After a long and successful career in basketball, Andrea Lloyd entered the real world, as the former Moscow High School star put it, only to find out she liked basketball better.
The former University of Texas star, Olympic gold medalist and Hall of Famer is now a television broadcaster out of Colorado – and a volunteer firefighter in northwest Washington in the offseason.
“I tried to get a real job for a while,” she said. “After I finished playing professionally I worked for the Minnesota Timberwolves and was publisher of a business magazine in Minneapolis. After a couple of years, I thought, ‘Why do I want a real job?’ ”
Her first attempt at broadcasting was super, well, at least it was on Super Bowl Sunday, filling in for an announcer who picked that day to have a baby.
“I did four or five the next year,” Lloyd said. “After that I thought there had to be some rhyme or reason to how you do that. I tried to learn some things and I really enjoyed it. Then I spent some time trying to get more gigs.”
Lloyd and Eric Curry divorced in 2007, which prompted her to start looking “back toward the mountains.” Most of her work was for the Mountain Network based in Littleton, Colo., outside of Denver, so she moved.
“I thought I would give this a shot so I put myself on a one-year plan,” she said. “This is my third year here. I enjoy being back in the type of country I grew up in.”
Her primary duty is analysis on men’s and women’s basketball, mostly Mountain West Conference games. She does a little sideline work for football and “when they’re very desperate they have me do volleyball.” Just recently she added some studio work.
“I really, really love calling games,” Lloyd said. “I don’t think I could do it year-round. I do it during the college sports season. It’s so similar to playing, on the road all the time. That gets to be too much for me. … Then I take a big chunk of time off in summer when I can regain my sanity and bore myself completely.”
She apparently doesn’t handle boredom well. Visiting family in Skagit Valley she started helping the Lake McMurray fire chief.
“I fell in love once I started doing it,” she said. “We’re first responders and 90, 95 percent of our calls are aid calls. Growing up, I wanted to be a doctor. Next year I’m going to start EMT training.
“I enjoy it. It’s a team thing. You have to be on. When the ball gets thrown in the air, you either perform or you don’t. A first responder is a little like that. You either respond or you don’t.”
Lloyd has obviously been successful as a team member and on Jan. 30 she returns to Austin as the Longhorns celebrate the 25th anniversary of the first undefeated NCAA basketball champion.
“That was a unique team,” the four-year starter and three-time All-American said. “We were single-minded in what we wanted to accomplish. It’s hard to get a group of people on the same page and to be of one mind. Maybe we weren’t exactly alike off the court but when we got between the lines we knew what we wanted to accomplish. It’s a sacrifice to do that.”
She was a junior when the Longhorns went 34-0, and by the time she finished in 1987 her teams went 125-8 with her averaging 12.6 points on 53 percent shooting and 8.8 rebounds in 127 games.
“I can’t believe it’s been 25 years,” she said. “Maybe I’m in denial.”
She played for Team USA five times, winning gold in 1988. She was an eight-time All-Star in her nine seasons in the Italian Professional League and played three seasons in the ABL for the Columbus Quest, winning two titles before the league folded, and then played two seasons with the Minnesota Lynx in the WNBA.
She was the North Idaho Female Athlete of the Year three times and the 2A state player of the year as a junior and senior as Moscow won state titles in 1982 and 1983.
In addition to the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame, she’s in the Inland Northwest Hall of Fame and two in Idaho.
“It always feels kind of funny because anybody that played and had great success, you did it because you loved to play,” she said. “You didn’t do it to have honors.”