HELENA — Lizzy Klinker has had personal and team success wherever she’s gone.
At Fairfield High School, she and her sister Natalie won a State B championship in 2017. In college, her Idaho Vandals squad made the Big Sky Championship game in both seasons she was there. Now, she has a chance to make her mark at the professional level having signed a contract in July to play for the Falcons Bad Homburger TG of the Bundesliga in Germany.
“Knowing that I’m the one they’re bringing in, you know, to make that impact, that’s what I’m really excited for,” Klinker said. “And to be immersed in another culture honestly and another style of game.”
However, though the dream of playing professional basketball stems from her early days of wanting to be the first female in the NBA, a different one has taken precedent more recently. Since graduation from the University of Idaho in 2020, where she majored in Agricultural Economics, she has been working in the Montana governor’s office under Greg Gianforte. It is here, working as a policy researcher, that she found an opportunity to carve out a career for herself long-term.
“I feel like I’m missing out on this great opportunity that I have working alongside the governor advising him on things having to do with ag[riculture] and transportation is something 24-year-olds just don’t get,” she said.
Having had the opportunity to advise the governor on different policies during her time there has been an unbelievable experience for Klinker who knows that she’s sacrificing a great opportunity for another one. For now, Klinker knows that she wants to be in politics in the long run.
“I do want to be the President [of the United States] so that’s why I think multiple years overseas might not be my thing if I can get that fulfilled and create some relationships,” Klinker explained. “But I’m excited for the opportunity to, when it comes to that point, be able to make that decision.”
In the short term, Klinker is training and getting ready for her upcoming season in Germany. With her numerous athletic and career achievements at the mere age of 24, it seems whatever path she chooses for herself down the road, will be well-deserved.