The Iowa State women’s basketball team got one of the most unique additions to a roster that could be thought of on Tuesday afternoon.
Canadian recruit Izzi Zingaro has arrived in Ames early and will be immediately eligible to take the floor for the Cyclones.
“We signed (Zingaro) in November,” Iowa State coach Bill Fennelly said. “Canada is very much on a lockdown scenario. Her team’s not playing. They aren’t working out a lot. We just kind of started a conversation (about) her coming here for second semester.”
Iowa State followed the lead of other schools adding players a semester early and taking advantage of the blanket waiver rule that prevents players from losing a year of eligibility by playing in the 2020-21 season.
It’s essentially a free head start for Zingaro, who took on extra school work in order to graduate early and remain eligible to play in Ames this season, if the opportunity presents itself.
“She really wanted to be here,” Fennelly said. “She wanted to get started academically and get used to college life.”
Fennelly compared the addition to Iowa State getting a five-month head start on developing Zingaro as a college player.
Ashley Joens – who’s now in her junior season with the Cyclones – anticipates that that will be big for the 6-4 post player.
“It’s going to be huge for her,” Joens said. “She’ll kind of get acclimated with everything, get a grip on the way we play and how college is. Taking that extra time (to do that) is going to help her a lot.”
Zingaro arrived in Ames on Monday.
She still has to go through COVID protocols and pass a physical before she starts practicing with the squad.
“There’s no thought right now about playing her in a game,” Fennelly said. “We don’t know what’s going to happen. The biggest thing was to get her here and get her acclimated. She won’t be on the basketball court for a while. She’ll be a great addition in a lot of ways for what this program is about.”
While there is no thought that Zingaro may take the court this week for Iowa State, she might be useful or even needed later on in the season.
The team, currently, might be down one post player in Kristin Scott after the senior hit her head on the court in the game against Texas Tech on Sunday.
They’re already not very deep at that position.
“I would say by the middle of next week, we’ll probably have a good idea,” Fennelly said. “Depending on what happens with (Kristin Scott’s status), it might be something where we could steal a couple of minutes here and there.”
While there’s no telling if Zingaro will take the court or not this season, there’s only one big takeaway from Tuesday’s announcement:
She is eligible to play basketball.