Meet Genesis Lightbourne

Genesis Lightbourne was raised in Las Vegas. Next year she's on her way to the Heartland and she's excited about doing so.



Genesis Lightbourne was raised in Las Vegas. So why would a girl from Las Vegas ever in her wildest dreams consider going to school in the state of Iowa?


"I like small towns. In my basketball league now we play a lot of small towns. It's not like I'm not used to it. It's not big deal to go to a small town. I think I'll like it more," said Lightbourne.


Lightbourne is a 6'0 forward that is one of the most athletic players ever recruited by Iowa State, according to Bill Fennelly. Lightbourne has led her prep team to a pair of state tournament semi-final appearances. Last season Genesis averaged 16.9 points and 7 rebounds a game after her team moved from 2-A to 3-A.


Lightbourne is not only a standout basketball player, but a track star as well. She's a former Nevada state triple jump and high jump champion and was the runner up in the long jump and 100-meter dash. Lightbourne also got scholarship offers in track from Brown University and Cornell. Lightbourne has gone on record saying that she doesn't want to continue her track career in college. In basketball she was considering Utah, San Jose State, San Francisco and Eastern Washington.


"I never thought I'd be playing college basketball. I just went with it because being athletic opened up a lot of opportunities. I just love playing sports," said Lightbourne.


Lightbourne was discovered by Iowa State at a tournament in Oregon where Bill Fennelly saw her play. He's been after her ever since said Lightbourne. Lightbourne said that Fennelly is one of the main reasons that she committed to Iowa State.


"He's more than just a coach. He's kind of like a dad," said Lightbourne.


Like many recruits that commit early, Lightbourne said that she's pleased with the fact that she knows where she's going next season, and there's no pressure in her senior season.


"I'm glad that I committed early because now I can focus on school and winning state. I'm really glad I committed early," said Lightbourne.


Lightbourne visited Iowa State on November 11 and she loved every minute of it.


"I'm looking forward to playing at Iowa State. I like the family atmosphere of Iowa State. The team was really friendly when I went there. The coaches were great," said Lightbourne.


With track offers from Brown and Cornell, you can imagine that Genesis is very bright in the classroom. She plans on majoring in psychology and being a clinical psychologist when she gets older.


"Iowa State had great academics and basketball," said Lightbourne.


Lightbourne joins a group of six young ladies that will play at Iowa State and she said that even though the group hasn't been formally introduced, they're still getting to know each other over email and instant messenger.


Lightbourne's team is currently 9-1 on the season and they just went undefeated in one of the biggest tournaments in Nevada. Genesis said that their goal is a state championship and nothing short of it. Then it's onto ISU for the girl from Las Vegas.

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