From Zebra to Sunbird – Cassie Pisik
By: Aaron Jackson for The News Messenger
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Former Lincoln High Fighting Zebra Cassandra Pisik is now a Fresno Pacific University Sunbird and has gone from being a star player on the girls basketball team at Lincoln to starting for the team her freshman year at FPU.

Pisik played on the varsity team at Lincoln every season and started a majority of the games she played. Over her final three years at LHS, Pisik averaged 16.1 points per game and 19.5 points as a senior. Pisik led the Zebras to the playoffs her sophomore and junior seasons and as a senior led the team to another winning record.

In her freshman year of college, Pisik averaged 9.4 points per game, third best on the team, and started 16 of 21 games. She also added 4.5 rebounds per game, which was the second best on the entire squad.

I questioned Piski as to adapting to a new system.

“Playing at the college level is so much different from high school, strength-wise and competition,” she said. “It has been a fun journey and I am glad I have the opportunity to do it every day.”

Pisik played as a power forward her freshman season and did not get the chance to shoot as many 3-pointers as she did in high school. Next season, this should change as Pisik told me she will be transitioning to a shooting guard.

Pisik chose Fresno Pacific over staying local because she was offered a full ride or as she states, “an offer I couldn’t (turn) down.”

As for her transition as a college-level player and a student, Pisik said “As a student it was something I struggled with in the beginning and I definitely had to become more organized. I had to stay on top of my work more as it is much more difficult.”

Pisik added, “Classes, schoolwork and practice are a challenge to balance together and it is difficult but study halls help.”

When asked about her biggest strengths as a player, Pisik said that last year it ws shooting the ball, which she did well. But at the college level it is a bit different.

“I have to improve my overall strength because all the girls there are very strong,” Pisik said. “I also have to improve on attacking the basket more.”

Pisik told me her experience in her first season was amazing.

“I went through ups and downs like any athlete does, but meeting new people has gone very well. I love my teammates and the atmosphere of college basketball is so different, but fun at the same time,” she said.

Pisik also had some advice for those high school athletes who want to play college sports.

“Continue pushing and work on your craft. It is honestly a very beneficial thing to do and you will enjoy it.”

A liberal arts major with aspirations to teach, Pisik said she had not ruled out playing basketball after her college career. She would like to travel overseas, but concedes she is going to have to work a lot harder to keep basketball in her future.

It sounds like Cassie is thoroughly enjoying the life of a college athlete and it all seems to be going very well for her. Hopefully she can improve her game even more and become a star player for the Sunbirds, while continuing to enjoy the experience her next few years in Fresno.

Congrats on starting as a freshman and keep up the wonderful work. Good luck and Go Sunbirds!

_ Aaron Jackson is the sports information director for Lincoln High School.