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Taking off: Naeemah Weathers jets to stardom

Collegian | Aria Paul
Senior Naeemah Weathers (9) prepares to spikes a ball during a match between Colorado State University and the University of Colorado Boulder held at Moby Arena Sept. 15. The Rams fell short of beating the Buffs, losing an early 2-0 lead and finishing with a loss of 2-3 at Moby Arena.

Finding an All-Mountain West player in a recruiting class can be a challenge. Finding two is that much harder. 

In 2020, Colorado State did just that by bringing in two of their current stars. Kennedy Stanford broke onto the scene in 2021, taking the MW by storm. A year later, Naeemah Weathers joined her as one of the stars and leaders of the team. 


“What you see on the court is kind of a microcosm of who (Weathers) is as a human,” Stanford said. “She is truly one of the most outgoing and bubbly people that you’ll ever meet. To have her as a classmate and as a roommate and as a best friend is one of the greatest things that has happened for me at Colorado State. … She’s truly my rock.”

Weathers is known by her nickname, Nemo, with her teammates and is hard to miss on the court. Similar to Nemo from “Finding Nemo,” Weathers possesses the nonstop energy and charisma that help elevate her team to a higher level.

“I think she celebrates harder for her teammates than she does for herself.” –Emily Kohan, CSU volleyball head coach

Not only does her talent stand out, but you might also notice her as one of the team’s biggest cheerleaders. Often being the most animated after a Rams point, you can see her jumping up and down with an ear-to-ear smile on her face. 

“It’s so beneficial for all of us,” Stanford said. “I am someone who is a little more stoic on the court, and so I always crack a smile whenever I am literally lifted off my feet by a hug, and so it’s really good energy, and I think it balances out a lot of our other personalities as far as us being kind of stoic outside of that.”

Although the celebrations are welcomed and enjoyed by her team and Ram fans alike, head coach Emily Kohan said she gets a lot of comments about fans who worry about Weathers hurting herself celebrating too hard, but Weathers just wants to show appreciation for her team.

“The way that I celebrate is I jump around, I give hugs; I want to be their biggest cheerleader because they just make me so happy,” Weathers said. “And it’s so easy to cheer for a team that is so talented and so well rounded and such good people off the court. And they make it so easy, so I’m definitely flying around and bouncing off of people.”

Kohan reiterated the sentiment that Weathers is one of the most enthusiastic cheerleaders on the team. 

“I think to give to your teammates just as big as you give to yourself — I think she celebrates harder for her teammates than she does for herself — is a really cool attribute to have,” Kohan said. 

While Weathers can be trusted to bring the energy after every point, she can also be counted on to bring in points for the team. 


After playing inconsistently her first two years, Weathers finally got her chance to shine. She took that chance and ran with it, never looking back. 

Weathers tapped into her potential by buying into the coaching staff and the program. Kohan said that coming out, Weathers was really athletic and had a ton of potential but maybe hadn’t put the pieces completely together; however, her willingness to learn, absorb as much she could and take that and work really hard is what got her to where she is today. 

“The kid has to be invested into a two-year kind of developmental process,” Kohan said. “No, your role isn’t going to be the biggest, most glamorous thing at a DII or a lower level DI. You might get more playing time in those first two years, but we’ve had a lot of success training players like her into something really great. … So I’m really proud of her for staying true to her process.”

As Kohan mentioned, Weathers could have gone to a smaller school and played more her first two seasons, but that wasn’t in her plans. During her recruitment process, she knew that she bled green and gold. 

“I was super excited, especially when I got my offer,” Weathers said. “This is sort of my dream school, so I’m really excited to be here.”

Currently fourth in the MW posting a .426 hitting percentage, Weathers has cemented herself as one of the most efficient hitters in the conference. 

While Weathers’ growth on the court has been immense, her growth as a person and a leader for the Rams has been just as great.

“I think the team looks at her as a leader now,” Kohan said. “To go from (a) raw, athletic project player Nemo … to one of the top people in hitting efficiency, she’s got to feel really good about how far along she’s developed on both fronts.”

Despite being one of the Rams’ top players, there is always room for growth. With conference play just over the horizon, Kohan has some things that she wants to see. 

“I think one of the biggest things we’re saying is, ‘How do we get her into a situation to get more balls?’” Kohan said. “What has made her really good is what we call one ball, and she runs it really fast. … We’re really developing her to be able to handle more of a load with more sets, and so she can be a bigger part of the offense beyond a perfect pass situation.”

Reach Damon Cook at or on Twitter @dwcook2001.

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About the Contributor
Damon Cook, Sports Editor
Damon Cook is the 2023-24 sports editor for the The Collegian and has been at the paper since August 2022. He started doing coverage on volleyball and club sports before moving onto the women's basketball beat. He is in his third year and is completing his degree with a major in journalism and media communication and a minor in sports management. As The Collegian's sports editor, Cook reports on CSU sports and helps manage the sports desk and content throughout the week. After having a year to learn and improve, Cook will now get to be part of a new age under the sports desk. The desk moved on from all but one other person and will now enter into a new era. Damon started school as a construction management major looking to go in a completely different direction than journalism. After taking the year off during the COVID-19 pandemic, he quickly realized that construction wasn't for him. With sports and writing as passions, he finally decided to chase his dreams, with The Collegian helping him achieve that. He is most excited to bring the best and most in-depth sports coverage that The Collegian can provide.

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