Jessica Lindstrom has played basketball in Belgium for three years now. The 26 years old American player had some amazing performances during her time as a basketballer. Her effort and team spirit will make her team Royal Castors Braine shine, maybe all the way to a championship!
All kinds of specialties
Jessica has so many talent. Her basketball skills are amazing, and important for every team. “I am a power forward, but I can play on a lot of positions,” Jessica says. “I like to drive, or playing in the post or shooting the ball. Furthermore, I don’t mind playing quite physical, which means that I can play with some tight defense and aggression on the court.”
One of her best specialties: rebounding
Playing basketball includes more than just scoring. Rebounding will give the team more opportunities to score. That is something Jessica knows very well. “When you play professional basketball, you will play against players who are tougher. There are girls out there who are taller than me. I am 1,83 meters, but some other girls are like 1,90 meters. To be honest, I don’t really know how I improve my rebounding ability. I just try to be better and better, and it still works for me.”
Jessica’s first time of playing basketball
Jessica started at the local YMCA gym in Wisconsin. She loved it right away, maybe because she is a very competitive player. “I played there when I was six years old until I was 10 years old. There was a league, mixed with boys and girls. That helped me to create a more physical style of playing basketball. After playing there for three years, I went into a travelling team with my dad as the coach. During that time, I visited different places in Minnesota and Wisconsin. With Superior High School I went to places like Chicago and Minneapolis to play different at tournament, so scouts could see you play basketball. It was a great time over there, gaining more experience by playing with girls who were a little older than me.”
Jessica reached the finales during college. That is something you won’t forget very soon. “The team we played against had five division one players, so they were going to the big universities in the States. The fact that we made it to the finals was amazing! We had a lot of players with so much potential. That made me very proud.”
The next step: playing college in Green Bay
Right after high school, Jessica was ready for the next level: playing basketball in Green Bay. “Green Bay is five hours away from my home town. That was close enough to live on my own, but also close enough for my parents to visit my games. The team was very good, and during my four years we visited that kinds of tournament. In the beginning, during my freshman season, the learning curve was a little bit different. All the players in my team were the best players of their high school. I had to earn my spot, so my main focus was to gain as much experience as I could on the court. In my second year I became a starting five player. Each year was a little different. I became better and better, by making use of the trial and error effects. They don’t change your game, they only improve it.”
Playing professional basketball
During her time on college, Jessica almost doubled her average every season. Those were very hopeful developments! “After college I was talking with my agent a lot. Right after I graduated, I got invited to play for the Los Angeles Sparks camp in the WNBA. I was there for a couple of weeks, but they ended with cutting everyone they brought in. My agent talked to me about Luxembourg. It sounded perfect to me, because I never went to Europe before. Although I was a little introverted at the beginning, I met so many great people there. This was a good start to get better and better.”
Jessica had an average of 20 points and 15 rebounds in Luxembourg. That is great for a first year of pro! A next adventure was waiting for her in Belgium, at the Kangoeroes in Mechelen. “My first season at Kangoeroes was amazing! I had an American teammate: Alexis Klabo. We will be friends for the rest of our lives. I feel like playing basketball in Belgium is like living the dream. We beat Castors Braine during that season, which was amazing. At the end of the year I torn my ACL, during the beginning of the covid period. Our gym was closed for a very long time, and everything was very insecure.”
Right now she has the chance to reach a championship. This season Castors Braine is still the number one in the Eerste Klasse competition. “Playing for Castors Braine is very different, but amazing! Everyone has their specialties: driving, shooting, or rebounding. Everyone is good at something. We hope to make it going all the way to the championship again. Everyone on the team does understand what it takes to win games and to be a champion, and I hope to be a champion to this season!”
Jessica, if you keep playing basketball like this, you will definitely be a winner. You are such a big inspiration for everyone who wants to be a winner!