College Athlete of the Week

  • Fri Feb 12th, 2010 12:24am
  • Sports

Rachele Kloke

JUNIOR | university of Idaho | basketball

Hometown: Stanwood (Stanwood High)

What she did: Scored a team-high 17 points, including two free throws that put Idaho ahead for good, in a 61-53 upset win over Nevada, the second-place team in the Western Athletic Conference.

What’s next: Kloke and the Vandals (5-17 overall, 3-6 in the WAC) will host Hawaii on Saturday.

The two-minute drill

Heading into Wednesday night’s game at Fresno, four of your previous five games had been decided by three points or less. Why all the nail-biters?

It just seems like how we like to play. We like to try to be aggressive; that’s the way we play. In the WAC, everyone has their nights, and it comes down to who hits the shots at the end. We lost a couple of star players who got hurt before the season, so we knew we were going to have to play aggressive and try to win close games.

You’re leading the Vandals in scoring this season. When the injuries started mounting, did your role change?

It came down to me having to step up more. The coaches told me to try to score more this year, so that’s my role now, and it’s why I’ve been scoring more.

I have to ask you about the Fresno State game on Wednesday. You scored a team-high 13 points on 5-of-9 shooting, but the rest of your team shot just 17 percent in an 85-38 loss. So are you planning on holding any shooting clinics at practice this week?

It wasn’t like that. It just came down to Fresno is a great team, and they have great guards. They made it hard on our guards. When I had posts on me, it was easier to get shots. I play the four, so I usually have posts on me.

Let’s go back to your Stanwood days. I understand you competed in basketball, cross country, golf and the triple jump. Other than basketball, are any of those still a part of your regular activities?

I wish I could say I was doing track here, but that hasn’t been an option. I still go on long runs, and I’m taking a golf class right now. Hopefully, it will help my game. I’m not that great.

So you’re not part of any triple-jump rec leagues?

(Laughs) I haven’t been able to do that. When I won state was the last time I did it. But I’m hoping to compete at Stanwood sometime, with the alumni. Sometimes they have the alumni take on the varsity. I’d love to do that. I just hope I could get some practice time in before competing against younger people.

And your father, Dennis, played basketball at Washington State. Was it an adjustment for him to become a Vandals fan?

I don’t know. Sometimes it’s hard for him when we play the Cougars. But since I’m his daughter, he always roots for me.

What are your three older brothers up to?

Shawn is a manager at Costco. Micah is a tech person for the school district. … And Nate works for a construction company in Everett.

Were they athletes, too?

Shawn played football. Micah played a little bit of basketball and football in middle school. Nathan (who graduated from Stanwood in 2005) was a good basketball player, but he had a heart problem, so he had to stop. It’s too bad because he was really good. He was five million times better than me. He was getting recruited by a lot of colleges. It was really hard for him.

What’s the Stanwood-to-Moscow road trip like?

Gosh. Six hours. It’s so boring. A boring drive.

Are there any must-stops along the way – for food or scenic views or a couple quick runs down a ski slope?

I don’t know. I usually just drive straight through to get it over with.

Speaking of road trips, what’s your favorite road trip in the WAC, and why?

Definitely Hawaii. Because it’s Hawaii.

And the worst?

The worst is Louisiana (Tech). It’s just so far. It takes forever to get down there.

Worse than driving from Stanwood to Moscow?

By far.