AMES, Iowa – When Jadda Buckley was making her college decision, the highly sought-after point guard knew in the end that there was only one place she wanted to call home. Now that she’s in Ames and has enrolled in summer classes at Iowa State, Buckley said she knows she made the right decision.
“It’s amazing here,” Buckley said. “The girls are phenomenal and we have an unbelievable coaching staff. One of the best. There’s just a certain comfort here that you feel when you come onto campus. I always grew up a Cyclone fan, so it’s a dream come true.”
The Mason City native averaged 14 points, 4.4 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 3.8 steals during her senior year of high school, en route to becoming a top-50 ranked player nationally by many publications. Despite receiving lofty recognition in high school, including being named the Des Moines Register Player of the Year in Iowa, Buckley knows how much work there is to be done to be considered the next in a long line of great guards to play for head coach Bill Fennelly.
“He is such a great coach,” Buckley said. “I’m looking forward to learning from him. He has so much knowledge of the game.”
Buckley has first-hand experience with the kind of players that Fennelly has produced in his time at Iowa State, as she and fellow freshman Lexi Albrecht played AAU basketball under former All-Big 12 honoree Lyndsey (Medders) Fennelly. Buckley said that her time learning from Lyndsey Fennelly was valuable in preparing for college.
“She gave me tips about what college was going to be like,” Buckley said. “I asked her a lot of questions. Basketball questions, of course, but even outside of basketball, she taught me how to manage everything and she was really great about giving advice.”
Lyndsey Fennelly’s advice has already come in handy, as Buckley is balancing two summer classes with basketball workouts on the side. She and her fellow freshmen are already starting to learn what it means to do things “The Iowa State Way.”
“Us freshmen are just trying to learn the pace and the scheduling and the timing of everything that we have to do,” Buckley said. “There have been big differences from high school that I’ve noticed already, but it’s just all about adjusting.”