Katie Lou Samuelson has played lots of basketball against her older sister Karlie. Most of those games probably went down on their driveway or in a school gym but the next time they get on a court together it could be for the 2017 National Championship at American Airlines Arena in Dallas.
Karlie is a senior at Stanford, where she’s averaging 12.8 points per game and shooting 49 percent from behind the arc. The Cardinal play South Carolina in Friday’s early game.
“She’s always been, for every coach we’ve ever played for, the favorite player,” Katie Lou said. “I think [Geno Auriemma] likes her more and he doesn’t even coach her.”
“She dives on the floor, she does all the hustle plays, she’s been kind of an inspiration to me and I do want to play more like her.”
They usually don’t get a chance to see each other during the season, but this year they did at Wednesday night’s welcome banquet.
.@UConnWBB Katie Lou Samuelson gets reunited with sister Karlie of @StanfordWBB at tonight's Final Four Salute Dinner in Dallas pic.twitter.com/OiBRUJeqjP— Stephen Slade (@ssladephoto) March 30, 2017
Despite playing on the opposite coast, Karlie is able to keep tabs on her younger sister’s performance.
“I watched every single game,” she said. “I just like to see her do well.”
That sentiment may change if the two meet in Monday’s final.
“She knows how to guard me better than anyone else probably,” Katie Lou told the New York Times. “I can think about it now, but if it would happen it would be something else. Geez, that would just be crazy.”
While the sibling rivalry would certainly be a compelling storyline, there’s also the matter of Stanford being the last team to beat UConn, prevailing at Maples Pavilion in overtime on November 17, 2014.
The previous season, Stanford made the Final Four with a pair of Samuelsons, as Karlie was with oldest sister Bonnie on the Cardinal team which lost to UConn in 2014’s national semifinal.
“It’s pretty cool to be able to go to the Final Four with both my sisters,” Karlie said.
Video by Ian Bethune