Lynetta Kizer No Stranger To International Play
When Lynetta Kizer leaves with her USA teammates for Shenzhen, China, next week to compete in the 2011 World University Games, she will be one of five players on this yearís U.S. roster who knows what it feels like to win a gold medal. Kizer competed with USA Basketball in the 2008 FIBA Americas U18 Championship, averaging 8.6 ppg. and 4.0 rpg. for the 5-0 Americans, and admitted the thrill of winning gold was the most memorable moment of her life.
Just a few months after capturing gold, Kizer, a 6-4 center from Woodbridge, Va., began her freshman season at the University of Maryland. It was also a memorable season as she was named the ACC Rookie of the Year and the Terrapins advanced to the NCAA Elite Eight, finishing the season 31-5 and No. 3 in the national rankings. Kizer averaged 7.4 rpg., becoming just the fifth Maryland freshman to pull down at least 200 rebounds. As a sophomore, Kizer ranked fourth in the ACC in field goal percentage and as a junior in 2010-11, she started all 32 games, scored in double figures 26 times and averaged 13.2 and 7.8. She was named to the All-ACC second team this past spring. In her three seasons at Maryland, she has played in the NCAA Tournament twice and the WNIT once, winning a total of seven postseason games.
At Potomac Senior High School in Virginia, Kizer was a four-year starter, three-year captain and a McDonaldís and WBCA All-American. She averaged 27.0 ppg., 12.0 rpg. and 3.0 bpg. as a senior, leading her school to the Virginia AAA Cardinal District title game.
Kizer sat down with www.usabasketball.com this week to talk about winning gold, being drafted, reading Shakespeare and beginning her basketball career overseas in Germany.
Youíre one of five players on this team who has won a gold medal before. What is the experience of playing for USA Basketball like?
Itís just a really good experience, first of all. Getting to come out here and playing with other top players in the nation is definitely a great experience, and Iím just happy to be back here playing against a lot of great players here and overseas. Itís a lot of fun.
How has playing with USA Basketball before helped you through the trials and training camp?
Just the mindset that you have to have coming in and preparing yourself mentally and physically to come here and play in this altitude.
How does winning a gold medal compare to anything else youíve achieved?
It tops them all. If I ever have the chance to win a national championship, itíd be hard to pick, but winning a gold medal for your country is definitely a great honor. There are tons of amazing players who have come through this program and represented USA Basketball well. For me to be one of those players, and to get the chance to play for another gold medal, is a great honor to me.
What types of goals, both individually and as a team, do you have for your senior season?
As a team, first of all, to do everything we can to get back to the ACC championship, and then get to the Final Four and protecting our legacy. As far as individually, just playing my senior year as hard as I can, and hopefully getting drafted. That process and experience is something Iím really looking forward to.
Whatís your favorite part about basketball?
The level of competition. Going out there and competing so hard each day is something I love.
What superstitions do you have when youíre on the court?
I have to shower before every game. I donít know what it is about it, but I have to shower and take a nap.
Whatís something that not many people know about you?
I can play the piano pretty well. I just wanted to do it one day. I took a class in eighth grade and just stuck with it. Every time I go home I still fool around on my keyboard; itís definitely a lot of fun.
You said that your next big purchase will be multiple pairs of shoes. What type of shoes do you wear and how many do you own?
I have tons. Iím a Jordan person; I love Jordan. Any type of shoes, really. I love Nike and I love how it feels getting a new pair. I probably own at least 26, itís up there.
Your favorite class is English because you get to study Shakespeare. What interests you about that?
Itís something I just picked up in college. My professor sold it to me pretty well. Just learning the different types of literature and the plays, itís pretty cool. I actually watched ĎA Midsummer Nightís Dreamí last night. It was a pretty good movie. I just love his plays.
Your first basketball memory was when you were living in Germany. What do you remember about that?
I was there for three years. My mom was stationed in Stuttgart, Germany, so I was there from ages 7-10. They actually had a league on the base, so I went up there. I really didnít know what I was doing to start off, but I was so much bigger than the other kids, they were asking for my birth certificate and stuff. It was definitely a lot, a lot of fun. Having that experience, playing against Germans to start off my playing days, it was definitely a lot of fun and can definitely help with international competition.