MONTEREY PARK, CA — Anastasia Tsybaeva, two-year center of the East Los Angeles College Huskies women’s basketball team, continues her education and basketball career at Kansas State University with a full scholarship (full ride).
Tsybaeva transfers this week. She is the second Husky from the ELAC women’s basketball team in two years to transfer to an NCAA Division I university.
“I am excited to earn my degree while playing basketball at Kansas State,” said Tsybaeva. “I like their coaching staff. Head coach (Jeff Mittie) was Coach of the Year (six) times. They play in front of big crowds, something I will adjust to quickly.”
Kansas State, 23-11 last season, is ranked 11th in the nation for total attendance. The Wildcats ended the season ranked No. 24 in the Associated Press poll.
Tsybaeva was previously committed to play for the University of Southern California on a scholarship, but the USC women’s basketball coach Cynthia Cooper-Dyke resigned, which changed things. Tsybaeva then received interest from other univeristies and chose Kansas State.
“I believe it is the best choice for my career and basketball goals,” said Tsybaeva. Tsybaeva is a communications major with a goal in sports broadcasting.
“At ELAC, we ran a lot and had speed and quickness,” Tsybaeva. “Kansas State looks relaxed with a slower intensified pace, but they are fast. They implement their conditioning into the game scenario. When it comes to setting the offense, they do a very good job. I’m looking forward to being a part of the team.”
Tsybaeva was named to the All-South Coast Conference North Second Team during the 2016-17 season. ELAC was an Elite Eight team and 28-3 overall. Tsybaeva blocked 72 shots in 28 games with the fifth best block shot average-per-game in the state. She had a season high six against crosstown rival LA Trade Tech College on Jan. 25.
As a freshman, Tsybaeva blocked 74 shots and connected on 71.4 percent at the line in SCC North play. The Huskies (24-10) were the 2015-16 state runner-up.
Tsybaeva says her fondest memory as part of the ELAC team is when the Huskies ended Mt. San Antonio College’s 51-game South Coast Conference win streak, 71-59, on February 23.
“And we did it in their house,” said Tsybaeva. “Our coaching staff’s preparation and our motivation, determination and drive helped us beat them.” Mt. SAC’s previous SCC loss was a 77-71 setback to ELAC in 2012, which then stopped a Mt. SAC 22-game SCC win streak.
Tsybaeva grew up in Russia. Her family moved to California when she was in middle school and she began playing basketball, which eventually led her to ELAC.
She was recruited out of high school from Loyola Marymount University and community colleges. “I chose ELAC because it was the right fit for me for both an education and for playing basketball,” said Tsybaeva. Her dedication included taking buses for two years from Burbank to ELAC daily, sometimes twice in a day, i.e., when she had games.
Tsybaeva admits she grew into a stronger player with more confidence as a result of her Husky training. She credits her move to Kansas State to hard work with the ELAC basketball program that “trains you on and off the court not just for basketball, but for the future as well,” said Tsybaeva. “I wouldn’t be where I am today without their guidance. Coach Sarai (Trinidad) has been my motivation this year.”
“Coach (Bruce) Turner and Sarai (Trinidad) push the players to do their best. You’re going to work hard if you’re going to play basketball at ELAC,” said Tsybaeva. “Coach (Wilbert) Knight does an amazing job of getting girls here and making sure they get to university.”
Tsybaeva said Coach Turner’s done a very good job with this program and she’s happy ELAC has come so far. “We’re one of the top programs and we’re here to stay.”
Tsybaeva said all three ELAC coaches worked with her timing, footwork, hand position, reading a player and to play more intensely. Tsybaeva worked with the ELAC volleyball team during summer school which help with her timing, she stated.
Tsybaeva said academic advisor’s Dorothy Teola and Ralph Valle guided her with a proper curriculum that would enable a legit transfer to a four-year university.
“I’m grateful to have so many ELAC people in my life,” said Tsybaeva. “I’m excited to move on to the next level of education and basketball playing knowing I still have a family at ELAC.”
submitted by Tadzio Garcia