September 27, 2006

Rappahahn's Playing Days Aren't Over Yet

By Vickie Fulkerson, [Connecticut] Day Writer Krista Rappahahn wants to be a doctor — and she will be someday. For now, she still has the opportunity to be a basketball player. “Everybody I talked to was very positive and encouraging,” said Rappahahn, who graduated from Stanford University in the spring following a four-year career with the Cardinal women's basketball team. “This time last year, I didn't think this was necessarily possible.” Rappahahn, a former all-state selection at Norwich Free Academy and a native of Lebanon, will leave Sunday to play professionally in Sweden, making a six-month commitment to compete for Stockholm 08 of the Obol Basketball League. Rappahahn, a 6-foot guard, started 28 games for Stanford last season, averaging 8.9 points and 2.2 rebounds per game with 40 assists and 21 steals as the team went 26-8 overall and came one win from reaching the Final Four in Boston. She was named the winner of the Donald Kennedy Award, which is presented to the Stanford senior athlete who best exhibits the combination of excellent academics, strong athletic ability and a commitment to community service, and was a Pac-10 first-team All-Academic pick for the second straight season. Rappahahn finished as the runner-up at the ESPN College 3-Point Championship at the men's Final Four in Indianapolis. “I'm so excited,” said Rappahahn, 22, who hired an agent over the summer. “At the end of last year I was debating doing different things, going straight into medically related jobs. But you can only play basketball for so long, so I decided when an opportunity in Stockholm came up.” Rappahahn, who will leave for Stockholm from San Francisco, remained in California over the summer, she said in a telephone interview Wednesday, and was able to shadow doctors at the children's hospital at Stanford. She trained in Palo Alto, using the Stanford facilities and engaged in a few pickup games with her former teammates. As part of her contract in Sweden, Rappahahn said, she is set to coach a high school or middle school team there. Through a contact at Stanford who went to medical school in Sweden, she also hopes to be able to job-shadow doctors while in the country — and to learn Swedish. Rappahahn will be playing on the same team as former Texas Tech point guard Erin Grant. The Stockholm regular season begins Oct. 24 and the exhibition season has already begun, but because Rappahahn can only stay six months, she was forced to join the team already in progress. Rappahahn can't wait. “I have all these things I want to do, right? I'm trying to choose,” she said with a laugh. A human biology major who would like to become a pediatrician, Rappahahn scored 2,048 points to become NFA's all-time leading scorer, took the Wildcats to four straight state championship games, winning three, and finished with a career record of 106-2. She was named Connecticut's Gatorade Player of the Year as a senior in 2002.