Feb. 12, 2007
By Shannon O’Neil, FSU Sports Information
By Shannon O’Neil, FSU Sports Information
When junior forward Christie Lautsch landed in Tallahassee three years ago she brought a long list of high school accolades with her. In addition to being named County Player of the Year her senior season, she had also made first team all-state two years running and secured a spot as the all-time leading scorer in Campbell High women’s basketball history.
But it was up to Lautsch to determine how to translate those accolades into what her new team would need from her the most. She assumed she would find her answers on the court, but after two years taking care of the team from the bench, she realized there might be other ways in which she could be of service to her teammates.
“Any freshman coming into college thinks they have confidence because they were the top player in their high school,” said Lautsch. “For me, it just gave me the confidence to know I could come in and contribute. It just gave me the ability to adapt.”
And that’s exactly what she did. Lautsch adapted to an off-the-court role of team liaison within several student organizations. She has assumed positions within Seminole Student Boosters as well as the Student-Athlete Advisory Council where she serves as a voice for student-athletes.
“I think it’s really important to have a well-rounded resume’ so I like to give my time to other organizations and to community service because I feel like it will make me a better person for the future and if it makes me a better person, maybe I can make somebody else a better person,” she said. “It also gives me the opportunity to be a liaison between the boosters and athletics so I can be a face for the university as an athlete just to say `hey I’m involved and this is what I can do for you guys.'”
Lautsch’s role as an active member of these organizations is not only for her own benefit, however, she feels it might open doors for her teammates as well.
“I think it helps my teammates see there is other stuff out there for them to do and they know that if they need somebody to show them how to do something off of the court, like how to get involved in government on campus, they can come to me as a leader in that respect and I’ll help them out,” said Lautsch.
Though already in her third year at FSU, the Smyrna, Ga., native is still deciding what direction her life might take after school.
“Five years from now hopefully I’m working at Nike, but maybe I’ll be just getting my master’s or my doctorate, you never know,” said Lautsch. “I’ve had so many dreams and aspirations and it changes every year.”
Still, Lautsch feels her experiences on the court will be just as valuable as those she has taken on outside the Donald L. Tucker Center.
“I think being on any athletic team at any university shows that you know how to work for a boss and accomplish goals as a unit and through teamwork,” said Lautsch. “And I think any employer out there would love to see that I am a team player and can sacrifice what I need to reach any goal.”
Lautsch is just a junior and still has a year of eligibility at Florida State to further her reputation both on and off the court. As a rising senior next season, she’ll continue to help the Seminoles on the court in any way she can. On the other side, Lautsch has already attained a position on the Executive Board for Seminole Student Boosters, which she will maintain at least through the end of 2007.
But no matter what happens during her final season at Florida State, Lautsch will continue to thrive in the niche she has finally found for herself with the Seminoles–even if it’s not in the spotlight.
“I wanted to play, I wanted to make a contribution to the team on the court, but with the talent that has come in, with the level that has stepped up in the ACC and at Florida State, it just happens that I’m not playing as much as I would like right now,” said Lautsch. “But I’m still contributing in other ways and I’m still making my teammates better and just helping the team in general. When I first came to FSU, I didn’t think that was possible because I thought playing was the only thing I was here to do. Now I realize even though I’m not playing a whole lot of minutes, I can still contribute in ways that are appreciated.”