of 26 points during a victory against New Mexico State University. She went 9-of-10 shooting including 3-3 from beyond the arc. 

Averi Papa, a sophomore history major from St. George said: “Amber has this organized chaos with her game. She is very carefree and plays very carefree but also very skilled and controlled at the same time.” 

Kartchner said her recent achievements mean a lot more than people would know, and “it means a lot” to know her hard work has paid off.

“I don’t like being mediocre; I just want to be great,” Kartchner said.

Kartchner credited her former club coaches with helping her become the player she is today by dedicating countless hours to helping her improve. She also acknowledged the trust and support her teammates give her.

“Amber does a good job of keeping things light at times and being able to interact with everyone a little differently, and I think they all enjoy being her teammate and having her as a friend,” Thune said. “She has everyone’s back.” 

Thune said it has been rewarding to see Kartchner grow and bring her energy this season. 

“She is one kid that we know when we get in a rut or we need a little bit of energy, she is going to come out there kind of mean and bring some fire to get us going,” Thune said. 

Kartchner’s energy and intensity has helped the Trailblazers with rebounding on both ends of the court, averaging 4.2 rebounds per game. 

Although Kartchner “brings the spark” the team needs, Papa said she also helps everyone “go with the flow” and “channel their inner Chicken Joe.”

Kartchner, and the rest of the Trailblazers, will play their last home game Feb. 28 against Grand Canyon University.