When the gym is closed and the weather is hot you most likely will find Elaina Renius hanging out with her friends down by the beautiful, picturesque Rogue River that runs through her hometown of Grants Pass, Oregon. You might hear a radio tuned into Oldies or Country playing in the background. And while Elaina also enjoys bowling, the outdoors is king in this part of the country. But the suntans and occasional sunburn won't last long on Renius, because her true passion is basketball and she's already gearing up for her senior season.
The 6'3" post player has unfinished business to take care of this coming season. She has led her North Valley High School team to state the last two years, but both trips have ended in disappointing elimination in their first two games. Expect the tan to disappear, replaced by a red hot desire to take her 3A team deep into state in 2004.
Born in Coos Bay and moving around western Oregon for a few years, Elaina began playing ball at a young age. She was particularly inspired and motivated by her very first coach, who made the game so fun and enjoyable while getting Elaina to improve and play better and better. It wasn't long before she was a hoopaholic, and with her height she knew hoops was going to be her calling.
Well grounded, Renius isn't much of a fan of the Kobes and Shaqs of the world, but rather an admirer of John Stockton and his passing abilities, and also her father who played college basketball and continues to amaze his daughter as she watches him play in a league for older men. People like these are her idols, along with a friend who plays soccer at a nearby college. Elaina loves to watch athletes who give it their all.
The pick-and-roll, the high-low game, the give-and-go, setting screens, she's all about basketball the way it was meant to be played. Money in the paint, Renius is also consistent from 15-feet and is starting to bury treys with regularity. She didn't shoot many 3-pointers last season but when she did, ring it up. Oh, and she gets great satisfaction from swatting shots, something she's very good at. Her strength is her all-around game, her versatility and how hard she plays. Elaina, however, admits that she sometimes gets frustrated during a game and tends to disappear for a while; that's something she'll be working to remedy.
With interest throughout the Northwest, down the West Coast and across the Rockies, Elaina Renius wants to be a Lady Zag and an important addition to a program that Head Coach Kelly Graves has contending for a WCC title and a berth in the NCAA Tournament. She loved everything about Gonzaga—coaches, players, campus, size of school, distance from home, etc.—during her visit and feels she'd fit right in. Although she's waiting to give Kelly Graves the definitive commitment, Elaina is a heavy lean to Gonzaga, to put it mildly.
Zags Hoops wants to be the first to welcome Elaina to Gonzaga and into the Gonzaga community. We found her to be extremely positive, enthusiastic and with a great attitude. She will be an outstanding Lady Bulldog.