Jen Zenszer's life isn't consumed by basketball. A missed free throw late in the fourth quarter won't eat away at her for days on end, nor will a rare bad game. No, in maintaining a GPA that hovers in the vicinity of 4.0 and actively pursuing a job with the FBI, where she interned last summer, there must be time for activities and ambitions other than basketball. But this is not to say that La Salle's senior shooting guard is not good. She is in fact, a very good basketball player, a captain and a leader on a solid Atlantic 10 team. Her list of high school and college accolades runs an entire page on the Explorers' team website. And just recently, Zenszer added another impressive item to her already-decorated resume. Only five days after teammate and fellow tri-captain Shannon McDade became the 15th player in La Salle history to record 1,000 career points, Zenszer accomplished that very same feat in a 77-66 victory over Kent State on December 3. The 5'7" guard notched her 1,000th point in style, as she nailed a three-pointer early in the first half. The Sunday game was part of the Wells Fargo Classic in Tempe, Ariz., in which the Explorers went 1-2. Setting scoring standards is nothing new to Zenszer, though. In the quiet Philadelphia suburb of Ambler, Pa., she was the star at Bishop McDevitt High School. Zenszer holds the all-time scoring record for her old high school with 1,812 points. And that's not just a girl's team record -- it's more than any player in Bishop McDevitt's history, period. So, needless to say, La Salle head coach John Miller knew exactly what he was getting when Jen Zenszer arrived on campus in the fall of 1997 -- he was getting a superstar. Zenszer did not disappoint in her freshman campaign. She led her new team in scoring by averaging a solid 11.3 points per game. "She had an immediate impact on the team," Miller recalled. A year after her superb rookie performance, Zenszer was not plagued with what many athletes call a "sophomore jinx." After a stellar rookie season, she became the first player in Explorers history to lead her team in points, rebounds, and assists. It was in this very same season that the expert foul shooter tied a school record by taking 20 free throw attempts in a December 5, 1998 game against Penn at the Palestra. Last season, however, some adversity struck the La Salle phenom. She would have certainly reached the 1,000 career points plateau a year ago, had she not missed seven games with a broken left hand. Not-so-coincidentally, the Explorers were only able to manage a 2-5 record with the absence of one of their star performers. Zenszer is clearly an indispensable asset to have around. "She's what I would call the blood and guts of our team," Miller said. And as is the case with many team leaders, Zenszer doesn't just give a full effort when the game begins. Her coaches and teammates see her constantly working hard to further improve her play. "She certainly leads by example out on the floor and at practice by her work ethic," Miller said. And after last year's injury, Zenszer's mental and physical ability is again being challenged this season, but by a far more benign circumstance. The former All-Big 5 second-team member spent her first three years with the Explorers operating from the point, but Miller switched her over to shooting guard this season. He felt that this would better suit Zenszer's talents as an outside threat, and the La Salle coach was also confident that the transition wouldn't rattle his tough-minded senior. "She plays in a very tenacious fashion," Miller said. "You can tell that the game is very important to her." The La Salle headman has seen his share of very skilled players in his tenure as coach, but he said that Zenszer is right up there with the rest. "We've been fortunate to have a number of great guards in this program over the last 15 years, including [current Penn coach] Kelly Greenberg," Miller said. The past and future of La Salle basketball will collide tomorrow when Zenszer's Explorers travel to the Palestra to take on Greenberg's Quakers.Comments powered by Disqus
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