Lesina finds success where she didn’t expect it
Lauryn Lesina, a 2010 graduate of Del Norte High School, always considered herself more of a softball player. Now she’s setting records for the College of the Siskiyous women’s basketball team.
Former Del Norte Warrior Lauryn Lesina goes up for a basket during a home game against Shasta College of Redding on Jan. 26, 2011, when she was a freshman at College of the Siskiyous in Weed. Photo courtesy of Ray Wolf/SiskiyouYouth.com
“We all thought she’d make it with softball because she’s a stud in that, but she went with basketball and she’s tearing it up there,” said her brother, Logan Lesina.
Lauryn Lesina sunk 181 three-pointers in her two seasons with the Siskiyous — a career record for the two-year college. She also set the school record for the most 3’s made in one season with 102, just two long-range baskets short of the league record.
For the 2011–2012 season, Lesina was named MVP of the Golden Valley Conference, GVC All Conference and Second Team All-State for Northern California. Last year she was named freshman player of the league.
“It feels great,” she said. “I never thought I could be the one to break any type of record. I never even thought I’d play basketball in college. I guess it’s like a dream come true.”
But play in college she did, and although her two years are over at Siskiyous, Lesina is playing in the 2012 Sophomore Showcase at American River College in Sacramento this weekend, where dozens of four-year college scouts will be watching.
“I’m excited and kind of nervous,” Lesina said about the showcase. “It’s a little different when you know there’s eyes on you.”
The Siskiyous took first place in the GVC, with an 84-39 victory over Butte College, giving the team a 9-1 record in conference play.
The Siskiyous triumphed over San Mateo in a Round 2 playoff game, 73-66, sending the team to the Bay to play San Francisco City College in Round 4.
The Siskiyous had a 4-point lead with four minutes left in the game when their post player fouled out. After that the team couldn’t regroup and lost 63-55, said coach Tom Powers. The team ended the season with a 23-4 record.
“We came out really good and strong, but when she fouled out we didn’t have another big girl there for post,” Lesina said. “It didn’t end up how we wanted, but we still had a good season so I’m happy with it.”
Coach Powers had his eyes on Lesina ever since she started coming to the Mt. Shasta Holiday Tournament with Del Norte. Del Norte would practice in the Siskiyous gym, and even at 5 feet 9 inches, Lesina’s presence on the court was dominating.
“The big thing with her shooting so well is it opens up everything else for us,” Powers said. “Even when she wasn’t scoring, she was still helping because everyone was guarding her anyway.”
Lesina was able to play for Powers when he got his 700th win this season, and he said in his 29 years of coaching, “she’s got to be in the top 10.”
Lesina played softball and basketball last year, but juggling two sports became too hectic and she stuck with just basketball this year.
Her family is proud and surprised at how good she could really be on a college team.
“The first college game we watched, we were in shock because she was a whole different player — it can make her mean,” said her father, Shaun Lesina.
Lesina’s mother, Jennifer Lesina, said her daughter is humbled by her accomplishments, sometimes not knowing whether or not she should be proud.
When the Siskiyous retired Lesina’s jersey number, she called her dad to ask if that was a good thing. He told her, “‘Yeah, that’s pretty much a good thing.’”
“First time she picked up a basketball, she was 3 years old, and she hasn’t put one down since,” Lesina’s mom said. “She's an awesome kid, a good girl and she just loves the game.”