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Thread: Article on Katie

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2015

    Default Article on Katie

    There is a very nice article on Katie in the Spokesman Review.


    Go Zags!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2014


    Thanks Skip,

    For the non-subscribers, here you go:

    Finding her range: Gonzaga’s Katie Campbell has settled into do-it-all role on, off the court
    UPDATED: Wed., Feb. 6, 2019, 6:45 p.m.

    By Jim Allen
    (509) 459-5437

    When you’re among the best long-range shooters in college basketball, expectations can get a bit surreal. So can the postgame conversations.
    After a recent 2-for-5 night from beyond the arc, Gonzaga guard Katie Campbell called her father in Los Angeles. She expected some sympathy after an “off” night. Instead, she got a reality check.

    Recalled Campbell: “He said, ‘What are you talking about? Two for five, that’s really good.’ ”

    Good enough for most players, that is, but not when you’re hitting almost 50 percent from beyond the arc. Going into Saturday’s game at Portland, Campbell is hitting 47.5 percent and ranks fifth in the nation.

    “I’ve set the standards so high that when I’m not meeting them, I get down on myself,” Campbell said.

    The occasional slump also offers Campbell – whose ambition is to be a sports psychologist – a chance for some self-analysis. Perhaps one day she’ll write a book on the subject: “The Psychology of the 3-point Shooter,” with chapters on streaks, slumps and sudden fame. She may also write about toughness, especially her own. A touted recruit at Oaks Christian High School in Oxnard, California, she took an official visit to the Inland Northwest – at Washington State, not Gonzaga.

    Then life changed. Midway through her senior year, Campbell learned she was pregnant with her daughter Ava. She responded by winning league MVP and first-team all-state honors. While four months pregnant, she scored 23 points in a state tournament game. By the time Ava was born in the fall of 2016, Campbell had backed away from her commitment to WSU but had enrolled and was playing at two-year Ventura (California) College. Despite having “all the support I could want” from her father, Howard, she worked up to 40 hours a week at two jobs.

    “I didn’t want to rely on him for everything,” Campbell said.

    She also managed to average 18.5 points a game at Ventura, but wanted more. So did Gonzaga, which needed a shooter after Zhane Templeton transferred home to Texas-Arlington. The match was pure happenstance, the product of old ties and new friends on social media.

    As it turned out, Campbell’s coach in middle school was George Albanez, the father of former GU player Keani Albanez. By then a professional in Greece, Albanez let it be known via Twitter how well Campbell was playing at Ventura.

    Meanwhile, Campbell had been sending out “random texts” to GU assistant Craig Fortier, and things moved from there. By May 2017, she was signed to play for the Zags.

    “I wanted to put myself and Ava in the best situation, get a better education and further my basketball career,” Campbell said.

    The transition was easy.

    “People had nothing but good things to say about her,” coach Lisa Fortier said. “And we didn’t have any questions about Katie’s character.
    “Plus, if there’s a place with a family atmosphere that could help her, it’s Gonzaga.

    “Every day I’m impressed with what she’s doing with Ava and thankful that we can be a part of it. This is a place where we take care of people and put our arms around them.”

    The GU family had done this before for a single mother, with former West Valley star Shaniqua Nilles and her daughter Nevaeh.

    “They’ve been through this, and that really helped me make my decision,” said Campbell, who also was impressed by the Fortier family, including Lisa, Craig and their three young children.

    “I like how they have three kids and still work tons of hours,” Campbell said.

    They also know how to play. On Jan. 26, the program celebrated Alumni Day with dozens of players and their children.

    “It’s really fun and makes me smile,” said Lisa Fortier, who has spent the last 12 years at GU.

    For the Fortiers, the event was a trip down memory lane with former players who now have their own children. Now Campbell and her daughter are part of that.

    “We had a great time,” Campbell said. “At one point, Ava wanted to pick up the microphone and talk.”

    On the court last year, Campbell played in 29 games, but like many Zags struggled with her long-range shooting.

    “It’s the little things, like my footwork.” Campbell said. “Plus, last year I was adjusting to the atmosphere, the crowd and a new state.”

    Campbell didn’t elaborate on the difference between shooting baskets in California and Washington, but her point was well taken.

    “I just had to get more confidence,” Campbell said.

    She found it immediately, making 18 of her first 39 long-range shots. Then came the biggest game of the year, against eighth-ranked Stanford. Campbell took six shots – all of them 3-pointers – and made five to stake the Zags to an early led that stood up for a 79-73 win. Five-foot-10 and rail-thin, Campbell also grabbed seven rebounds and made a pest of herself on defense. A backup when the season began, Campbell became a starter when point guard Jessie Loera went down for several games with a concussion.

    “She’s a lot more than a shooter, and defensively she’s often guarding the other team’s best player,” Fortier said. “But the threat of what she can do from outside does change things for us.”
    Pictures and Top-10 list of 3-point percentage leaders at link.

    Spokesman-Review Link:


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2014


    Here is another article on Katie in the Gonzaga Bulletin:

    The infallible approach of GU women's basketball's newest starter
    Ian Davis-Leonard
    Feb 5, 2019

    Katie Campbell can’t fail.

    As a starting guard on the No. 13 Gonzaga women’s basketball team, a psychology major with a full course-load and a single mother to her young daughter Ava, Campbell is handling more than the average student. And she knows there is no room for error.

    “It’s not that hard,” she said. “I just know I can’t fail in any of them. If I fail on the basketball court, I mean obviously, that’s what I am here to do, so I can’t do that. If I fail in school, I can’t play basketball and if I fail as a parent, the No. 1 thing I have to do, I just can’t do it.”

    This often means studying late into the night after putting her daughter to bed, wearing a straight face during practice even if it’s been a rough day at home and returning home exhausted after practice, still having to take care of Ava.

    “As a mom, I think I am more impressed with it than nonparents,” head coach Lisa Fortier said. “I think those guys know it is hard, but they don’t really know what it is like and raising three kids of my own, I know what it is like when they are sick or they are afraid. “It is really difficult, [assistant coach Craig Fortier] and I have a hard time sometimes and there are two of us, we are grown and we have a grandma that lives here, so every day I am impressed with what she is doing with Ava and thankful that we can be a part of it.”

    Campbell joined the GU family in the fall of 2017 after a path that included a commitment to and de-commitment from Washington State University and a successful season at Ventura Community College where she averaged more than 18 points and won Western State Conference North Division MVP.

    “After getting pregnant, I knew I just wanted to play basketball again and I had to prove myself to Division I schools and reprove myself by just playing,” Campbell said. “I knew that my local junior college would give me some exposure and let these schools see that I am still ready to play and that I would be just as tough as I was before getting pregnant.”

    Out of high school, there was mutual interest between Campbell and GU, but things didn’t work out as GU turned elsewhere due to questions about the young guard’s ball handling and defense. The following season, several graduations and transfers left vacant roster spots for GU and Fortier turned to the former McDonald’s All-American nominee, Campbell.

    “We were in the market for a transfer and people have nothing but great things to say about Katie,” Fortier said. “We didn’t have any questions about Katie’s character, we thought that if there was a place that could help a kid with a family atmosphere then it would be Gonzaga and she fit a great need.”

    That role is as a shooter and Campbell is darn good shooter at that. Currently, she is a top-5 3-point shooter by percentage in the country, having converted 48 3-pointers, far and away leading the No. 13 Zags, at a rate of 47.5 percent.

    “I try not to think about it too much, because if you think about percentages and how well you’re shooting it really takes a hold of you and you don’t want to shoot or you pass up shots or you get down, like I do sometimes on misses, but it’s exciting,” Campbell said. “It shows I’m getting back to who I was as a big 3-point shooter in high school and I struggled last year but it shows just the work I’m putting in and the confidence and adjustments I’ve made since being here.”

    Despite being an especially accurate sharpshooter, Campbell isn’t flashy with her celebrations.

    “I get scared to show any celebrations because if I miss the next one I feel like I look dumb, but if the crowd’s pumped and I’ve hit a few I’ll throw a fist bump out there, just a subtle one,” Campbell said.

    If she could, the California native joked that she would either put three fingers to her eye or blow off her hand and place it in a pocket holster. Some athletes resent having their game condensed down to one single label. Not Campbell, she relishes her identity as a 3-point shooter and takes pride in showing other teams that her game goes beyond that.

    “It’s cool that when teams play me as just a 3-point shooter and overrun me or try and take away the three that I can drive,” she said. “I can show that I can drive and that I do play defense, so it’s nice being labelled but overcoming that label and showing I’m not just that.”

    Fortier praised Campbell’s shooting as instrumental to team success as it lifts the confidence of other shooters on the team, like junior Jessie Loera and sophomore Jill Townsend who are each experiencing career years from beyond the arc, and is a threat to other teams that scares GU’s opponents out of playing zone defense.

    “If they want to take away our post players, then they are giving something up on the outside and that just helps with the balance,” Fortier said. “Having her extra points and the scoring is great, but really it is what she brings even as a non-scorer.”

    These improvements without the ball have been a revelation to Campbell’s game. Now, the junior is often tasked with guarding an opponent’s best player, crashing the boards as a feisty rebounder and steadily handling the ball for the nationally ranked Zags. In December, Campbell was inserted into GU’s starting lineup after an injury to teammate Jessie Loera, and has not relinquished the role.

    “Katie filled in, we beat Stanford with Katie in there, we beat Washington State with Katie in there, she’s just done a good job, and she has continued to shoot the ball well, so there wasn’t really a need to change it back up,” Fortier said. “Around here it’s not about minutes and points, starting and not starting, it’s just about the best fit for that time and we just felt like she has been that.”

    This unexpected change in role is credit to the work Campbell puts in.

    “I think it is a culmination of hard work and dedication to school, her raising of her child and working hard at basketball,” said Howard Campbell, Katie’s dad. “She does all three and she does it all well.”

    Howard knew that his daughter had a future in basketball when she was 5 years old, crossing over young boys during youth basketball. Since then, he never pushed basketball, but kept Katie in leagues throughout her childhood and even helped her get into the high school she wanted to attend. Now, as Katie has made it as a college basketball player, her dad doesn’t miss a second of it.

    “He’s at every game and he travels everywhere, he helps me in every way possible with my daughter and with school and anyway,” Campbell said. “He’s really just the biggest influences and one of the reasons I play basketball is for him and to see him and to celebrate in a common thing we have together.”

    With her dad around often and her GU basketball teammates and coaches by her side, Campbell has thrived as a Zag.

    “Of course, this is the place for her, because we are like a family,” Fortier said. “It’s a place where we take care of people and we bring them in and put our arms around them anyway we can, so we are willing to help and she is amazing what she does on her own.”

    Campbell has done more than simply avoiding failure in the stages of her life. Excelling in the classroom as an Academic All-WCC Honorable Mention, setting career scoring marks on the court and being the best possible parent she can be to Ava.

    “She is absolutely my hero,” Howard Campbell said. “I don’t think there are many kids in this country that could do what she is doing with balancing what she is balancing and I am very proud of her.”
    Article Link:


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