Q&A with New Head Coach for Women’s Basketball

Lisa Faulkner exudes confidence when it comes to basketball and player development. Coming off her fourth season as Boston College’s assistant coach, PLNU’s new head coach for women’s basketball seems as enthused as ever about becoming part of the community, developing the team, and planning on winning the PacWest Championship. Below is an excerpt from a 30-minute question-and-answer session with the Viewpoint.

Q: Tell me how you got started in coaching
A: When I was a senior at Vanguard University, I connected with a player, Tiari Goold, who was transferring out of BYU. I played high school basketball with her and I mentioned that she should come play at Vanguard. She said “I will, but only if you stay on and coach.” That got me thinking, and it didn’t sound like a bad idea. When I approached my coach, Russ Davis, about it for advice, he wanted me to remain in the game. So I did.

Q: How did you come to PLNU?
A: As a coach, I have always admired the program from afar. A few years ago, I started to be intentional about becoming a head coach. I asked myself, where would I want to be? PLNU was always at the top of that list. I wanted to be in a Christian environment. PLNU is in the PacWest, a tremendous conference. Academically, it is a great school, and it is in the best location you could possibly ask for.

Q: What was your first meeting with the PLNU women’s basketball team like?
A: I came to PLNU at the end of this spring semester and finished out the last two and a half weeks. I had workouts and meetings with the players, and got the ball rolling.

We spent time laying down the foundation of what we want our program
to look like, and things that I stand for and what I want our team to stand for. It has been great. The players are hungry to get pushed to the next level. They are committed to doing their best in this upcoming season, to win the PacWest championship and compete on a national level.

Q: What kind of values do you want to instill in the team?
A: I see it as my job to push them to be the best versions of themselves. In some of
our first team meetings, we talked about being competitive in everything we do —
in practices, drills, individual workouts, and especially in games. I want them to be competitive within those circumstances, but with each other, too. That means being committed to always improving and being all in for each other. Every team member needs to know that everyone’s role on the team is not the same, but they are all valued and needed. Being the best versions of themselves is also about serving each other, the PLNU community, and of course, Christ.

Q: Why do you think competitiveness and service are essential for a team?
A: Competitiveness, for me, is a driving force. It’s not even necessarily about beating teams; it is about giving your best in all circumstances, and that is really what I want to teach. Focusing on service is important also because when we’re serving, it is not about us. There’s no one person who’s bigger than the team, and there’s no one person bigger than the program. And when you are a part of a team, you have to sacrifice something.

By Kyle Stewart

Alumni Athletes Excel After Graduation

After graduating college, PLNU student-athletes continue to tackle amazing feats in their careers and lives. With Sea Lion pride, we bring you updates on five of our star alumni athletes to share some of the opportunities and record-breaking adventures they have continued to take on beyond their college careers.

Hayden Lescault (15) Men’s Basketball

Lescault has made the most of his time with the German basketball team BG Karlsruhe. In 21 games, he ranks second on the team in scoring (14.1 ppg, which puts him 22nd overall in the ProB South division, the third highest league in Germany) and assists (2.6 apg), while contributing 3.2 rebounds per game. Lescault played a major role in BG Karlsruhe’s first place finish in the ProB South standings and helped the team earn the No. 1 seed for the conference playoffs.

Crissa Jackson (12)Women’s Basketball

Jackson is in her first season with the Harlem Globetrotters. She recently completed an American tour with the team, and is currently back on the road for a European tour that includes 77 shows spanning 73 cities in 13 countries. Jackson signed with the Globetrotters in October 2015, becoming the 13th female member to join the iconic team, which is celebrating 90 years of delighting fans around the world. She and four other players joined the team, which has a roster that features Hi-Lite Bruton, Big Easy Lofton, Ant Atkinson, Bull Bullard, Cheese Chisholm, and Thunder Law.

Sam Cyr (06) Men’s Golf

Since 2009, the 29-year-old has been on the Asian Tour, a professional men’s golf tour. Cyr recently closed out the 2015 season with a six-under-par 65 that tied him for sixth place at the Ho Tram Open. He fired seven birdies against one bogey to finish with an 11-under-par 273 at the event. After an injury to his ribs and intercostal muscle, and losing his card the previous season, Cyr was out of the game for almost five months. He has relied on limited playing opportunities on the Asian Tour, but took full advantage of his opportunity at the Ho Tram Open to claim his best finish of 2015.

Related Article: PLNU alum and pro golfer Sam Cyr shares about golf, suffering, and faith.

Cheryl Schaefer (Bolding) (03) Softball

The two-time NAIA Player of the Year, and one of the most legendary softball players ever at PLNU, is passing on her skills to the next generation. Schaefer is in her first season as an assistant coach with the University of San Diego softball team. Previously, Schaefer was the first-ever head coach of the San Diego Christian softball program, which she ran for two seasons. She is a member of the PLNU and NAIA Halls of Fame.

Jay Johnson (01) Baseball

Johnson, in his first season as the head coach of the University of Arizona (UA) baseball team, has taken the Wildcats to a 12-5 record. Prior to taking the job at UA, he was head coach at the University of Nevada for two seasons, during which he compiled a 72-42 record. In 2015, Johnson led Nevada to a 41-15 record, and led the school to its first-ever Mountain West title. He also led the program to national rankings for the majority of the season, topping out at No. 19. He was named the Mountain West Coach of the Year for 2015.

By Danny Barnts 

Senior Jordan Ligons Earns Arthur Ashe, Jr. Scholar Award

PLNU women’s basketball student-athlete Jordan Ligons (16) was selected for the prestigious Arthur Ashe, Jr. Sports Scholar Award. The shooting guard from West Sacramento, Calif., was named to the third team with a 3.44 grade point average as a journalism major.

The award seeks to honor undergraduate students who have excelled in the classroom and the athletic field. Inspired by tennis legend Arthur Ashe, Jr.’s commitment to education and love for the game, this annual awards program invites U.S. colleges and universities to participate by nominating their outstanding sports scholars. The honor is given to a nominee who has completed one full academic year at his or her nominating institution, is a student of color, is an active member of an intercollegiate athletic team during the applicable academic year, and has a demonstrated record of service to the campus or community.

Ligons spent four years as a member of the PLNU women’s basketball team. She is a three-time PacWest All-Academic selection and member of the PLNU student-athlete advisory committee. Ligons also served as a member of the Black Student Union on campus and has written and published numerous articles printed in the campus newspaper, The Point Weekly, as well as other regional publications.

By Danny Barnts

PLNU’s the Viewpoint publishes relevant and vital stories that grapple with life's profound questions from a uniquely Christian perspective. In addition to the content offered online, the Viewpoint print magazine is published three times a year in spring, summer, and fall.