November 14, 2013 10:37:08 AM
Adam Minichino - firstname.lastname@example.org
STARKVILLE -- Logan Schafer knows what makes his twin sister, Blair, tick.
"She strives to be the best she can be at everything she can do, especially basketball," Schaefer said. "Every day after school, he is hitting the football stadium bleachers and she runs up and down them 10 times. She does it every day. I wonder what makes her strive to be so good. I think the motivation comes from my dad being a college basketball coach. He has always pushed us to be the best we can be at everything we can be and to have the attitude that you're the best at whatever you do, whenever you do it. I just feel she absolutely takes that over the top and gives her 120 percent."
That drive is part of the reason Schaefer was selected earlier this year to be a member of The Clarion-Ledger's Dandy Dozen, which recognizes the best basketball players in the state of Mississippi. That mentality also is a reason Schaefer decided to stay close to home and play basketball for her father, Vic, the coach of the Mississippi State women's basketball team. Blair Schaefer finalized that choice Wednesday when she signed a National Letter of Intent to play for MSU.
"I think there has always been that part of me that has always wanted to play for my dad, so it is not really the university, I want to play for a great coach," Schaefer said. "I know my dad gets it done, and I want to play for someone who gets it done, and he is it."
Schaefer admitted she and her father, the longtime assistant and associate head coach at Arkansas who is in his second season as head coach at MSU, are "very strong headed and go at it sometimes," but she doesn't feels their competitive natures will clash. Instead, she feels he knows best for her and that she will be willing to accept his experience will put her in the best position.
Schaefer's signing was one of five on a day in which MSU landed the No. 18 signing class in the nation, according to ESPN/HoopGurlz and Dan Olson's Collegiate Girls Basketball Report. In addition to Schafer, MSU received signed NLIs from Scott Central High School's Victoria Vivians, Florida forward Lakaris Salter, Texas All-State guard Kayla Nevitt, and Alabama standout guard Morgan William.
Schaefer said he is proud of Blair for everything she did when Logan was recovering from major head injuries he suffered in a wakeboarding accident. He said she has grown into a strong young woman who has developed into more than just a shooter.
"I am expecting a lot from her when she goes to college," Schaefer said. "It has been neat to watch the transformation. When she was 8 years old, she had 60 points in a Little Dribblers' game to today going into her senior year at Starkville High School. She is the result of a lot of hard work and a lot of hours in the gym when nobody is watching. That is how players are made."
This is the second season Starkville High coach Kristie Williams has worked with Schaefer. She has watched Schaefer push herself, which has inspired the rest of the players to reach for higher goals.
"She puts herself on a higher standard because of the fact who her dad is, but she competes within herself and is her own worst critic," Williams said. "She always wants to be as close to perfection as possible. I have always asked her since she has been here to step up and be my leader. She has walked into that leadership role and has never looked back. She is always building up her teammates. ... She never forgets her teammates because she knows if we go anywhere her teammates will be there to back her up, no matter what."
Logan, who is a member of the Starkville High baseball team, said he never sees his sister sitting around doing nothing. He said his father always has wanted his children to be productive, and doesn't feel like it has been a responsibility for either of them to live up to their father's expectations. He believes everything his mother, Holly, and his father have taught him and Blair have helped them reach a point in their lives where they will be together at MSU. Earlier this week, Logan received his acceptance letter to MSU, and plans to study music or construction science. He feels everything will work out with Blair playing for his father.
"I feel he has pushed us in a great way and taught us how to push our limits and bring us to the best we can be," Schaefer said.
Follow Dispatch sports editor Adam Minichino on Twitter @ctsportseditor.
Adam Minichino is the Sports Editor for The Commercial Dispatch.