Alex Krutchik, Correspondent (@ on Twitter)
TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) – She went from playing high school basketball in Cholet, France and learning how to communicate in English with her Lady Eagles teammates. Now she is working towards helping her team win the NJCAA Division I Women’s National Basketball Championship.
From an early age, she wanted to play in the United States.
“It was kind of like a goal,” Lady Eagles guard LindsayJohn said. “My brother, when I was six and he was ten said when we’re older, we’re gonna play in America.”
John came from a basketball family. Her brother played a year of college basketball in America, and her father played for Cholet Basket, a professional team in France.
And when a mutual friend of her and TCC head coach Franqua Bedell came to her about TCC, she was interested.
“He told me that coach Q would build me,”John said. “Not only as a basketball player but as a woman. So I thought that’s exactly what I need because I’m gonna be far from my family.”
Being away from family was tough on John, and the first month was the hardest. The language barrier between her and her teammates was a huge obstacle.
“I was really scared,” John said. “I didn’t understand what the coaches were asking me to do. Also I didn’t understand what my teammates were telling me.”
In order to understand the English language better, she read the dictionary in her room almost every night. In addition, she hung out with teammates to understand American slang better.
She played a lot during her freshman year, and coach Bedell said that is what contributed to her quick maturation.
“We demand a lot as far as our players go,” Tallahassee Community College head coach Franqua Bedell said. “So she didn’t have time to sit here and sulk and figure it out. She had to get right in and be a part of the pie.”
John said that during times of hardship, she would talk to her family back in France for pep talks. She would also watch old highlights of her playing time in France.
Her success was rewarded as well. In her freshman year she earned Second-team All-Panhandle Conference and Panhandle Conference All-Academic Team honors. She averaged 7.6 points per game, and manages a high GPA.
Coach Bedell said that this all-around hard work is what makes her such a good teammate.
“Going to class, making good grades, holding teammates accountable, and doing what she’s supposed to do, being accountable for herself because at the end of the day, she has to do her part for the team,” Bedell said.
John is a sophomore now, which means this is her final season at TCC. Coach Bedell said that she has many qualities that will help her after her time as an Eagle.
“Lindsay can do whatever she puts her heart to because she has the strength, the mindset, the heart, the work ethic, the integrity. Lindsay John will do whatever she wants to do in life,” her coach said.