January 17, 2008

Up Close & Personal with Jessica Lunsford

Banner Elk, NC--Today we meet up with 5'6 sophomore Jessica Lunsford who comes to Lees-McRae from neighboring Elk Park, NC. The Cloudland graduate is the starting point guard for the Lady Bobcats and has been remarkably dependable from the charity line at the end of games.

1. What made you decide to come to Lees-McRae? I decided to come to LMC because it was close to my parents' house, I liked the coach, and I got a good scholarship package.

2. How long have you been playing basketball? I have been playing basketball since I was in 1st grade.

3. What are your personal goals for this season? I would like to make fewer turnovers, play better defense, and shoot a higher percentage.

4. What's your favorite basketball memory here at Lees-McRae so far? The best memory was beating nationally ranked Anderson University (#25) at their place earlier this year.

5. Who has been the most influential person on your athletic career? My brother (Michael), mother (Kathy), and father (Mike) have all influenced me equally.

6. If you weren't playing basketball, what other sport would you play? I would play tennis.

7. What is your major and what do you plan to do with your degree? I am undecided, but I think it will be education.

8. If you could travel back in time to any point in history, where would you go? I would go back when Jesus was alive or when God created the earth.

9. What is your favorite book? Either The Count of Monte Cristo, or The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe would have to be my favorite book.

10. What is your favorite food? I really like all kinds of fruit, especially berries.

11. If you could visit any place in the world, where would it be? I would like to visit somewhere no one else has ever been.

12. What is one word that describes you and why? Different...I am always doing something that is either strange or different.

Jessica's Story … I started playing basketball when I was in the 1st grade. I never took it too seriously until I was in the 5th grade. My dad, who coached Jr. High basketball, told me he was going to quit because I was about to be in Jr. High. He said he didn't want to coach me because I didn't take it seriously and wasn't very good. He told me I would probably never be able to play unless I started caring and working on improving. It made me mad at the time, but I now realized that if it weren't for that, I never would have started being a hard worker.

After that my dad and I worked on weekends, summers, and any free time. I started to really enjoy playing ball. The next year I was starting and my dad said he wouldn't quit coaching. I played for my dad for two years and our team was undefeated. After 8th grade I was starting for the varsity team. My freshman year we went to the state tournament and I was the sixth man off the bench. My junior year we finished sub-state. I ended the season only a few points away from 1,000 points. My senior year our season ended in a heartbreaker to the #2 team in the league for the regional championship. We had previously beat them twice but fell short the third time. In the spring I signed with Lees-McRae.