MOSCOW, Idaho — Like thousands of other athletes, Lizzy Klinker’s time in an Idaho uniform came to an abrupt stop last week. But it wasn’t just an abrupt stop to her collegiate career.

"I know the first thing I thought about when I was told was I was like, 'Holy cow, my last game I’ll ever play with Liz was last night,'" said sister Natalie.

Lizzy is a senior, while Natalie is a junior. This past Friday Idaho was slated to play in the Big Sky championship game. 

That all came crashing down in the matter of a few hours.

"Leaves us speechless," said Lizzy with a sigh. "We just felt like the rug was really torn out from underneath us and just that heartache. Complete heartache."

"We went from the best times, just fighting through those first two games, knowing we were going to the championship and honestly thinking that we were going to win. Knowing it’s all gone now, it’s insane," echoed Natalie.

"Seeing my uniform today brought me to tears," said Lizzy. "I won't put that on again and suit up with my best friend and battle with her. It’s a lot to process."

Lizzy and Natalie Klinker
Lizzy and Natalie Klinker's dad insisted on taking a photo of them after they won their Big Sky semifinal game. They had no idea it would be the last photo of them together in a Vandal uniform.
Marty Klinker

Simply put, the two will never play basketball together at this level ever again. 

That’s crushing. 

Thankfully nothing can crush their bond.

"Thank you for all you’ve done for me," said Natalie, turning to Liz. "Liz has pushed me harder than anybody else has. She’s always my biggest competitor. We’ve been so competitive ever since we both starting playing basketball. I have to say thank you to her for being my best friend through it all and pushing me."

"And to Nat, thank you," said Lizzy. "Just know you can do it next year. Just like the rest of my teammates and everyone else, like next year you guys can do it. I’ll be there rooting whether it’s here or from home but we’re there rooting for you and you’re going to do great. Love you."

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