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Thursday, December 16, 2010

Jessica Lieber- Athlete & Fan

Jessica has been involved in sports since a young age. She has already successfully competed on the varsity level in both golf and basketball. She was part of a highly successful GHS varsity golf team this fall, that concluded the season by qualifying for the IHSA State Tourney. In basketball she was able to play some on the varsity as a freshman, and was leading scorer on the frosh-soph team that year. This year she is one of the regulars and one of the leading scorers on the varsity level as a soph. Her future in athletics is certainly bright.

Jessica is involved as both an athlete and as a fan in athletics. Jessica Lieber is another one of the loyal Illini fans. (Obviously there is only so much influence you can have as a coach I guess.) But the obvious is that she enjoys sports!

How did you get interested in playing basketball?
I got interested in playing basketball because I have been in the gym ever since I was 3 years old.   My dad was the coach at Galesburg Christian School and I went to practice when I was little and dribbled and shot with the high school boys.  My dad was then the sophomore coach at GHS for 5 years when I was in 3rd grade.  I went to practice every day and would shoot and do the same drills with the boys.  I have been going to every Streaks camp since 2nd grade and the University of Illinois camp for 5 years.  Basketball is something that has always been in my life.

What former Streaks player would you like to have as a teammate?
I would like to have Molly Watson as a teammate.  I have heard so much about her and have watched some tapes from when she played for the Streaks.   I feel that she is someone I would like learn from and gain from her experiences and qualities she has developed as a player.   I had the privilege to meet her over the Thanksgiving holiday when she attended one of your practices when she was back visiting her family.

Did you go to Streaks games when you were young?  What were some of your memories of that?
Yes, I went ever since I was old enough to remember.  I always used to be the kid that would cry if I knew there was a game and my parents wouldn’t let me go.  One thing I remember is going to Redbird Arena when the Streaks went to State.

Obviously you are a big Illini fan.  Who are some of your all time favorite Illini players?
My favorite former players are Dee Brown, Deron Williams and Roger Powell who went to the Final Four tournament in 2005.

What is the best Illini game you ever saw?
On TV- In 2005 when Illinois broke Wisconsin’s winning streak on their home court.
(Since that happens so rarely, I can see where that would certainly standout for Illini fans!)
In Person- When the Illini beat Arizona to go to the Final Four in 2005.  They were down 15 points with under 3 minutes to go and came back and won.

So they first get rid of Chief Illiniwek and then they get rid of the university –if you couldn’t be for Illinois, what would your second choice as a college team be?
The Tennessee Volunteers.  I have always wanted to meet Pat Summit.  I got to meet her over the summer when our team attended the Volunteer basketball camp.  I have always watched them play especially when Candace Parker played.

You are only a sophomore, what has been your favorite class so far?
My favorite class has been Civics with Mr. Hillier.  He is one of my all time favorite teachers and he always talks basketball in class with me.

Was it intimidating when you first came to GHS as a freshman?
Yes in some ways.   My dad had been a coach at GHS since I was in 3rd grade so I was always at GHS and familiar with the school, but I did get nervous my first day of school with all of the kids in the hallways.

This year on varsity, which game made you the happiest?  Which game made you most disappointed?
The best game was when we beat Rock Island on our home floor.  Rocky was undefeated and I know they wanted to win, but we beat them on our home floor and got our 2nd conference win.
The disappointing game was against Illini West.  That was the game that we all knew we could win.  We have beat teams better than Illini West but we didn’t finish the game with good intensity.

What is your favorite Hobo sandwich?
The # 2 – Ham, Salami and Cheese with lettuce

When you take players with you to the Hobo, which player eats so much that they may make your dad go broke?
Jamie Johnson.  She was always asking what we were having for team dinners to eat because she loves food.  When we go to the Hobo you would wonder how she is still so skinny as she is because she eats a lot there.

What women basketball player is your favorite idol?
Candace Parker.  She was a Lady Volunteer and played for Pat Summit.    She also plays in the WNBA for the Los Angeles Sparks

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