Lindy La Rocque: Numbers Game
It doesn't take a math wiz to know that multiples of 3 add up more quickly than multiples of 2. As freshman guard Lindy La Rocque heads into her first season with the Cardinal, hopes are high that this sharpshooting Las Vegas guard can pile up the triples for the Cardinal. La Rocque smashed all-time scoring and assist records at Durango HS and earned Nevada all-state honors four times during her career. She is spending her summer at Stanford. How does La Rocque envision her role with the Cardinal in her first year? "I'm glad I came this summer. I've been working out and I do shoot, so that's maybe what I think I'll bring to the team, but I'm not looking to do anything right away-just fill my role. I need to get better as an all-around player, to be able to put the ball on the floor and stuff, but I think when I get the opportunity to play, if I can make a couple of shots, that helps the team out and it helps me out, so I'm happy and everyone is happy." "I'm very much trying to adjust. The girls that are here, I've been picking their brains to see what I need to emphasize and do when I get home to be really ready for the fall. But I think the biggest thing obviously is to adjust to the speed of the game. It's going to be a lot faster, and of course the strength. I know I definitely need to get stronger and quicker. I'm really focusing on that, but I think it will come in time with developing into my body. I still have a young body compared to some of the girls. It's just different for everyone, but I think that will be the biggest adjustment for me." Does she have anyone she tries to emulate as a player? "I don't know. No one like that comes to mind right away. People have asked me that before. I don't know if I take a majority from one person, but I grab here and there from different players, from boys and girls. It's a combination." How has summer on campus taking classes and working out with teammates gone so far? "It's been great. I've been taking calculus and a decision-making class. They've both been pretty challenging, but I think I've done fairly well. I've been able to get tutors and different things to stay on top of my work. We have some free time, so I get to hang out with the girls, play some basketball of course, and work out. I've loved it this summer and I'm really happy that I came. I can just be ready for the fall." The Bootleg published two stories detailing La Rocque's recruitment last summer (check the story archives). We asked her for a quick recruiting synopsis. "I came my sophomore year to visit and I got to see two games. I made the trip and caught the USC and UCLA games. That was two years ago. That's when I really got to meet the coaches and see how interested they were in me. I loved it here right away. I knew right away that if I had the chance to go here, I couldn't pass it up. My junior year came and Tara (VanDerveer) was recruiting me and sent me an application, let me know that if I got in they would like to pursue things and have me on the team. So I was quick to do the application. Once I got in, that day I told her. I said, ‘OK, I'm coming!' No second thoughts. It was just that I know I'm home here and this is where I feel the best. It's just perfect for me." If Stanford had not worked out, where else was she considering? "I try not to think about that. I'm not sure. The other schools I was very interested were on the East Coast. I don't know if I would have gone there because I was kind of hesitant about the whole being far away. I was really interested in Vanderbilt because they have good academics. That's really what I was keying on, the academic and athletic combo. So I liked Vanderbilt a lot. And then I liked Cal. They were really late. And Notre Dame a little bit. But I try not to think about that either." Is La Rocque looking forward to any particular game this season? "I'm looking forward to the East Coast swing that we have before Christmas (to Duke, South Carolina and Tennessee). One of my very, very good friends is an incoming freshman at Duke. So whether we will be playing personally against each other or not, it will be good to see her. I've never experienced the East Coast. I've played travel ball but I haven't really been on the East Coast. And I'm looking forward to all the conference games because, well, they're our conference." "Last year I came to the Tennessee game. That was my birthday present from my parents. My mom, my sister, and I made like a girls trip out here and came to the Tennessee game. It was a great time, obviously. It was phenomenal. That game was so good. The atmosphere was intense and everyone was into the game. The girls played their hearts out. It was like everyone could just have a good time and we ended up on the good side of the score, so it made it even better." Does La Rocque have any idea what she wants to study in college? "I'm really interested in mathematics. That's why I took the calculus class this summer. They have a mathematics major here at Stanford but I'm not sure I want to limit myself to mathematics. For sure I want to do something with an emphasis on mathematics. Ultimately I want to be a math teacher. There's no education major but you can get a masters in education, so I'm searching my way through all that kind of stuff. I definitely like teaching and coaching. That's what I want to do, but I like math too, so we're going to try to see if we can get everything together." La Rocque played basketball for her father while at Durango HS in Las Vegas. "My dad played in high school, junior college, and in college. He was a role player so he got to know a lot about the game. He moved to Vegas and became a high school coach right out of college. He met my mom and then they had my sister and me. He's been coaching basketball in high school ever since and has brought my sister and me along. My sister doesn't play anymore. My dad always coached boys but when my sister and I came to high school he took over the girls' team as well. He wasn't technically the head coach but he was like the assistant coach." From dad to Tara VanDerveer, how might that compare? "They have similar styles. It's kind of ironic but they do have similar styles. They both know so much. I trust them both, which is good. They both obviously want the best out of everyone. We'll see how it works out. I'm excited." Does La Rocque have any other interests or hobbies? "I have a dog, Astro. He's a little Yorkshire terrier. He's the cutest little dog. As for hobbies, my family is really outdoorsy. We love to go fishing. Obviously we're in the gym a lot with my dad being a coach. My mom is just the all-American mom. She does everything, the cooking, the support, and everything. We like to have our family time. We go to the beach and have vacations and stuff. We love to go fishing in the mountains, in the high Sierras." "My sister goes to Oklahoma. When [Stanford] goes to Baylor, that's close to where she is, so she's going to come. She's in a sorority. She'll bring them all." Since the Baylor Bears are probably feeling grouchy after getting blown out at Maples last season and losing the recruiting battle for Nneka Ogwumike, we hope that is one large and noisy sorority. Some Stanford fans are already taking great pleasure in calling La Rocque "The Rock," for obvious reasons. How is her surname pronounced? Can we call her "The Rock" and goad the Maples PA announcer into shouting, "The Rock shoots the rock!" without driving La Rocque herself crazy? "It's French and I get more misspellings than mispronunciations, so I don't take it to heart, but it is like a rock in the ground. I've gotten that tag (The Rock) a couple of times. It's funny how my name kind of fits me a little bit so that seems to happen a lot with everyone…" Though the moniker may not be too original, if the threes are dropping and "The Rock" sticks through college, we think Lindy La Rocque won't mind too much. Many great Stanford shooters have required some seasoning to begin bombing away without a conscience, so it may not be realistic to expect that nickname to fit perfectly right away, but La Rocque has the range and release to open the court up wide for the Cardinal. One day soon we may find many unhappy defenders caught between The Rock and A Hard Place (as we might call all the talented Cardinal bigs). Math enthusiast La Rocque might agree that's likely to be a tough equation for opponents to solve. To view a slide show of Don Anderson's photos taken during this interview with Lindy La Rocque, click HERE.
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