Lombardino signs and shines for Basehor-Linwood girls hoops team
Cassie Lombardino just had quite the week. She announced she had accepted a scholarship with D-II Washburn during a signing party Tuesday in the BLHS foyer, after having signed the actual letter of intent the week before during the early signing period, and then helped the Lady Bobcats throttle Tonganoxie 67-43 on Friday.
"My main goal was to play college basketball," Lombardino said. "I've been to a couple Washburn games--that was like my dream to go there and play and I never thought that dream would come true. I was really excited. I feel really blessed to have the opportunity to play there."
Lombardino took an official visit to Washburn on Nov. 2. She went down on a Friday night with her mom. The two went out to dinner with the coaching staff and some players. That night, Lombardino went bowling with the team.
On Saturday, she watched the team practice and then went to a Washburn football game.
Lombardino said she looked seriously at Nebraska-Kearney, which also offered a scholarship.
"All in all I though I would be happier at Washburn. They are both good schools and have good teams. But I just followed my heart," Lombardino said.
In the end, she picked the powerhouse in Topeka.
"What an honor for her and this program," coach Noah Simpson said last week.
Lombardino said watching Washburn practice showed the college game is more up-tempo and fast paced than high school--and more physical.
""It will take some adjustment," Lombardino said.
Lombardino said that adjustment will be aided by playing in Simpson's up-tempo system.
"I think practicing running up and down the court and playing faster will better prepare me for next level," Lombardino said.
Lombardino said she didn't yet know what her major would be.
"I will work hard every second I am there. I know that it takes a lot of hard work to do what they do," Lombardino said.
The work for her last season in high school is just beginning. Lombardino said the season-opening victory against Tonganoxie bodes well for the rest of the season.
"We wanted to come out attacking them instead of waiting for them to attack us," Lombardino said. "We wanted to take the fight to them. We wanted that game for a lot of reasons. It's going to bring our confidence up and showed us what we were capable of."