SPOKANE – Even though Gonzaga is out of March Madness, Spokane is still right in the middle of the action: its one of four sites in the country hosting the 2013 Division I Women’s NCAA Tournament.
For Gonzaga freshman guard Elle Tinkle that’s good news because it means her sister is coming to town this weekend.
Their dad, Wayne Tinkle, also has a Spokane connection. He was a standout basketball player at Ferris High School where he graduated in 1984. He went on to star at The University of Montana before a successful overseas pro career.
Wayne Tinkle’s oldest daughter, Joslyn, is a senior standout player at Stanford University, the No. 1 seed slated to play No. 4 Georgia in Spokane on Saturday night. Talk about drawing a crowd.
Aside from the Tinkles’ faithful Montana following, where both girls grew up, their dad is the youngest of 11 children. Elle and Joslyn have 37 first cousins on the Tinkle side. Many of their aunts and uncles still live in the Inland Northwest.
Elle said she wishes the Sweet Sixteen would’ve meant a re-match between her and her big sister, but she’s just happy to be able to support her on the sidelines.
“If I can’t be playing here, then I’m glad that I’ll be able to be supportive of my sister in a way that won’t get me in trouble by my own coaches,” Elle Tinkle said. “Hopefully it’ll be a good weekend for her and I’m excited to cheer her on.”
Elle said the only chance she’s had to see Joslyn play this year was when Stanford played at Washington State and, of course, when her Gonzaga team played Joslyn’s Stanford team.