Nov. 29, 2012
STANFORD, Calif. -
Stanford women's basketball fans were accustomed to seeing sisters playing on the same court for the previous two years, but this Sunday at 2 p.m. PT when the top-ranked Cardinal visits Gonzaga, fans will be treated to sisters playing against each other as senior Joslyn Tinkle leads the Cardinal against a Bulldog team featuring younger sister Elle Tinkle.
Although any mention of sisters on the same court during a Cardinal game had previously referred to Nnemkadi and Chiney Ogwumike starring for Stanford, Sunday's game will actually be the second sister vs. sister battle over the past six years. Back on Dec. 2, 2007 at Maples Pavilion, Hannah Donaghe and the Cardinal hosted UC Davis, which featured Donaghe's older sister, Haylee.
The Tinkles, from Missoula, Mont., have never played an organized game against one another, although many a pick-up game pitted Joslyn and Elle against one another growing up. The sisters, who played prep ball together for a year at Big Sky High School in 2008-09, are eager for the chance to participate in a battle of two of the West Coast's top programs in what is expected to be a sold-out McCarthy Athletic Center, or "The Kennel", Sunday afternoon.
Thursday, the sisters recorded a podcast with David Siegel, host of hoopfeed.com's Dishin' & Swishin' podcast, which will go live at approximately 12 p.m. PT Friday.
Through the season's first six games, Joslyn is on pace for a career year, averaging 18.2 points, 5.2 rebounds and shooting 64.4 percent from the field. She is also shooting 42.1 percent (8-for-19) from 3-point range this year.
Elle, meanwhile, has seen action in all seven games for the 6-1 Zags, who captured two of three at a tournament in Mexico last weekend. The younger Tinkle sister is averaging 4.6 points per game and scored a season-high 14 points in last Thursday's 80-66 win over Winthrop.
GoStanford.com caught up with Joslyn this week to get her thoughts on facing her younger sister, how those home pick-up games went, and which school colors the Tinkle family and friends will be sporting come Sunday.
GoStanford.com: Before we get into Sunday's game, talk about how this season has been going for you so far.
Joslyn Tinkle: The season has been awesome so far. We were super excited about how everything has come together, with how hard we worked in the offseason, coming in and showing people how badly we wanted this as an underdog. We were not expected to be doing as well as we are so we're very proud with how we've been playing and improving. Obviously it's really early so we have a lot more to improve on but I couldn't be more proud of our team and how hard we've worked. With it being my last year and last season I'm trying to make the best of it and do all I can to have the greatest senior year.
GoStanford.com: This Sunday, the team travels to Spokane, near your hometown of Missoula, Montana, and you're going to be playing against your younger sister, Elle, and Gonzaga. Have you two talked about this game at all?
JT: We've talked about it for a long time now, talking smack in the house during the summer. Spokane has always been my favorite trip, playing Gonzaga, because it is close to home and my family comes, my friends come, and this year it's going to be so much more exciting and that much more special because I'm sharing it with my sister who I'm playing against. I'm used to her playing with me so just to see her out there I'm really excited, and with it being my last year it's gonna be so much fun and I'm excited to see my family.
GoStanford.com: So will Sunday's game be the first time you've gone head-to-head in an organized game? Have the only head-to-head battles been on the hoop at home?
JT: (laughs) It is kind of our first real competitive, head-to-head matchup playing against each other. We grew up with the front yard hoop games when we were younger. Those ended really shortly because one of us would always punch the other, we'd get in fights, and with our little brother and screaming and yelling or crying. Those didn't always last so well so hopefully it's a little bit different this time around. I think we've grown up a little bit but we're excited. It's going to be weird because last time I played with her was my senior year of high school and she was a freshman and we won a state championship which was awesome.
I'm super proud of her, she's proud of me. It's my last year here while it's her first so there are so many different emotions going into this weekend. I'm very excited for her, I want her to do well, but she knows that I'm there for business and I'm going to do all I can to whup her and get the win!
GoStanford.com: As you mentioned, you're there for business. So if you're in the low post and get the ball, and Elle's guarding you, tell us what happens next. Is family out of the way?
JT: (laughs) Family's out of the way! We joked about hopefully we're not out there busting with each other, cracking up, but we are going to take this very seriously. I'm gonna show no mercy, she better recognize. I'm a senior, I'm the older one, I have to show her up a little bit. She's just a freshman, she's a rookie, she's got a lot to learn.
[Elle]'s been giving me a hard time, too. She's really fast, she's like a track star so she says she's going to run circles around me so it's already begun. The trash talking has begun. But she just doesn't know what's coming.
GoStanford.com: You said the family's going to be there, many friends. Have they told you what apparel they'll be wearing? Will it be Stanford red, Gonzaga blue or a mix of the school colors?
JT: I have a ton of family and friends that usually come to this game, and now this year its double that because I'm playing my sister, which is really neat. My dad's from Spokane so he has a lot of his brothers, sisters, aunts and uncles and cousins that will be coming to the game. My best friends from high school will be coming, coaches, Elle's friends, so it's going to be a lot of fun. A lot of our closest family and friends will be there supporting both of us and they're just as excited as we are.
I don't have any clue what my family has in store in terms of apparel. I think our immediate family is sitting in the Stanford section, so that's good. But they go to her games more frequently than they go to mine so they will be in the Stanford section but I think they will have a little surprise for Elle and I. Maybe some kind of combination of Stanford and Gonzaga gear so we'll see.