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Grad Havers having a blast at MJC
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The Game's, "How We Do," featuring 50 Cent, is blaring inside the Modesto Junior College gymnasium.

Lindsay Havers is standing in the lobby. She's talking about the past, present and future. She's wearing a white shirt, fitted blue jeans and white sneakers.

Her teammates are in uniform and are about to play against Porterville. For the first time this season, the 2002 Ceres High graduate will be a spectator. Havers wants to play but can barely walk. She suffered a high ankle sprain at practice.

"I sure hope we can get her back as soon as possible," said Modesto JC head coach Mike Girardi.

Havers returned to the starting lineup against the College of Sequoias on Wednesday. The 5-foot-9 sophomore guard is having a stellar season.

"Lindsay's all-around play has helped us out a lot," Girardi said. "She'll guard guards or go inside and guard bigger people. She'll dive into the stands for a loose ball.

"Whenever she's out there, it's 110 percent hustle."

Havers even contributed when she was injured. During each timeout, she limped down the sideline and filled cups with water for her teammates.

Havers is a captain. The two-year starter is averaging 10 points and five rebounds per game this season.

Havers scored a season-high 29 points against Los Medanos on Dec. 21.

"She's tied the school record at MJC," Girardi said. "She made seven 3-pointers in one game."

Havers had 26 points, including six 3-pointers, against Shasta College on Nov. 20.

"They look at me and don't think I can play," Havers said. "I'll score 13 or 14 points in the first half. Then they'll switch to a box-and-one defense (that is designed to stop me)."

Havers has had a lot of individual success but her team has struggled. The Pirates have lost 18 of 19 games, including seven straight in Central Valley Conference play.

"We might lose but I'm happy after every game," Havers said.

"We're a competitive team. We go out there and play hard. We've been in every single game. We fall apart in the last few minutes."

Havers worked with Modesto JC men's basketball strength coach Rus Lewis during the offseason. She focused on weight training, including power lifting and curls.

"I trained all summer long," Havers said.

"I wanted to get better."

Havers didn't play basketball in 2002-2003. She took a year off after graduating from high school.

"I didn't love it anymore after my senior year," Havers said.

Havers said she didn't receive much recognition while playing basketball at Ceres High. The three-year varsity starter was overshadowed by Reshundra Smiley, Courtne Evans, Keyasha Brothern and Quantelle Daniels. Havers wanted to contribute more, especially during her final season.

"It's different playing here," Havers said. "It's a lot more fun. It's less stressful. The coaches let me do whatever I want. They believe in me."

Havers wants to transfer to San Francisco State after completing her education at Modesto JC. The business marketing major wants to pursue a career in retail management.

"I'm going there for sure," Havers said. "Most likely, I'm going to try and be a walk-on next year."

Said Girardi: "She has a lot to offer. She plays so hard and she can hit six or seven 3-pointers in a game. That's attractive to a four-year school."

Added Havers: "I'm doing what makes me happy." - By DALE BUTLER / Staff Reporter of The Ceres (Calif.) Courier