Southern California's High School Sports Blog

Above The Rim: Troy’s Rebecca Lazuka

Troy's Rebecca Lazuka (No. 33) is averaging 2.5 blocks per game this season. Photo/Jordyn Reese.

Troy’s Rebecca Lazuka (No. 33) is averaging 2.5 blocks per game this season. Photo/Jordyn Reese.

Rebecca Lazuka helped Troy reach the CIF-SS Division 1A finals last season and has been entral to the Warriors 11-4 start this season.

The Pepperdine-bound forward is one of the key leaders for No. 4 Troy, which is coming off a 59-57win over Etiwanda on Saturday heading into a showdown against No. 2 Brea Olinda in the MLK Cavalier Extravaganza on Monday, Jan. 18, at Gardena Serra High.

Go “Above The Rim” to learn more about one of Orange County’s top players.

Rebecca Lazuka of Troy. Photo/Danielle Belliveau.

Rebecca Lazuka of Troy. Photo/Danielle Belliveau.

ABOVE THE RIM: TROY’S REBECCA LAZUKA

Name: Rebecca Lazuka

High School: Troy High

Graduation Year: 2016

Height: 6-1

Position: Forward

Nicknames: Becca, Beccs, Becky Fran and Becximus

Twitter: @Beccaaalazzzuka

Stats: 15.8 PPG, 10.2 RPG and 2.5 BPG


Congratulations on signing with Pepperdine. What was it that ultimately landed you at Pepperdine?

Lazuka: “Thank you so much. Pepperdine’s overall atmosphere is really what landed me there. From the moment I first stepped on campus, something just felt right. And plus, going to school on Malibu Beach is never a bad thing.”

The 2015-16 Troy Warriors. Photo/Susan Lazuka.

The 2015-16 Troy Warriors. Photo/Susan Lazuka.

What do we know about Troy at this point in the season?

Lazuka: “I’m not sure. I think our record doesn’t show everything about us. We just finished playing some tough competition out in Texas and are starting the New Year off with (Riverside JW North-transfer) Kianna (Smith) now eligible to play. I think it’s up in the air what people might think of us, but I know that our team has the most confidence in ourselves and will make some noise as season continues.”

You guys always play a grueling nonleague schedule. You have Etiwanda, Brea Olinda and Redondo Union coming up in a one-week stretch. What does that kind of competition do for Troy?

Lazuka: “We always try to play tough competition for nonleague. We have done a lot to prepare for these games and for us, we are looking to make some statements in these games. I mean, to be the best you have to play the best, right?”

Reili Richardson (1), right, and No. 2 Brea Olinda take on No. 4 Troy at the MLK Shootout on Monday, Jan. 18, at the MLK Cavalier Extravaganza at Gardena Serra High. Photo/Josh Barber.

Reili Richardson (1), right, and No. 2 Brea Olinda take on No. 4 Troy at the MLK Cavalier Extravaganza on Monday, Jan. 18, at Gardena Serra High. Photo/Josh Barber.

Which opposing player do you respect most?

Lazuka: “(Arizona State-bound) Reili Richardson (of Brea Olinda), because we used to play against each other all the time before high school and I’m really excited to be able to play against her again. And from everything that we know so far about Reili, she’s definitely a big time player that we have to control early.”

Which player on your team do you expect to surprise people around the county this season?

Lazuka: “Kianna Smith, because she is a transfer student from JW North. She’s definitely going to switch up the dynamics on our team with her Inland Empire-style play and be a big key for our success this season.”

Which player has been your biggest inspiration?

Lazuka: “My teammate, Barbara Sitanggan, because we have been playing together for the past four years and I am so proud of how much she has grown over the years. She is my best friend on and off the court and I am so excited to see what the future has for us at Pepperdine.”

Troy's Rebecca Lazuka (No. 33) is averaging 15.8 points and 10.2 rebounds per game this season. Photo/Jordyn Reese.

Troy’s Rebecca Lazuka (No. 33) is averaging 15.8 points and 10.2 rebounds per game this season. Photo/Jordyn Reese.

What was it about basketball that made you fall in love with the sport?

Lazuka: “Haha, honestly, at first I loved it cause I was always taller than the kids around me, so it just was naturally easier for me. But as I grew up, I just fell in love with how competitive the game is. There is for real no feeling that compares to making a game-winning shot at your home gym in front of a cheering crowd or getting a clean block and out-letting the ball for a quick fastbreak layup. And for me, I guess, I fell in love with that high you get when you play.”

Was basketball your first love or did you play other sports first?

Lazuka: “I played a lot of other sports as a kid. I played soccer, softball and volleyball. I also tried dance, gymnastics and figure skating. But once I found basketball I fell in love and gave everything else up.”

Troy's 2015-16 girls basketball team. Photo/Susan Lazuka.

Troy’s 2015-16 girls basketball team. Photo/Susan Lazuka.

Was there a moment in your career when you thought, “Wow, I’m actually pretty good and might be able to play in college?”

Lazuka: “When I was in eighth grade, I started seeing some of the girls that I played with getting scholarships to great schools and, for me, that was when I first became hopeful that I could maybe play in college, too.”

What do coaches say they like most about you and your game?

Lazuka: “I’d say the point that sticks out to me the most is when coaches tell me that I am a good leader.”

What’s been the highlight of your athletic career so far?

Lazuka: “Making it to CIF finals last year. Even though we lost, it was an exciting journey leading up to it and was also a good learning lesson for myself.”

What’s something that people would be surprised to learn about you?

Lazuka: “I have a small tattoo of a cross on my ribs.”

What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?

Lazuka: “Try your best.” — Mom


BUZZER-BEATERS

Fill in the blank: If I wasn’t playing basketball, I’d be probably playing another sport.

Lazuka_collageLast movie you saw and what did you think of it: Re-watched one of my favorite Disney movies, Tangled. It’s so good. I loved it.

If you were handed $10,000 and had to spend in one day, what would you do with it? Take my family on vacation.

What’s the one thing/object, besides your phone, that you can’t live without? The board game, The Resistance.

Do you have any basketball superstitions or rituals? Our team always prays and sings before our games.

What’s your “guilty pleasure,” something you hate to admit you love? My Crocs.

If you could have a super power, what would you want it to be? Telekinesis.

Lazuka_dinnerLast song/CD you bought: Adele 25.

If you could have dinner with four people dead or alive, who would it be? Beyoncé, Mother Theresa of Calcutta, Mitch Albom and John Wooden.

What did you want to be when you were little? A lawyer.

Something on your “must do” list: Skydive.

What is your hometown/area best known for and what makes you proud to say you’re from there? In-n-Out.

Favorite motto or philosophy of life: Let it fly.

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