Nov. 9, 2011
Hall of Fame Profiles: Griffin | McKay | Shaw | Spencer | Kim | Walsh | Mortenson | Whitfield
Trisha Stevens' Stanford Career - Photo Gallery
STANFORD, Calif. - A two-time All-Pac-10 Team selection and a key member of the nucleus that helped bring Stanford women's basketball into the national elite, Trisha (Stevens) Lamb '91 will be enshrined into the Stanford Athletic Hall of Fame this weekend.
She will also be recognized during Stanford's women's basketball home opener this Sunday, Nov. 13 against Gonzaga.
At the time of her graduation in 1991, Lamb, then Trisha Stevens, ranked second on Stanford's all-time career list in points scored (1,649) and field-goal percentage (53.4), and even today remains in the top 10 of each career category (ninth in points scored, seventh in field-goal percentage).
More important than numbers, though, is the fact that Stevens was part of Stanford's devastating frontcourt along with Katy Steding, Julie Zeilstra and Val Whiting that overwhelmed opponents en route to the Cardinal's first national title in 1990. That year, Stevens led the Cardinal with 17.6 points per game and a 54.9 shooting percentage. A year later, she helped lead the Cardinal to its second straight Final Four.
Stevens ended her career with 1,649 points (13.5 per game, ninth all-time at Stanford), a 53.4 shooting percentage and 597 rebounds. She went on to play a year of pro basketball in Japan before moving on to a coaching career.
She served as an assistant coach at Boise State before being named the Broncos' head coach in 1996. She served as head coach for six seasons in Boise, leading the Broncos to the Big West Eastern Division title and an NIT berth in 1997-98.
Before her enshrinement into the Hall of Fame this weekend, www.gostanford.com caught up with Lamb and discussed being part of Stanford women's basketball's rise to the national elite, her memories of The Farm and what she's up to these days.
GoStanford.com: What are your thoughts about being selected to the Stanford Athletic Hall of Fame?
Trisha (Stevens) Lamb: I was completely surprised and overwhelmed. What a great honor! I kept thinking that I had daydreamed the whole phone call from Jim Young notifying me of my induction. It reminds me a lot of when I first game to campus as a freshman and had to pinch myself everyday to believe I was really attending Stanford University.
Are there any favorite places, either on campus or around the area, that you always have to visit anytime you come back to Stanford?
TSL: Besides Maples Pavilion - Hobees, the Dish, and the Stanford Bookstore. Our first stop will be Hobees for breakfast and then a hike with the family up to the Dish. And my kids (and I) can't wait to get all Stanford geared up!
Do you have a favorite story from your time at Stanford outside of athletics?
TSL: So many great memories! To name just a few...
Trying to study at Green Library with Jennifer Azzi, Sonja Henning, and Evon Asforis - after hours of talking and laughing we would have to make a rule that the next person to talk had to go shopping for snacks for everyone.
The `89 [Loma Prieta] earthquake - the aftershocks were so scary, the team came and stayed with Sonja Henning and me because we lived in the trailers, which seemed a little safer than the multi-story fancy dorms everyone else was living in.
Road trips to Yosemite, Los Angeles, Half Moon Bay, and Davis (that one's an inside joke!) were also great memories.
You were the leading scorer and shooter for Stanford's first women's basketball championship team in 1990. How would you describe that season and how it felt to win the NCAA title?
TSL: That was the highest-functioning team I have ever been a part of. To start at the top, we had the great visionary, Tara VanDerveer and her amazing assistants, Amy Tucker, Julie Plank and Renee Brown providing the plan . They had complete buy-in from everybody on the team. I don't think one person on the team doubted for a second that we would be national champions that year. We also had the magical combination of our best players also being our hardest workers. And finally, everyone found a way to bring value and embrace our roles - whether it was scoring, defense, enthusiasm, or "spreading sunshine."
Even though we all had individual goals for ourselves we were able to put them aside and put the team first in everything we did. Although winning the national championship was the culmination of all the work that went into that year and the years before, it didn't define the team. Even without a national championship that team was special.
You went to two Final Fours and made four NCAA Tournament appearances at Stanford, and were part of a core group of recruits (along with Azzi, Steding, Henning, etc.) that brought Stanford into the national elite. Twenty-five years later, how does it feel to have been a part of that group that built the foundation for Stanford's championship tradition?
TSL: I take great pride in being a part of the Stanford tradition and now, along with my kids, I am one of their biggest fans. As a player I always felt such honor wearing the Stanford uniform and now I just love to watch these amazing young women play.
You committed to Stanford during Tara VanDerveer's second season, when the team had not yet had an over-.500 campaign. As one of the top recruits in the nation at that time, what led you to decide to attend and play basketball at Stanford? What did you see in the school/program during your recruiting process that really made you feel that Stanford was the right choice?
TSL: Academics was my number one priority so Stanford was an easy choice. But when [then-Stanford assistant] June Daugherty and Tara came to my home for a recruiting visit, I could see, feel, and taste Tara's vision for Stanford Basketball. It was never a compromise in making the choice for the very best in academics and basketball because I honestly believed Tara and June when they told me at the age of 17 that I would have the chance to be on a national championship team.
The 1990 team came back to Stanford two years ago to be honored for the 20th anniversary of winning the NCAA title. How did it feel to be back on The Farm, seeing your former teammates and the"new" Maples Pavilion?
TSL: Anytime I can be around these people is a joy! I loved seeing everyone and can't believe the growth of Stanford.
Do you still keep in touch regularly with your former teammates?
TSL: Yes - that is one of the best parts of my whole Stanford experience - THE PEOPLE! We try to have an outing at least once every couple of years - whether it's a mountain retreat, meeting up for a race, or some other function.
What are your thoughts on Tara VanDerveer being inducted to the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame this past August? Are there any good Tara stories or "Tara-isms" that you recall from your playing days?
TSL: No one is more deserving than Tara. I'm so grateful for her choosing me to wear the cardinal! She believed in me when I didn't even believe in myself. I think it all comes back to her vision. Her vision on what a practice should be, a vision for what a player can become, and the work ethic to back it all up.
You got into coaching soon after graduation, serving as an assistant at Boise State from 1993-96 before taking over the program for six years from 1996-2002. What got you interested in pursuing a coaching career?
TSL: I love the game and I always thought if you can make your hobby your job you have a chance to have a very successful and rewarding career.
You were named Boise State's head coach in 1996, just five years after graduating. How did it feel to run a Division I program at such a relatively young age?
TSL: Completely overwhelmed - talk about learning on the job! Like Tara - another great visionary, Boise State AD, Gene Bleymaier, saw something in me that I didn't yet see in myself and named me head coach after just three years in coaching. My first year was a disaster and a huge learning opportunity. My second year we won the Big West Eastern Division and got an invite to the NIT. By my last year in 2002, I finally felt like I was ready to be a head coach - but then I was also ready to be at home full-time with my kids.
Before getting into coaching, you played professionally in Japan. Who did you play for, and how was the experience? Was there any major culture shock that took some getting used to in Japan?
TSL: I played for Japan Airlines (JAL). What a great experience. I got married on June 20 and we left for Japan three days later. Upon arriving in Tokyo, my basketball interpreter told me that I was leaving the next day for a three-week training camp in the mountains and that my husband, Rob Lamb, was to stay behind. Nice honeymoon! By the time I had gotten back, Rob and found a job teaching English and figured out the subways, shopping and all of the fun spots. Climbing Mt. Fuji was definitely one of the highlights of our time in Japan.
After leaving the Boise State program, what did you pursue?
TSL: Rob had been a stay-at-home dad while I was coaching and at the end of the 2002 season we were both ready for a change so we swapped roles. I loved being home with my three kids full-time but I started getting a little antsy, so in 2006 I enrolled in the Boise State Executive MBA Program. This was a transformational experience - where I gained a lot of confidence in how transferable coaching skills are to the business world.
What have you been doing since leaving the coaching ranks? What are you currently doing?
TSL: Just about the time I graduated from my MBA program in 2008, a job in the business school opened up. I loved the people and the program so much I decided to join them (I call it my two year interview because the people running the program were the same ones that hired me). I get my coaching fix by coaching my kid's teams and there is nothing more fun than that.
Along with the Hall of Fame Weekend events over the weekend, you're also being honored at Stanford's women's basketball home opener Nov. 13 against Gonzaga. Do you get the chance to watch Stanford women's hoops often? What are your thoughts on the current run the team is on?
TSL: I watch them every chance I can get. One of the highlights of the year for our family was driving up to Spokane to watch the Cardinal play Gonzaga in the Elite Eight last March. My girl's are so excited to meet Tara and the team -- especially the Ogwumike sisters.