Feb. 14, 2006
By Maryjane Gardner, FSU Sports Information
Making decisions can be hard for anyone and they often affect everyone around you. At Christmas, Hannah Linquist made a difficult decision that she felt would help her team and herself. She decided to move from student-athlete to the position of student-coach.
When the 6-4 center came back from summer break, she had surgery on her knee because she tore her meniscus and had a cyst underneath her kneecap. After the surgery, she needed the knee to heal in order for her to play at a top level, but she found out his would not be the case.
“We were hoping it wasn’t going to take too long to heal up,” the Swannanoa, N.C., native said. “It ended up taking a little longer than we thought.”
Feeling as if she couldn’t give 100 percent like she wanted to, Linquist decided it was time to put up the playing shoes, and grab a whistle. She still wanted to be able to contribute to the team and being a student-coach was going to be her way to do so.
“Part of my job now includes encouraging the freshmen and the team,” the senior said. “I still go out there and practice every now and then; bang them around and do physical contact.”
The change has been better on Linquist’s body and better for her future in athletics. Linquist wants to be a coach at a high school level and feels this will help her prepare for it.
“Now I’m learning how to be patient because being a player you want to get it done fast,” she said. “You think you have it and you don’t want to rush into anything else because you think that’s what you’re supposed to do, but as a coach you see all of the other things around it. You see things like how you need to get lower. As a player you just don’t want to hear it.”
Linquist has learned a great deal while at Florida State. She has grown not only in the classroom and on the basketball court, but culturally as well with opportunities to travel across the country and abroad. Her most memorable basketball experience includes going to the NCAA Tournament in Storrs, Connecticut last season.
“There have been so many memorable experiences because Coach Sue (Semrau) has really allowed us to travel and have cultural experiences,” the sports management major said. “But other than Italy and Puerto Rico and some of those big trips, I had fun going to the NCAA Tournament last year because it was a place that I’ve never been to before and an environment I’ve never seen and that was awesome.”
Early last season, the Seminoles got a chance to see what tournament play would be like in beautiful surroundings. The team played three games in three days at the San Juan Shootout – in Puerto Rico. FSU won all three games and brought its win streak to 12 games. The team managed to get some sightseeing and sun time in as well.
“Puerto Rico was awesome, it was just so much fun,” Linquist said. “It was Christmas time and I called home and my mom said that it was snowing and I said that I was on the beach. It was just great to be able to get an opportunity to go down there during that time and to see Christmas in another environment. They had Christmas lights on palm trees. I’m from North Carolina and I didn’t see anything like that growing up.”
When the Seminoles traveled to Italy over the summer, they played four games and Linquist made the most of her playing opportunities. She led the team in rebounding in the last two contests and even had 18 rebounds in one of those games. Perhaps even more beneficial than the basketball was the chance the team had to spend time together in a different culture and really bond as a group.
“We went to Rome and we had a couple of days there where we could walk around where ever we wanted,” Linquist said. “We walked like five miles a day. We had a lot of free time to see a different culture. And we ate a lot of gelati (Italian ice cream).”
Although Hannah Linquist’s role has changed for the Florida State Seminoles, she is doing whatever she can to make the team stronger. And when she is coaching her own team one day, she will be able to tell her players about the many memories and friends she made during her career at Florida State.