|Lindy La Rocque (left), Kate Paye and Tempie Brown (right ) welcome the freshmen to the Farm.|
By Judy Richter
It would be an understatement to say that associate head coach Kate Paye is enthusiastic about the upcoming Stanford women’s basketball season.
“We’re going to see a lot of improvement” by everyone with more up-tempo play. “Our team is really hungry,” Kate said by phone recently.
The players arrived for the June 25 start of summer school on June 23 and had dinner together that night to begin to foster the camaraderie that’s so important to a team’s success.
Among those arrivals were the three freshmen: guard Jenna Brown and twin forwards Lacie and Lexie Hull.
Upperclassmen help freshmen
Although the team doesn’t officially assign upperclassmen to serve as big sisters to the freshmen, “everybody is taking them under their wing,” Kate said. They’re helping the newcomers both on and off the court. The freshmen have “a lot of big sisters right now,” she said.
Adjusting to Stanford play and life, the “freshmen are doing awesome,” Kate said, adding that they’re mature and serious about basketball. They’ll contribute right away.
“Our fans are going to enjoy watching our three freshmen.”
Coaches set goals for summer
The coaches’ goals for the team this summer are to see everybody improving and staying healthy, to acclimate the freshmen and to “lay the foundation for a championship season.”
Conditioning is another major focus. In past summers, the players spent six hours a week with the coaches and two hours a week with strength and conditioning coach Brittany Keil.
New rules now have them working with the coaches for four hours and with Brittany for four hours. “It’s been great,” Kate said.
Thirteen of the team's 15 players are on campus. The exceptions are senior guard Alexa Romano and junior guard Anna Wilson.
Alexa spending summer in Peru
Alexa, an anthropology major, is spending most of the summer with an archeological project in Peru.
Anna is at home in the Seattle area “trying to regroup” after two seasons marred by injuries. She has been cleared to play and is working with a skills coach. Kate praised her good attitude and high energy even when she had to sit out.
While working out with the team and taking a class, senior center Shannon Coffee has an internship with Stanford medicine. The human biology major is helping with a research project involving mouth guards and concussions in football.
Senior forward Alanna Smith is taking classes while awaiting word on whether she’ll play with a team for Australia, her homeland.
Five helping with hoops camp
In addition to everything else, five players are helping at head coach Tara VanDerveer’s summer hoops camp.
They are junior forward Nadia Fingall, junior guard DiJonai Carrington, sophomore forwards Maya Dodson and Estella Moschkau, and sophomore guard Kiana Williams.
The team’s two most recent grads, guard Brittany McPhee and forward Kaylee Johnson, have activities in the area. Britt has a job for a company doing medical research near the campus and is hoping to play professionally overseas. In August, Kaylee will start to work for a Silicon Valley law firm before applying to law school.
The freshmen and Nadia are playing in the San Francisco Pro-Am program at Kezar Pavilion. Jenna will play with the USA team in the FIBA Americas U18 championships in Mexico during the first week of August.
Coaches go recruiting
All four coaches were to be on the recruiting trail during the second week of July. “Recruiting is going well,” Kate said.
While the coaches are gone, the players will continue to work on their skills and play pick-up games.
Summer classes end Aug. 16 followed by two days of finals. The players will have some time off before returning for the start of fall classes on Sept. 24.
“We have some exciting players. … I see a lot of players taking that (big) jump” from the past season, Kate concluded.