Cal State East Bay coach has déjà vu recruiting Effenberger

April 28, 2014

Laci Effenberger BasketballThe last time the Cal State East Bay women’s basketball coach recruited Laci Effenberger of Ketchikan it was 2009. She was a junior in high school.

Then Effenberger suffered five knee surgeries and the coach probably figured she’d never see Effenberger’s name again.

Never say never.

Effenberger worked her way back onto the court with Clackamas Community College, where she was an all-NWAACC pick in both years with the two-year school and this year set the tournament record for most points in a game [42] and tournament [112].

Ready to move on to a four-year school, the 5-foot-6 guard heard from a familiar coach at Cal State East Bay during the recruiting process.

“She couldn’t believe I was still around,” Effenberger told me with a laugh. “It made me feel old.”

Effenberger turns 22 in June, but she’s in no hurry to quit the college life. She signed with Cal State East Bay, a NCAA D2 school in Hayward, Calif.

“I have two more years to live it up,” she said. “All my friends who aren’t playing basketball anymore and not going to school, they are all like, ‘OK, I have to grow up now’ I don’t want to do that yet.”

This year was her finest season in college. Not only did she break two NWAACC tournament scoring records, but she enjoyed one of the finest all-around seasons in school history, ranking second in the league in assists [6.2], fourth in scoring [18.8], sixth in 3-point percentage [.385] and ninth in steals [2.6].

She picked Cal State East Bay over other schools such as Hawaii Pacific and BYU-Hawaii.

“Cal State East Bay has been there since the very start,” Effenberger said. “When I visited, it felt good on the floor, it felt good off the floor. I have learned that everything is not about basketball; even though I like to think it is, it’s not. One of the things I asked myself was if I didn’t play basketball here would I be happy and I definitely felt I would.

“Like, who wouldn’t be happy in Northern California? It doesn’t get any better than that.”

Effenberger will major in communications with plans to go into coaching or broadcast journalism.

“I haven’t been this healthy since my senior year of high school,” she said. “I think definitely I did play the best basketball of my life this year and saw the potential I have. My parents and my coaches, they believe in me more than I believe in me, and then to finally get there, it’s like, wow I did do that. But I feel like I have more to do.”