Bethel freshman basketball star Rachel Parupsky dominated in the MIAC in points, rebounds and blocks to net national Rookie of the Year honors -- but she grapples with an irrational fear of cereal. (credit: Bethel/Carl Schmuland)

Bethel freshman basketball star Rachel Parupsky dominated in the MIAC in ppg (16), rpg (9) and blocks per contest (4.5) to net national Rookie of the Year honors.
(credit: Bethel/Carl Schmuland)

Before freshman Rachel Parupsky even donned a Bethel basketball jersey, she came all too close to giving it up.

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“During my senior year (of high school), things didn’t work out and I didn’t have the year everyone expected to have,” she said. “So before (my freshman year at Bethel), I was debating whether or not I would come out. But then I realized you play for your teammates, and to become a family as a result. So I wanted to give a try.”

A try? More like a national statement from the 6-foot-2-inch center.

The one-woman wrecking crew was named the D3Hoops Rookie of the Year.

And it was for good reason. The Mounds View High School product was the 2012-13 MIAC leader in points (16), rebounds (9) and blocks (4.5) per game. Her 4.5 denials per contest ranked No. 2 nationally.

The native of Arden Hills, Minn., tallied All-First Year, All-Defensive, and All-MIAC honors in her inaugural college season.

Find out a bit more about the freshman who’s horror movie would star … wait for it … cereal.

Her swat skills are the product of practice
Blocking is one of my best things. We work on the technique of it at practice, and a lot of it comes from playing volleyball, too. (She was All-Conference in volleyball for Mounds View). We work on keeping off the body, but still contesting the ball without contact, and making it evident to the ref.

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Her dad broke the national-award news
I woke up on a Sunday morning during spring break (earlier this month) and my dad came into my room and said “Turns out you’re Rookie of the Year.”

Bethel was inevitable
I tried to resist coming here. It’s right next door. My dad (Steve) and mom (Jody) are both Bethel grads. And my aunt and uncle are, too. I knew the coach since I’ve been going to Bethel basketball camps since fifth grade. I visited, liked the Christian atmosphere, and knew I had to come.

Parupsky was predestined to attend Bethel with both her parents being Royals. (credit: Bethel/Carl Schmuland)

Parupsky was predestined to attend Bethel with both her parents being Royals.
(credit: Bethel/Carl Schmuland)

The chemistry/bio-chemistry major with a 3.88 GPA has MD goals
I’ve always wanted to be an anesthesiologist. But when I get to med school, I’ll have a couple years to determine what kind of doctor I want to be. Working in a hospital with people sounds like something I want to do.

Been on Bethel’s campus lately? You’ve probably heard Parupsky’s vocal chords
I will randomly burst into song everywhere. I was in choir in high school and I’m always singing in the car. Can’t resist. I love Lady Antebellum.

She grapples with an insane fear of cereal
I hate cereal and I have no idea why. It just scares me. It’s irrational. One time at volleyball camp, someone put a Cheerio on my pillow and I lost it. I don’t know why I’m scared of it.

Numerous hands have made her the hoopster she is today
My dad, Herbie (Bethel coach John Herbrechtsmeyer), and the current Augsburg coach (Bill McKee), as he coached me during my sophomore and junior year at Mounds View.

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Despite Bethel going 5-17 in the MIAC last year, she believes the Royals’ future is rosy
Next year we’re returning four or five upperclassmen and my class, too. We’ll be more experienced. We can be very good.