Fun on the boards
Bear River senior basketball player Kristin Landre admits the fact that she has a hard time being serious.
And her admission should come as no surprise considering the stories her teammates tell about her or the laughter that tumbles out of their mouths as they describe their buddy, “Krissy,” and her goofy personality.
Whether she’s tripping over rugs, coining phrases such as “it’s hot like a fever,” curling up to sleep on top of dressers or popping out her skateboard in any situation, Landre always seems to have the power to put a smile on the faces of her teammates.
But while Landre’s free spirit and fun-loving personality engulf those around her, another side of the versatile athlete exists as well. Behind the laughter and the desire to have fun with her teammates is a player whose shoulders support a perfectionist-type attitude on the court.
“In basketball, I can get down on myself sometimes,” Landre said. “If I make one mistake I feel like I’m letting my team down.”
Bear River basketball coach Jeff Bickmore said he recognizes the pressure she puts on herself and explains it all comes from her desire to succeed. And, according to Bickmore, Landre has nothing to worry about.
“She’s the best all-around athlete in our program,” Bickmore said. “She’s quick, she has an explosive first step, long arms and is strong. Athletically, you couldn’t ask for much more from a 5-foot-9 guard.”
While Landre isn’t exactly a gym rat – she prefers to spend her free time at the skateboarding park launching out or running through a sequence of carving the bowl moves – but once she’s in the gym, Landre can be counted on to do the small things that make the team go.
On the court Landre does a bit of everything, which is evident by her 6.6 points, 4.2 rebounds, 1.5 steals, 1.0 assists and 0.5 blocks stat line per game. Bickmore refers to her as a player who “does the intangibles.”
See a loose ball escape anywhere near her – Landre will be on the floor after it without a second thought. She scraps on the offensive boards, sets screens and is usually assigned one of the opposing team’s best offensive players. Block an opponent’s shot? It’s only one of her favorite plays in the sport.
This is only Landre’s second year on the varsity team, but she has started close to every game in that time period.
Bickmore said he realized early on last season that she seemed nervous and uncomfortable regarding where she stood with the team. He told her flat out that she was going to start and that even if she made mistakes, she was still going to play.
“And we wouldn’t have been near the team we were last year or the team we are this year without her contributions,” Bickmore said.
Last year’s Bruins won the Pioneer Valley League championship, finishing with a 23-5 record after losing to No. 3 Del Oro in the second round of the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs. This year’s squad is currently 17-7 and ranked No. 4 in the power ratings for Division IV teams in the section.
But despite how important her play on the court is to this year’s Bruins, Landre’s behavior off of it may play the biggest role in the keeping the experience fun for the entire team.
“She’s probably the goofiest kid anyone has ever met,” said teammate Lauren Juric as she leaned her head back and laughed while describing her friend. “Just the things she says and how she says them. She just does crazy out-of-control things.”
Landre plans to attend Sierra College for the next two years and is considering careers in photography or elementary education.
To contact sportswriter Stacy Hicklin, e-mail email@example.com or call 477-4244.
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Hank Sowell’s introduction to the game of golf came early as a set of clubs was among the gifts he received on his very first birthday.