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Lady Tigers' Khayla Pointer looks back over college career, talks goals and motivation

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BATON ROUGE - Buckets, hoops, and goals. Point guard for the Lady Tigers Khayla Pointer has seen and accomplished plenty of all three, but it's her personal goals that have always kept her pushing forward.

"This year has been good for me," Pointer said. "Some of the goals I've been able to accomplish and stuff is really due to the great players I have around me...taking the weight off my shoulders."

It's nice at the end of a college career to be able to ease back and enjoy it some, but that hasn't always been the case for Pointer.

"I kind of had a lot to do last year," Pointer said. "You know, games aren't always the easiest sometimes. I'll be seeing two defenders getting trapped, a lot of game plans were to get the ball out of my hand. I don't have to do that this year. You know, a lot of times first, second quarter I don't even take a shot. And it allowed me, I think, to flourish and even showcase more parts of my game. I'm able to set up my teammates and get some rebounds. I don't have to score as much, you know, for us to win the game."

Of course, you can guess what has changed. Not only has Kim Mulkey helped Pointer with adding complementary players around her, but she's maybe added new goals for the player once she's finished her playing days.

"She's challenged my mind a lot," Pointer said. "Since I've gotten here, you know, she might have called her play, but instead of her calling out the play she's like, 'Okay. I want to run a double stagger string to a handoff.' And me, I have to know what play that is to get to that double stagger string to the handoff. Coach kind of makes me want to go into coaching."

However, nothing could have changed Khayla's life more than the sudden passing of her father right before the start of her freshman season.

"He makes my story so much more special," Pointer said. "He watched the first couple of minutes of my game without the ventilator, so he heard me play for a little bit, and then he ended up taking his last breath and he passed away. So from that moment...I didn't want to be around anybody. I had times where I didn't even know if I wanted to play. I wanted to quit. I wanted to transfer back to Georgia so I could be close to my mom. We had these goals going into our freshman year....and then that happened."

What's happened since has been nothing short of amazing. Khayla has continued to chase her goals, achieving some pretty remarkable ones. But there's one goal left that both she and her father set before his passing.

"I had one more, the last conversation I had with my dad was to make it to the WNBA," Pointer said. "Not to make a team, just to hear your name called on draft day. Wherever that might be, you know. If I'm in somebody's training camp that'll probably mean the world to me and I'll feel like I accomplished that for us. We did it together."

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