November 5, 2010

Impact Player: Lindsay Leo Debuts for Santa Clara Tuesday

By, Carolyn Linck

After a year of waiting on the sidelines due to the NCAA's transfer rule, redshirt sophomore Lindsay Leo is ready to play.

"I can't tell you how excited I am," said Leo. "This whole redshirt year has been tough and long, sitting on the bench without being able to contribute in games.  I have all this bottled up energy just waiting for the season to start.  I'm really looking forward to playing with my teammates and proving myself on the court."

Despite the long wait of sitting out the 2009-10 season after transferring from San Diego State University, Leo believes the experience has been helpful in developing into a stronger and smarter basketball player.

"A year on the sidelines is a long time, but I feel I've benefited from it a lot.  Because I didn't have to save my body for games, I was able to continue weight training with the next season in mind," explained Leo.  "Mentally, you also start to look at the game differently.  You see things that otherwise you might not have noticed before, and you get a new perspective.  This has definitely helped my court awareness."

Leo believes the entire team has developed tremendously since last season and has high hopes for her first year of Bronco basketball.

"We are a much stronger and more mature team than last year. We definitely expect to improve from where we ended last season. My goal is to help get our team to the top of the league, and I think I can make a big difference," said Leo.

Leo's teammates also believe having Leo on the court will have a big impact on the team.

"I can't wait to finally play with Lindsay," said junior guard, Alyssa Shoji. "She brings so much energy and enthusiasm to our team, but more importantly, she gives us height inside. Lindsay is a threat inside offensively with her ability to score the ball, and she's also a great defensive presence with her length and quickness.  This will be a great year for her and our team."

The Broncos' other key post player, All-WCC forward, Lena Gipson, thinks the duo will able to accomplish a lot playing together.

"Lindsay brings even greater strength to our team's inside game with her height and ability to finish tough shots," said Gipson. "She is vocal, aggressive and constantly makes defenses work on the court."

Leo echoed Gipson's comments, saying, "I love being on the court with Lena because we can play off one another so easily.  With the great guards taking care of business on the perimeter, it will be fun to get things done together in the post this season."

Overall, Leo feels she has found her niche at Santa Clara.

"San Diego State was a great school, and I learned a lot there basketball wise, but it just wasn't the right place for me," said Leo, who prepped at Archbishop Mitty High School in San Jose. "Here at Santa Clara I have the love and support of family friends, plus the complete package of excellent academics and athletics on a beautiful campus.  I'm grateful for the opportunity to study and play here."

Leo will finally be able to get back on the court and play in her first games as a Bronco next week, beginning with an exhibition game against Sonoma State on Tuesday, Nov. 9, at 7 p.m.