• 11 NCAA Div. III national team championships
  • 32 NCAA Div. III individual championships
  • 176 Iowa Conference titles
  • 23 Iowa Conference all-sports titles
Jessy's photo

Jessy Stika

Senior, basketball

(What you won't find on Facebook...even if you are approved as a friend)

Hometown: Cresco, Iowa

High School: Crestwood

Why Central?
I honestly went with my intuition when choosing Central. I had visited pretty much every other school in the Iowa Conference and none of them felt right. As soon as I parked my car on my first visit to Central, I knew it was the school for me. It has given me everything I could ask for, both academically and athletically.

You are majoring in English and Anthropology because…
I am majoring in English and anthropology because they make absolutely no sense in the practical world. I struggled for the longest time with finding a major, but I just went with the classes I loved the most. If I enjoy what I’m doing, then I can’t go wrong. I have learned more about life through literature classes and studying other cultures than any other ‘practical’ subject I’ve ever taken.

Who is your favorite professor?
My favorite professor is Kim Koza from the English department. She really pushes me to develop my ideas as a writer and has been a huge help in my academic career.

What is your favorite Central College memory?
My favorite Central memory is my semester abroad in Wales. I had the opportunity to travel to eight different countries, climb mountains, and meet amazing people that I’m still good friends with…it was life changing.

What do you love most about being a member of the Central Dutch basketball team?
Without a doubt I love the fact that I get to spend so much time with so many amazing women. There is something special that happens when you work together towards a common goal with other people that no one else can replicate if they haven’t gone through it with you. There are so many goofy personalities and the love for one another is endless.

What makes you a successful post player (7.8 points per game, 6.6 rebounds per game), particularly when competing against taller opponents?
The biggest thing it comes down to is heart and wanting it more than the person I’m matched up against. I don’t think there will be a game this year where my opponent won’t be taller than me. A lot of it has to do with attention to detail like coach emphasizes daily in practice. I have to be aware of my footwork, different angles, and understand how rebounds come off the rim. I just have to play smart basketball.

You are a good free throw shooter (school record 100 percent [12-for-12] from the line in a game last season); what is your ritual at the free throw line?
My free throw ritual is actually really embarrassing and I look silly, but it’s the only way I can make them. I sing a song in my head and start really far away from the line, I spin the ball in front of me, and then bounce until I feel comfortable letting the ball go. I do it so I don’t think too much about the shot.

What is one thing people do not know about interim head coach Chelsea Petersen?
She knows Matt Howard!!! He was my favorite player from Butler, and my dog’s name is even Howie!
(Note: Matt Howard currently plays for ratiopharm Ulm in Germany’s top basketball league.)

What is your favorite activity to do in your free time?
I honestly enjoy the art of “doing nothing.” That could be watching a movie or reading a book, but it’s just about relaxing since homework and basketball take up so much of my time.

In past Central Close-ups, Kalli Richardson said you were the “teammate most likely to win a game of Jeopardy” and Katie Sunderman said you were the “teammate who could be a reality show star;” what television game show/reality television show would you want to be on?
I would love to be on Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader or Family Feud. I love playing along and usually do better than the contestants. I definitely couldn’t be on any reality show where people have to lie and cheat to win, because most of my teammates would agree that I’m probably the worst liar on the team.

Who is your favorite basketball player of all time?
If I had to choose, I would have to say Michael Jordan. You have to respect a person who can change the game and continue to inspire people. When I was in Wales, I played basketball there with girls from the U.K. and I remember a conversation with one of them who said she didn’t do her homework because she was up all night watching MJ YouTube videos.

What is the best basketball movie ever made?
I’m partial to Love and Basketball, even though some other basketball movies have a better storyline or were true stories. I’m just a hopeless romantic.

Who is the one person, past or present, that you’d like to have lunch with?
I would love to sit down with Edgar Allan Poe and figure out what was going on in his mind with all that dark stuff he wrote.

“This season I hope that…”
This season I hope that we continue to grow with one another and play with the energy that we commit to every day at practice. Our motto this year is: “Play for Him. Play for them. Play for her.” I hope we approach everything with that on our minds, and our accomplishments can be limitless.

Bucket list (list items that you want to do/accomplish in your life)
Write and publish a book
Hail a cab
Visit Machu Picchu, Istanbul, and pretty much every other place in the world
Learn sign language
Learn to play the piano
Own a Camaro
Get married
Speak another language fluently
Make a difference

See previous close-ups.


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