Wolf Pack’s Siu goes from walk-on to key role

Published: Feb. 7, 2023 at 12:57 AM PST
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - Not everybody gets the chance to go to college.

An even smaller number make it as varsity athletes.

“My dream was to play D-I basketball,” said Nevada Wolf Pack women’s basketball player Tiffany Siu.

The game, and life for that matter, has never been easy for Siu. But when she and her AAU coach shot their shot with Nevada Head Coach Amanda Levens the interest wound up being mutual.

“I took a look at film and said ‘wow, she’s pretty good,’” said Levens.

Tiff’s dreams started to come true.

Growing up in Oakland, California most of Siu’s minutes came on the blacktop, not the hardwood. Open runs of pick-up meant Tiff’s talent’s were raw.

“She has some really great instinctual things about her game,” said Levens. “Her best basketball, every day, is ahead of her. She gets better every single day.”

Siu’s first two years at Nevada were labeled with walk-on status - practicing and running scout team reps. She did not log difference-making minutes.

Then came 2022.

“Being put on scholarship was even more helpful because I didn’t have to pay for school,” Siu said.

Earning a scholarship was a massive load off Tiff’s shoulders, and the shoulders of two of the most important people in her life.

“I was brought up by a single mother who raised my sister and I,” said Siu. “(Mom) had to work very hard for us to get by. When I did walk on here my sister was actually the one supporting me. She graduated, got a job, and they’re both supporting me from the beginning.”

Being put on scholarship was emotional for the family of three.

“They said ‘good job. Now get some minutes,’” Siu laughed of her mom and sister’s reactions.

Tiff’s one of the first people off the bench for the Wolf Pack. Over the weekend, she didn’t even get that treatment - starting her first career game.

As Levens said, Siu’s best basketball is ahead of her.