UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. (WTAJ) — When it comes to Penn State athletics, there are well-known names. And then there are legends.
Maggie Lucas falls into the later category.
She wore 33 on the court, but is number one in most scoring categories for the Lady Lions.
“This program is culture,” said Lucas. “This this program has a history. And, you know, there’s something to be built here.”
The two-time Big Ten Player of the Year lead the Lady Lions to three-straight conference titles. She also led them to four NCAA Tournament appearances, with a pair of trips to the Sweet 16, which was the last time the Lady Lions were in the tourney.
“Coming to Penn State as a player, I thought it brought the best out of me because Penn State is playing for something way bigger than yourself,” said Lucas. “And I always felt fully immersed in that. And I felt like that again, brought out the best side of me and the best side of my team. And I think that’s that’s kind of what Penn State stands for, and that’s what brought me back”
A third ACL tear ended her professional playing career, but she still needed to be around basketball. And there was only one place she could see herself on the bench.
“I needed to be around the sport and that stepping away from it altogether wasn’t going to be for me and then stepping in back to my alma mater,” said Lucas. “It just all felt pretty natural and it was full circle.”
Lucas came back to Happy Valley last summer, and while some things have changed, some things will never change.
“I need to get back on the court with these girls full-go. And I’ve told them a million times, I’m not getting back full go until I’m really ready to compete.”
Lucas’ competitive spirit and attention to detail will serve her well on the bench.
“My obsession with the details of playing, you know, kind of translates well to the obsessive side of coaching and getting locked in on all those details,” said Lucas. “And, you know, it’s been it’s been pretty addicting. I like it.”