Rachel Finnegan: Focused, Aggressive, Vocal

Turlock High's Rachel Finnegan is Pam DeCosta's latest recruit to the Spartan women's basketball team and she is already San Jose State's best ambassador, even though the 5-foot-9 point guard has yet to enroll.

This was never more evident than when Finnegan was asked why she chose to cast her lot with SJSU: "Because I love the coaches, it's close by, I met the other players -- it's just the perfect fit, I'm excited." It's clear a bond was formed when the Spartan coaching staff visited the home of the Finnegans.

Rachel Finnegan added this about her upcoming role, "(Coach DeCosta) told me how I'll be playing -- pass first, shoot second. I like to push it up and down the court and that's what she wants. I like the fast pace and the contact."

The Turlock prepster is obviously skilled having twice been named by the Modesto Bee and the Central California Conference as Player of the Year. Finnegan also was recently honored by inclusion on the Division 1 CalHiSports All-Sate team.

Incoming freshman Rachel Finnegan of Turlock High School was selected to the CalHiSports All-State team

Asked about her best basketball skills, Finnegan offered, "Definitely my passing and seeing the court." She also participated in soccer and offered this sports analogy: "I played the sweeper position where it's important to talk to and see everyone. It's like I can see things before they happen (on the court or the field)."

Finnegan actually also played a third sport -- softball -- and had scholarship possibilities there.

What is also intriguing about Finnegan is her dual descriptions of herself. "I'm definitely a different person on the court than off the court. When I'm playing, I'm focused, aggressive and vocal. After playing, it's 'hey, what do you want to do?' She added that some of the younger Turlock players were intimidated by her actions on the court and during practice and couldn't understand why she was so friendly afterward. "How I am on the court stays on the court," Finnegan said.

To a query about her recruiting visit, Finnegan said "They definitely spoiled me with eating." She stayed overnight with one of her future teammates in an on campus dorm, actually got up extremely early in order to witness the 5:30 a.m. weight training session of the team members, took a tour of the campus and shot around in an open gym situation.

As for her best basketball moment, it was in a game at rival Pittman High during her junior year. "The stands were packed and the crowd was real crazy," Finnegan recounted. "With two seconds left in the game, I drew a foul and went to the free throw line for two shots. The place got even noisier. But I made both foul shots and we won the game."

She is looking to major in kinesiology with the idea of also earning a teaching credential and becoming a coach.

Finnegan is unsure about summer school enrollment but regardless "I'll be at San Jose State working out at least three times a week."

No doubt focused, aggressive and vocal.

Kevin McCarthy is the Basketball Editor for Inside Sparta. You may contact Kevin with any questions, comments, or tips at kevin@insidesparta.com

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