Laurie Koehn is a lot of things, but patience isn't high on her list of qualities.
Koehn, you see, is a doer and not a wait-a-rounder. But today, she waits for a very special call from any Santa from the WNBA ranks, or any European Santa, who has a numbered uniform and is willing to give her an opportunity to live her passion.
That's to play basketball. "I still love to play enough that I'll go to another planet if I have to," said Koehn prior to a recent K-State basketball practice. "Right now I'm trying to stay in shape by working out and just waiting for something to open up overseas. It's getting pretty late; it's pretty much in the hands of my agent."
Since her graduation from Kansas State in 2005 as the Wildcats, the Big 12's and the NCAA's all-time leading 3-point shooter (392 treys), Koehn has been swishing long-balls in the WNBA.
She signed as a free agent with the Washington Mystics, playing four seasons with a career point average of 2.5, while averaging between five and seven minutes per game. In 2007 Koehn won the WNBA's 3-point Shoot Out, plus ranked third in the league in 3-poiners made per 40 minutes at 4.42.
"I love to play, so not playing much was tough, but I was still around something I loved to do, so I didn't gripe," said Koehn of her limited minutes on the court.
With the WNBA down-sizing rosters, Koehn was cut from the Mystics, picked up by the Phoenix Mercury for the 2009 training camp, but then waived before the season started.
So now she waits.
Her long-distance shooting is known overseas as she has off-season playing experience in Wales, France and Turkey.
"That's good basketball. Those players start playing professionally so young that it really develops their game," Koehn said. "It was a lot of fun and a great experience for me."
Now, she waits for one of those teams to call. "Basketball is still my passion and something I want to do as long as my body will let me," said the 27-year-old Koehn.
Flashing a smile, she added, "I'm starting to feel a little bit older. Sometimes it takes a little longer to warm up. I'm getting up there … an old geezer to a lot of these players."
If a call does not come, Koehn will reluctantly turn her career to coaching.
"I want to stay around the game. I love basketball," she said. "It will probably be at the college level where players are more serious about the game and not doing something just to past time."
But even at the collegiate level, Koehn wonders why there aren't more players like her. Players who would miss a prom to shoot hoops; players who make basketball a 12-month-a-year gig … like she did in high school, and continues to do today as she waits for one last chance to play.
"I do love it so much and when I see players not getting in the gym and not spending the extra time, I wonder why," Koehn said. "Why wouldn't you want to want to maximize your potential?"