Hull twins reflect on national championship run
SPOKANE, Wash. — It’s been three and a half weeks since the Stanford Cardinal Women’s Basketball team lifted the National Championship in San Antonio in front of a limited crowd—a visualization of the pandemic we still find ourselves in. However, the Cardinal win against Arizona marked the largest accomplishment so far for Spokane natives Lexie and Lacie Hull.
“It’s crazy, I don’t have any other word to describe it,” said Lacie.
Two wins by the smallest of margins; Stanford defeating South Carolina in the Final Four by one point, and then Arizona by the same amount two years later. For Lexie and Lacie, both games were a surreal experience in the final moments.
“In those last five or something seconds, also [it] was like, when the buzzer went off also was another blackout moment, where it was like ‘Oh my gosh the game’s over, we’re national champions!’ Like, how did we get here?” said Lexie.
The journey for the twins takes them back to the Central Valley High School gymnasium, where coaches recognized a special drive and focus.
“Coming in that freshman year, I knew they were going to have a chance to do some amazing things, which they’ve done and so it’s pretty crazy,” said Freddie Rehkow, their high school coach.
Winning is nothing new for the twins. During their time at Central Valley, they won both WIAA championships and a National High School Championship in New York. Their journey then took them to the Conference of Champions.
“Didn’t ever picture it any different. Just always wanted to play together, we always play well together, too,” they said during their national signing day back in 2017.
All of that culminated in the biggest feat, so far, of their young careers.
“In elementary school I started to play basketball, my goal was to play varsity at some point, and we had a goal in high school to make it to the national tournament, and then to win that was a goal, and so the goals kept growing,” said Lacie.
However, the 2020-21 season wasn’t without its challenges for the program and the twins. The COVID-19 pandemic caused Stanford to endure a nine-week-long road trip through six states, and a dozen flights. During that time, Lexie was sent back to Palo Alto to quarantine for a week and a half. Then, the team lost their No. 1 ranking after losses to UCLA and Colorado, but the adversity turned into an advantage when March rolled around.
“Having to go through that all season I think really prepared us for when the tournament came around, because it wasn’t any different from what we’d already been dealing with,” said Lacie.
The twins are now a part of the historic Stanford legacy. The win in San Antonio added to the more than 150 National Championships at the University.
“It’s like we’re in such elite company at Stanford that it’s something that is kind of expected, I kind of feel like, as a student athlete there,” said Lexie.
While the celebration for this championship is still sinking in for the team, head coach Tara VanDerveer has the team looking forward already.
“The thing is, they got another year, so the expectations will come with that one,” said Rehkow.
“We’re going to get right back to work,” said Lexie and Lacie added, “”Yeah, definitely trying to run it back.”
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