I came to Penn State for many reasons, but one of the biggest was the chance to play for my head coach, Coquese Washington. I clearly remember the first time I saw Co at one of my AAU tournaments, where my dad informed me after the game that she was the new Penn State coach.
Later that summer, I found out she had expressed an interest in me to my AAU coach. Penn State was my first scholarship offer, and I instantly knew I wanted to play for Coach Washington as a Lady Lion.
Coach Quese has brought our team and the Lady Lions program back to national prominence. She has been a success at all levels of basketball. She was a standout player in college and in the WNBA. Her experience on the court has made her into an outstanding and wise coach.
When she recruited my teammates and me, she gave us her word that if we put in the work and trusted her, we would always be in a position to accomplish our goals.
On and off the court, Coach Quese is fully invested in her entire team. She wants us to be the best we can be, not only as basketball players, but also as well-rounded women when we leave Penn State.
One of my favorite things about playing for Coach Quese is the vision and style of play she has created here. She wants to play up-tempo on offense, focused on pushing the ball up and down the court. Defensively, she wants us to pressure for 40 minutes and cause turnovers.
She is fully committed to this system and expects a lot out of us every day. Sometimes you think you can’t work any harder, but she always has a way of motivating us and pushing us to give more.
I love playing for Coach Quese and don’t believe I could have found a more perfect fit. She makes my teammates and me better every day and never allows us to settle for just being good enough. She wants us to work for greatness and to never let the team goals slip from our minds.
This week, we head to Iowa to take on the Hawkeyes on Thursday, and then we have a bye weekend.
Here’s a special shout out and good luck to all the Penn Staters who are participating this weekend and contributing to THON, the largest student-run philanthropy in the country.
Until next week, you can follow me on Twitter @maggielucas33 or the Lady Lions @pennstatewbb.