LAUREL — Laurel’s Alyse Aby has created a bit of a family rivalry with her commitment to the Idaho State women’s basketball program, as her older brother Eli plays football at Big Sky Conference foe Montana State.
“He said he'll cheer for Idaho State basketball, but that's it," Aby laughed.
Aby said her freshman self couldn’t have imagined playing basketball collegiately. Maybe one of her other standout sports such as soccer or track, but she’s put in tons of work to make Division I basketball a reality.
“It was really hard. I was thinking of not going out for soccer this year because I wanted to spend time on basketball. But I realized I love all my other sports, too, and didn't want to give those up to just focus on basketball," Aby said. "I just had to kind of put the time in at night after soccer and go in and shoot. It was hard, for sure, but it paid off and I'm glad I did my other sports."
Now don’t let Aby’s slight frame fool you. The wiry senior is much stronger and plays more physical than most anticipate, something she credits to 13 years of gymnastics growing up.
“It helps me a ton. My upper body strength is so much better and I didn't really have to lift any weights. My shoulders were already so strong from doing all that stuff, so I was kind of a step ahead before having to get into weightlifting, so it was really nice," Aby said. "I can do backflips and back handsprings on the ground."
Aby really is a jack of all trades.