By Christian Weaner
Taren Bateman, Freshman
For as long as Taren Bateman can remember, sports have been a huge part of her life. “When I was in elementary school, my mom, Tomi Bateman, started a [basketball] team with a bunch of girls in my grade,” Taren recalled. “We traveled to Post Falls to play games. We even went to some further tournaments, like Lewiston.”
“I have always been an exceptionally competitive person, and being on that team brought out that side of me,” she continued. “We won games, and we lost games, but one thing that I took away from playing at that age was [that] I wanted to go as far as I could with basketball.”
Now, as freshman at Bonners Ferry High School (BFHS), Taren’s athletic gifting and competitive spirit have become evident—not only in basketball, but on the volleyball court (and the track) as well. This past fall, she led the volleyball team in aces and finished second in kills, helping the Badgers reach the 3A State Tournament.
“Taren possesses great athleticism, as well as a strong desire to work hard and put in 100 percent at all times,” Bonners Ferry Head Volleyball Coach Cynthia Cummings noted. “As a freshman on the varsity team, there was a huge learning curve from middle school, but she rose to the challenge and was extremely coachable and willing to learn a new offense and defense.”
While Taren is also looking forward to competing as a sprinter and jumper in the spring, her current focus is basketball season. She plays point guard for the Badgers, leading the team as the top scorer and distributor.
Taren and her teammates have big goals this winter, as they aim to beat rival Timberlake and earn a state playoff spot for the first time since 2021, but her aspirations are much bigger than wins and losses.
“I think my most important personal goal is to bring positive energy and great effort every day, whether it's practice or a game, and to uplift my teammates,” Taren emphasized.
As Taren continues to improve as an athlete over the next several years, her ultimate dream is to play Division I basketball for the BYU Cougars. For now, though, she enjoys living in Bonners Ferry and spending time with her extended family.
In less than one school year, Taren has already made a big impact on and off the court at BFHS, and one can only imagine how much more she will accomplish.
“She is an encouraging teammate and respectful to coaches,” Cynthia described. “She is a force to reckon with and will be exciting to watch in the years to come.”