NEW CASTLE —
Tindall finished her basketball career with 832 points and 438 rebounds, but etched her name in the record books when she drained 13 straight free throws.
Marisa Wallas eventually broke the record by sinking 14 several years ago. Brooke Dicks drained 15 in a row in January to establish a new school benchmark.
“She was a great shooter,” Watters said. “As a point guard, she took charge. She was a leader.”
Basketball was Tindall’s true passion during her high school days.
“I absolutely loved it,” she said. “I’d be in the gym or at home practicing anytime I could. I was always shooting baskets or practicing dribbling as much as I could. It brought out the competitive side in me, because I was very shy in school. Whenever I got on the court, I was a different person.”
NEVER SAY NEVER
As good as she was in volleyball and basketball, Tindall may have been at her best in track.
She was named the Lady Spartans’ Most Valuable Field Performer as a sophomore, junior and senior.
“I hate running, so I got into jumping,” Tindall said. “My basketball coach was also our track coach, so she expected us to come out. I knew I was winning most of the time, but I wasn’t focused on that.
“I worked hard at it. I ended up messing up my legs, because I was constantly jumping. I was a hard worker, so even though track wasn’t my favorite sport, I still gave 110 percent.”
Tindall stayed with the field events even though she could have experienced success on the track.
“Kim was an all-around athlete,” Watters said. “No matter what you wanted, she’d perform it. She could just about do anything.”
She was able to set a school record in the long jump despite switching take-off legs in the middle of a dual meet.
“We were up in Mercer and it was a nasty meet,” Watters said. “I think it was snowing. She came up to me and said her legs were really hurting. I told her that maybe she should consider switching her take-off leg. She broke the school record by a foot. She was that talented.”
Switching take-off legs can happen without proper preparation, Watters said, but most athletes can’t get past the mental aspect of the change.
“I guess it can happen,” she said. “Kids get so into a routine that they don’t even consider another way is better. People think you’re supposed to take off with your dominant leg. You’re supposed to take off with your strong leg. It worked for her, so we were happy with it.”
The record-breaking jump served as a lesson for Tindall.
“It made me realize that I should never give up and not try something,” she said, noting the jump was 32 feet, 10 inches. When she first suggested it, I was like ‘No way. I’m not comfortable with that. I don’t even want to try it.’ She encouraged me to try it and I eventually did. It ended up feeling more comfortable. I learned to not let my mind control whether I can do something or not.”
TOMORROW: Tom Patton