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Basketball | Northwestern’s Women’s Basketball Player Talks why NU and Academics

Lydia Rhode, a three-time Academic All-Big Ten and captain of the Northwestern Women’s Basketball Team, was not only a shining star on the court but also in the classroom. She currently ranks sixth in the Big Ten for her three-point shooting percentage and was awarded the Big Ten Sportsmanship Award her senior year. 

  • HEIGHT 5-10
  • CLASS Senior
  • HIGHSCHOOL Brookfield Central
  • HOMETOWN Brookfield, Wis.

LRT Sports: What is your favorite basketball memory?

My favorite basketball memory is going to the NCAA tournament my freshman year, or the senior night game this past season! The senior night game was extraordinary because I was not able to play because of injury, and it meant so much to me how hard the team worked to win that game.

LRT Sports: Why Play for Northwestern? 

The combination of academics and athletics was important, but the athletic community at NU stood out to me more than other schools. I was also excited about the NU for Life program that is unique to Northwestern University.

LRT Sports: Was it hard to balance coursework at a school like NU with your basketball requirements?

It was not easy to balance schoolwork and basketball, but the academic support services at Northwestern are phenomenal. My academic advisors and the administration do so much to make sure each student-athlete has the resources they need to succeed academically

LRT Sports: If you could give recruits one piece of advice about recruiting, playing in college, etc., what would it be?

I would tell them to enjoy the process and not get too stressed about making a decision. Accept advice from family and friends, but listen to your own feelings first, because you will be attending the university and playing there, not your family, friends, or coaches.

LRT Sports: How did getting injured and overcoming your injury impact your collegiate career?

Getting injured in my junior year and then again my senior year, which ended my career, was very difficult to grasp, but it made me a stronger leader. I was able to push the feelings of disappointment to the side and lean on my teammates, and I could focus on helping lead the team from the sidelines instead of in the games. It was hard, but I think it made me realize how important basketball was to me.

LRT Sports: What is the most important part of being an excellent captain?

Being there for your teammates is the most important thing. Check up on people, be inclusive, and love everyone. Those were three things I focused on this past year, and I wish I would have done more in the past. Also, it’s not just the captain’s responsibility; it is every team member’s responsibility to be there for each other.

LRT Sports: What will you miss the most now that you have graduated and are not playing anymore?

I will miss being out on the court, but most of all, I will miss playing and being around my teammates. They are the most important thing to me, and I have enjoyed every moment spent with them.

LRT Sports: what is your take on the salary difference between NBA players and WNBA players? 

I understand it from a revenue point of view, but WNBA players work just as hard, if not harder than NBA players, and they do not get the same perks and privileges. I believe that WNBA players should be paid more.

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