HELENA--MISSOULA — It’s no secret that despite being in the large state of Montana, everyone tends to know each other at some point. It's small world and even smaller when you look at basketball players in Montana.
So when former Fairfield and University of Idaho standout Lizzy Klinker and former Helena Capital and University of Montana star McKenzie Johnston ended up signing with the same pro team in Germany, it further supported that notion.
In July, both Johnston and Klinker signed their contracts to play for the Falcons Bad Homburger TG of the Bundesliga in Germany. With both sharing the same agent in Jeanne McNulty-King, the opportunity to play together again became reality.
“[The coach] actually asked me if I wanted to be point guard and I said ’no’, I was like ‘no’, so then Jeanne, our agent, was like ‘I think we can get McKenzie’, and I was like, ‘let’s do it, let’s get rocking’,” Klinker recalled.
This will not be the first time playing with each other either. In their youth, they played on the same AAU team and in a 3-on-3 tournament. In high school and in college, they played each other frequently with both being in the Big Sky Conference. With these past experiences, the chance to get to play together again is something they both look forward too.
“We know how each other plays. I mean we’re definitely different players but we play a lot alike,” Johnston said.
“I actually played against her in high school, and I just remember those games. McKenzie was always one of those players that you want to stop but she’d always drive past you,” Klinker fondly remembered. “So it’s just been fun to play with and against her and I’m so excited to continue.”
For both Johnston and Klinker, the duo will have a chance to realize their childhood dream: play professional basketball.
“For me, it’s just a lifelong dream that I’ve wanted to live out and having the opportunity to do so it is a pretty surreal feeling,” Johnston said.
That dream will become reality when they step on the court for their first game Sept. 4.