AT&T CENTER – While “The Surreal Life” may be a reality television series featuring past-their-prime former celebrities, it could also adequately describe Jessica Kuster’s journey the last three weeks.
Kuster, Rice’s all-time scoring leader, went undrafted on WNBA Draft night, but little did she know that a WNBA team would come calling anyway.
However, Kuster told me at Stars Media Day today that it was an even bigger surprise that the team that came calling with a training camp invite was her hometown San Antonio Stars.
“It’s so exciting, just to get any kind of attention from a WNBA team is awesome,” Kuster said. “And of course, to have it come from my hometown with my family and close friends, I was just so excited that I would have the opportunity to even come back and play for them. I don’t even think its even hit me yet.”
Kuster, who starred at Reagan High School, watched Stars starters Becky Hammon and Sophia Young-Malcolm as a fan of the team before getting to put on the same uniform and play alongside them.
“It was crazy just walking in the first day of practice, and they’ve always just been kind of the celebrity figures, and then whenever they would actually be instructing me and telling me to do something, I just made sure I ate up everything they said,” Kuster added.
Prior to media day, the Stars scrimmaged on the floor of the AT&T Center, where the San Antonio Spurs had just taken a 2-0 series lead over the Portland Trailblazers the night prior.
Kuster, a Spurs fan, said she enjoyed getting the chance to play on the same floor as the Spurs and Stars teams she’s watched for years.
“It’s amazing. Of course I’ve watched the Spurs play and the Stars play for the last 12-14 years, so just to be able to be down her on the floor is just kind of a surreal feeling,” Kuster told Stars Hoops.
The Stars have had a rough preseason, losing two games to the Tulsa Shock. They have a scrimmage against the Australian National Team left before the regular season tips off next Friday.
For now, with camp still in session, Kuster said she is trying to absorb as much information as she can.
“Right now I think I’m in such a learning phase that I’m literally watching everybody on every single play and I’m just trying to soak in as much as I possibly can,” Kuster said.
As for what she can add to the Stars, most everyone knows she can shoot, but Kuster also says she should be able to provide some help on the boards.
“I’m a rebounder so that’s kinda my thing, but I’m also an energy player,” she said. “I sprint up and down the floor and I’m just always positive so I just hope to be able to bring lot of positive energy and help keep positive energy even when things may not be going like we want them to.”
The Stars have to trim the final roster to 12 players before the season kicks off and Kuster is one of several candidates fighting for a roster spot.
If she makes it and puts her hometown silver and black on, surreal will become real life, and you can bet Kuster won’t overlook the opportunity before her.