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Pistone1s all about fun

John HartBear River's Amy Pistone (right) may be a prankster off the court, but she's all business during games.
ALL | GrassValleyArchive

Amy Pistone just wants to have a little bit of fun.

“She’ll do anything on a dare. If someone tells her to do something, she’ll do it, she doesn’t care. She’s all about fun,” said Bear River basketball teammate Cassie Smith.



Pistone begged to differ.




“I won’t do (just) anything. I have my standards. But if it seems like good, harmless fun, I’m up for it,” she said. “The only things you’re going to remember from your high school days are the things you did. I like to make memories.”

Take the time in biology when the class was assigned to dissect starfish.

A friend(?) offered her cash to take a bite.

Pistone declined.

“It was $10 at first. Then people started chipping in more money, and there was a big pile of money on the ground,” she said.

She changed her mind, but couldn’t choke down the sliver of starfish meat. She collected the $14 anyway.

“I though it was cute because 14 was my basketball number,” she said.

Pistone, 15, who went out in public wearing a pair of pants she fashioned out of a hotel blanket, has tried to bring Lady Bruin head coach Duwaine Ganskie up to speed on what the best-dressed basketball player should be wearing this season.

“It all started a while back, I got pair of tie- dyed basketball socks, and I really liked them. They started getting worn out, so I got a bunch of different colors and patterns,” she said, “They’re kind of my trademark.”

Pistone has tried – many times – to get Ganskie to let her wear her ‘special’ socks on game day, but no dice.

“I won’t let her wear them, but she’s always trying to figure out a way to con me into it. Her wheels are always turning,” Ganskie said.

Fashion sense aside, Pistone’s play on the basketball court is no joke.

The 5-foot-7-inch junior ran the show from the point last season, as the Lady Bruins compiled a 27-8 record and a spot in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division III finals at Arco Arena.

“I was looking at an old program recently, and I completely forgot we won 27 games last year. That’s pretty remarkable, considering how many young kids we had and a sophomore point guard,” Ganskie said. “She gets kidded a lot for being so young, but she’s definitely beyond her years when it comes to poise and confidence. She deserves a lot of credit for our success.”

High praise from a coach with three NorCal and eight section titles under his belt. So, the Nevada City born and bred Pistone must have been a hoops prodigy, right?

“I played soccer first, but right around fourth grade everybody started playing basketball. So I went home and told my dad I wanted to play. He ended up coaching my rec league team, and I was awful,” she said. “I was third string on a team that didn’t even have enough players for three teams. My dad was the coach and I still couldn’t get any playing time.”

She spent the whole summer working on her game. Four and a half years later, she skipped Bear River’s freshmen and junior varsity programs and went straight onto the varsity.

“From early on, there was something about basketball I really liked. I’m still not sure exactly what it was,” she said. “Now, I love the sport itself, but a lot of it is just being out there with the team. I play tennis too, but there isn’t the same kind of team bond. That and the big adrenaline rush I get when I run onto the floor before a game and ‘The Eye of the Tiger’ is playing.”

Pistone, who leads Bear River (14-7 overall, 6-1 Sierra Foothill League) in assists, is second in steals, and is third in scoring 8.2 points a game, said her role is more important than just a bunch of numbers.

“Having a little bit more experience than some of the other players, when things aren’t going well, I feel I should be helping out more,” she said. “I don’t look a myself as necessarily the big scorer, but the one who gets the others players into the game.”

Pistone, despite her talent, doesn’t spend every waking hour in the gym. She’s lent her talents to both the soccer and tennis teams. The track and field team may be next.

“I think I want to be a pole vaulter. Nicole (Scott) and Meaghan (Noud) want me to do soccer again, because I’ve been playing soccer with them forever, but I’ve been talking to the track coach,” Pistone said.

“People are saying they’re going to come out and see if I get impaled on the pole, but I still think it would be so much fun. Stacy Dragila didn’t start pole vaulting until she was in high school, and look where she is.”


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