John Elway's daughter new member of Stanford basketball team

Updated: November 25, 2004, 1:47 PM ET
Associated Press

STANFORD, Calif. -- Jessica Elway sure is enjoying her new life away from Colorado and the constant attention that comes with being John Elway's daughter.

She is a freshman forward for the women's basketball team at Stanford, the school where her Hall of Fame father launched his sensational football career and her mother competed on the Cardinal swim team.

"I love it," said Jessica, who expects her dad to attend his share of games this season. "It has been my dream forever to come here, so it ended up coming down to the fact that I knew this is what I always wanted.

"I remember we always came to Stanford for different things. In fourth grade I wrote a paper about my future and I remember writing I wanted to come to Stanford and play basketball."

She picked Stanford over Washington, joining a talented freshman class that includes star guard Candice Wiggins, the daughter of Alan Wiggins, who helped the San Diego Padres reach the 1984 World Series.

As a senior for Cherry Creek (Colo.) High School, Jessica averaged 10.1 points and 5.1 rebounds on the way to second-team all-state honors.

On Stanford's campus, she blends in -- and that was never the case during her childhood, since everybody always wanted to know just what life was like with the Denver Broncos' star quarterback as her dad.

"It's interesting here just because everyone has something special about them, so it's not like I'm unique in any way, which is cool," she said. "I'm used to (the questions). It's not that big of a deal. It's just the way it's always been."

She is the oldest of Elway's four children and the only one in the family with her dad's blue eyes. He and their mother divorced last year.

Jessica has several talented upperclassmen ahead of her, so her playing time could be minimal this season.

"She's doing very well," coach Tara VanDerveer said. "She's ahead of schedule, if you ask me. She's great to have on our team. She understands the nature of competition. When you've had a dad who was a pro athlete, she sees the big picture of a team and what you can contribute on a team."

Jessica, who hopes to one day work with the Special Olympics, doesn't feel any added pressure because of her last name.

"It's different sports," she said. "My mom was a swimmer,and my dad was a football player. I've never really felt that pressure to have to be good. I definitely aspire to be as great an athlete as they were here."


Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press

This story is from ESPN.com's automated news wire. Wire index