Now that junior point guard Lucia Renikoff has been to the state tournament with her Minneapolis Washburn teammates, her next goal is, well, to do it again. “My main goals for our team this season is to make it back to the state tournament,” she says, “win conference, and to beat some of the teams that we’re not expected to beat.
She didn’t say who she meant by that, but a look at Washburn’s 2013-2014 schedule reveals opponents like Class AAAA Edina, Lakeville South and Minnetonka, and defending state Class AA champion New Richland-Hartland-Ellendale-Geneva.
The Millers took fourth place in Class AA last year, losing to NRHEG 69-60 in the semis as Carlie Wagner scored 48 points. Now Washburn moves up to Class AAA in the MSHSL’s biennial redistricting.
“This change is a big step for our team, but I think that it is very possible to overcome. It means we definitely have to work harder because the teams we play are going to be a lot better.”
With two years of high school remaining and some significant challenges ahead, Renikoff nevertheless has been thinking about college, too.
“My dream is to play basketball in college…at a division 1 school. Saying that, I have a lot of work to do. I would like to go to a big city school that has good academics and good sports.”
“I’ve heard from 3 D1 coaches,” though she declined to name names, “and a couple D2 and D3 schools. I don’t have a certain list yet but,” she said she likes the big city and Chicago would certainly qualify as that. “I’m really liking Chicago schools,” Renikoff said.
“I would describe my game as a pass first point guard,” she added. “I try to play to highlight my teammates’ strengths and make sure everyone stays positive and focused. For me, defense always comes first and that is what wins games.”
“My personal goals for this season are to become more aggressive offensively and be more of a scorer. I want to become a better leader and ball handler.”
“I’ve been working a lot on my mid-range shot and jump shot,” she said, “and I hope to use that as a weapon this year. I have also been working on my ball handling and getting to the basket more.”
Renikoff scored 8 points per game last year on a respectable 38 field goal shooting percentage. Her 83 percent on free throws would suggest that she's got the stroke to improve her field goal shooting, and the fact that she only shot a little more than one free throw per game would confirm that she could get to the basket more. She will continue feeding Chase Coley for Washburn, but with Audrey DeVaughan graduated, she will have to be more of the perimeter threat.
“My dad has been one of the biggest influences on my game. He has coached me ever since I first started playing basketball, and I am very thankful for all he has taught me.”
“Chase Coley and Dejon Davis, who plays at Kennedy, have been two people who always push me to get better, get to the gym everyday, and help me work hard. I look up to both of them a lot.”