By Mike Organ, The Tennessean Staff Writer, September 4, 2008
Mark Blau says his daughter Lynsie shoots a rifle better than she shoots free throws.
Some former college basketball players might take exception to such a statement, but not Lynsie.
She fired her first rifle before she shot her first basketball. That's the way it is for boys and girls who grow up in the Texas hill country.
Lynsie Blau is Lipscomb's new women's basketball assistant coach, and her background is an interesting blend of hunting and high-tops. When she wasn't shooting hoops she was shooting dove, whitetail deer and rabbits.
"My girls were raised on a ranch and hunting was just the natural thing to do for them,'' said Mark Blau, who owns a 2,700-acre ranch in Menard, Texas. "There's lots of women who hunt here."
That is not the case nationwide. According to a 2007 U.S. Fish and Wildlife survey, fewer than 10 percent of the nation's 12.5 million hunters are female.
Blau was 9 when she shot her first deer. Her largest deer was a 13-pointer and she has never harvested one with fewer than eight points.
"I am not a morning person but there's something about getting up early and getting all camo-ed up and going out and trying to find the right spot,'' she said. "I like the strategery of rattling something up or just happening to be at the right place at the right time."
When Blau grew to be 6-3, playing basketball also became quite natural. That's when she started balancing her two favorite pastimes. She'd play basketball through the week and hunt on the weekends.
Even after she moved on to Abilene Christian, where she was one of the team's top players her junior and senior seasons (2002-04), she continued to hunt. College friends, male and female, would come home with her for holidays and weekends to hunt on the family ranch.
Even after she graduated and became a wedding planner for two years, Blau never stopped hunting.
"I don't know what it's going to be like now that I am in Tennessee,'' said Blau, who spent last year at her alma mater as a graduate assistant coach.
"I am going to be very busy not only with coaching but with recruiting. I will probably only hunt when I go back home. But I have heard the hunting in Tennessee is very good."
Reach Mike Organ at 615-259-8021 or firstname.lastname@example.org.