That’s the mentality one needs to treasure if he or she wants to truly be a successful long-range threat.
For Fairfield University Women’s Baskeball’s Katelyn Linney, it’s no different.
“Someone once said to me, ‘to be a shooter you need to have the memory of a goldfish which is like two seconds long,’” Linney said. “[You need to] keep shooting they’re gonna fall eventually.”
And she has practiced that motto to get where she is today, a 1000-point scorer and one three away from breaking the all-time three-point record at Fairfield. And she still has one more year.
But she did not always have the success that has shown on the court, at least until she embraced the pressures of being a shooter, which came at a young age.
“When I was in third grade, I was the worst one in the program,” she said. “I just started working hard and I got to the point where I was like ‘I want the ball because I’ve worked this hard.’”
She got the ball and kept it rolling. That competitive drive helped her win a state championship in high school, which she said was always a goal for her personally. She also got the attention from different colleges who noticed that ambitious spirit.
“Her AAU coach referred to her as sort of like an energizer bunny,” coach Joe Frager said. “[She had] a motor that had no off switch.”
Linney has kept going and going; last year she was second in the conference in three pointers. But her true contribution to the team can be seen even when she is struggling.
“The kid who starts to struggle a little bit and then they get gun shy and they start to pass the ball and they won’t take the shot – she doesn’t have that in her makeup,” Frager said.
Frager continued: “Maybe I saw that one or two times this year … but all you have to really do is look at her and she just nods and knows she has to take that shot.”
“You know when you have the ball in your hands you feel at home,” Linney said. “You know if you don’t take the shot there’s no chance of [the team] winning or you scoring … you have to be an influence for your team.”
She has continued to enjoy being one of the players that her teammates rely on. That starts with not forgetting about the memory of the goldfish.
“You can have an off day Friday but you have to come back and play Sunday,” she said. “Your team needs you, the people are counting on you … that’s what you need if you’re a shooter, your team needs to be able to count on you.”
Overall, with the ups and downs, the pressure of being a shooter still keeps Linney going and going.
“Everyone gets excited for hitting threes, it’s such a momentum booster,” she said. “Being a shooter is fun because you have the ability to knock down a shot whenever you take one.
She has been making most of her shots in her three-year career. She has attempted more than anyone in Fairfield history and the next one she tries for could tie her for the most in school history. She could tie the 10 year mark set by Holli Tappley, who during her playing career participated in the ESPN 2 point shootout. Katelyn Linney is one away from that mark.
If she makes it, it comes down to scientific talks of angles, arc, and speed.
But being a successful shooter, Linney will be sure not to shy away and will instead take the shot.