LAS VEGAS - Stanford women's basketball team mounted another Pac-12 success over the weekend, as the Cardinal netted its 15th tournament title under legendary coach Tara VanDerveer. And on the team’s road to tournament victory they carried with them tributes to their friend and fellow athlete Cardinal soccer star Katie Meyer.
Stanford, ranked 2nd nationally, played in the Pac-12 tournament in Las Vegas just days after Meyer was found dead in a campus residence on March 1. The coroner's office later determined that the cause of death was suicide.
With the shocking news still fresh on their minds, the team found ways to honor the star goalkeeper throughout the tournament. During warm-up, the basketball players donned soccer shirts. And on the court, they wore wristbands with her initials KM, as others shared thoughts about Meyer on their basketball shoes.
On Thursday, as the team took on Oregon State, Stanford shared photos of the Cardinal players taking moments to honor Meyer. The team posted tight shots of KM inscribed wristbands and photos of them wearing soccer shirts as the players embraced one another, and the caption along with the photos: "We love you, Katie."
Then after beating Oregon St. 57-44, the team posted a moving video showing more tributes, demonstrating how Meyer was not far from their thoughts and a part of their game.
It was with that sentiment the Cardinal continued to roll, as the team handily beat out Colorado in the semifinals, 71-45. The win over the Buffaloes also marked VanDerveer’s 1,000th at Stanford. The team would take it all on Sunday, to win its second straight Pac-12 tournament with a 73-48 rout of Utah. Stanford is expected to be a No. 1 seed when the NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament is announced on Sunday.
It’s not just the Women’s Basketball team that has shown its love for Meyer. Throughout Stanford Athletics, players and teams have been honoring the goalkeeper and team captain who wore #19. The Cardinal has shared photos of athletes across its sports programs with her initials written on the arms, ribbons in their hair, wearing soccer shirts, as the #19 appeared on their tributes.
The 22-year-old Meyer was being remembered as a larger than life presence, a shining light on and off the soccer field, and an "amazing daughter, sister, friend and teammate."
A GoFundMe page has been set up to collect donations for a memorial fund for Meyer. Organizers of the fundraising effort said that all donations would go directly to her family. They also said that the Meyers planned to donate to causes including mental health awareness and suicide prevention, as well as "eventually start a foundation in Katie’s name to increase awareness of these issues."
A public memorial for Meyer has been scheduled for March 12 in Newbury Park in Ventura County, where she was from. It's set to be held on one of the countless soccer fields that Meyer played on.
Stanford Women's Basketball players remember late Katie Meyers with "KM" wristbands during the Pac-12 tournament in Las Vegas on March 3, 2022. (Stanford Athletics)