BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — LSU is heading on to the Sweet Sixteen for the first time in nine years in just Kim Mulkey’s second year as head coach. 

Last season the Tigers made it to the second round and ironically fell to LSU guard Kateri Poole’s former team Ohio State.

“I knew that I wanted to be pushed and be able to reach my full potential. And since getting here, I’ve been able to do that. I’ve been surrounded with amazing players and just being able to rebuild a program,” said Poole.

Poole plays for both her coach and teammates, as well as her friend Brandon Hendricks, who made her the person she is today.  

“One day I got a call at four o’clock in the morning. I got a call that he passed away and you know, like I haven’t talked to him in a while. So it was like I felt kind of like down with myself. But I think after a while I realized that you never know when someone’s going to go and, you know, how to hold a memorial for him. Even had his own tournament and was able to play before I went to college at Ohio State, if I don’t have anything to do it for, I definitely do it for him,” said Poole.

One way Poole shows that is the number she wears on her back every time she steps on the court. 

“We both were five and I think 55 just gives a little bit more, you know, sentimental moment to it. And he’s always with me,” said Poole.