College Athlete of the Week
SOPHOMORE | UW | BASKETBALL
Hometown: Mill Creek (Jackson High)
What she did: Scored a team-high 18 points as the Huskies knocked off Oregon State in a Pac-10 road game over the weekend.
What’s next: Kingma and the Huskies hosted Arizona on Thursday night and will welcome Arizona State to Hec Edmondson Pavilion this Saturday.
The two-minute drill
You scored a career-high 18 points against Oregon State on Sunday, hitting four of your first five shots. What was working for you in that game?
The game before, against Oregon, they were box-and-oneing (leading scorer) Sami (Whitcomb), and we figured Oregon State would do the same. They came out with a lot of pressure on her. When you focus your defense on one player, then the other players tend to be open a lot. And I got lucky, kind of, by being on the other end of that.
You grew up a Husky fan, so it must have been an easy decision for you to go to UW. But when they let go of coach June Daugherty, who recruited you, did that cause you to reconsider your decision?
When June left, obviously I wanted to make sure that I would fit into their system. When Coach J (Tia Jackson) came in, she contacted me right away. I’ve always known that this was where I wanted to play, but a little bit after June left, I was waiting to see who the new coach was. Coach J did a good job of recruiting me; she was really after me.
What were the other schools you were considering?
U-Dub and Gonzaga. Pretty much, it was just those two. I got other offers from Pac-10 schools, but I really wanted to stay close to home.
Do you ever catch yourself wondering how it would’ve worked out if you had gone to another school?
Yeah, all the time. But I feel really blessed to be so close to home. It’s easy on Christmas break. It’s easy on Sundays just to go home and have family dinners and to get to see my younger brother, Brett, play at Jackson (High School). So I feel really blessed that I’m able to be close to my brothers and sisters.
Speaking of Brett, is it strange to think that your little brother is going through a similar recruiting process to the one you went through while playing at Jackson?
Yeah. Brett and I were really close growing up. We’ve been able to feed off each other. He obviously got to see what my recruiting process was like, and now he’s going through the same thing. He doesn’t really need much advice because he’s a smart kid, and he’ll do the right thing. But it’s kind of cool. I’m proud of him. I’ve seen him grow from a little kid who could shoot 3’s when he was 4 to now, when he’s actually making them.
Your whole family is pretty athletic. Your dad, your uncle and your cousin Betsy, who is a senior at Newport High in Bellevue and is going to SPU next year, all play basketball. And I understand your mother runs marathons and competed in three Olympic Trials. Have you ever trained with her?
No. That’s a life goal, but she can still beat me. When I was little, my parents got me into cross country. I was actually on a Select cross country team, went to the Junior Olympics and ran there. I’d go out running with my mom. I kind of grew out of my runner’s body, and it ended there. She runs five miles every morning. She always says: ‘You’ll grow up and be just like me.’ I’m like: ‘Oh, gosh. Probably not.’
Health-wise, it’s actually been a pretty strange year for you. You sat out the season opener after a bout with kidney stones. What was that like?
That was the most pain I’ve ever been in in my life. I thought I was going to die for the first hour I had it. It was weird because no one in my family knew what they were; I didn’t know what they were. Luckily, I caught it early enough in the season that I only had to miss one game. But, yeah, that was the weirdest thing that’s probably ever happened to me.
Fortunately, you’re healthy now and able to be back on the court. And you’re able to be in the stands for a few high school games as well. How many Jackson High boys’ games do you expect to attend this year?
Quite a few. I’ve already been to two.
Have you seen any big-time college coaches out there?
A little bit. But not really.
Is it pretty cool to think that some big names are in contact with your brother these days?
It’s different for Brett because, obviously, the guys’ game is more visible. So he’ll get letters from coaches, like UCLA and Ben Howland or whoever. It’s cool because I do know those names, and now they’re recruiting him.
— Scott M. Johnson, Herald Writer
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