General of the Week: Andy Kleinlein, ’17

Andy Kleinlein, ’17, has had an excellent career for W&L’s men’s basketball team-and it is not over yet. He is the all-time leader in free throw percentage and three-point percentage, and recently crossed the 1000-point mark for his career in the Generals Feb. 4 loss against Guilford College, when he scored 14 points and had three assists. Kleinlein is just the 25th General to achieve this feat. The Phi sat down with Kleinlein to discuss his career and see what is coming up next.


Phi: What made you start playing basketball?

AK: I started playing as a little kid around the age of 4. My dad loves basketball and I grew up around the game. I always watched on TV and went to the gym. I’ve kept up with that routine since that age.

Phi: As the regular season comes to a close and ODAC championships grow nearer, what is the team doing to prepare?

AK: We try to come in every day and improve. We have to have an increased level of focus and determination as the season winds down. To reach our goal, we have to cut out all excuses and alternative agendas.

Phi: What are the strengths and weaknesses of this year’s team?

AK: We have struggled to be consistent throughout the year, but we battle and fight back. When our backs have been against the wall, we have stepped up. Finding a level of consistency and growth is important for us moving forward.

Phi: How have you evolved as a player over your years at Washington and Lee?

AK: I’ve tried to become a more complete player. When I came in, I just tried to be solid and knock down open shots. As time has gone on, I’ve tried to improve my shot and work on other things. I’ve worked hard on getting to the basket and becoming a better passer. Most importantly, I wanted to become a better defender, which I feel like I have over time, especially this year.

Phi: What did it feel like to shoot your 1000th point?

AK: It felt great, but mostly relieving. All my friends had been talking about it all week, so I was just happy to get it over with, so I could focus on winning games.

Phi: You hold the records for the highest free throw percentage and highest three-point percentage in W&L history. What have been the greatest factors in your success?

AK: Working hard and being in the gym every day. There’s no other way around it. Another important piece is being able to stay healthy for four years.

Phi: Do you have any game day rituals?

AK: I try to keep the same routine. I come in and shoot during the day, have a similar pregame meal and then get to the gym a couple hours early to get focused.

Phi: What are your plans after graduation?

AK: I am going to be working for SunTrust Robinson Humphrey in Atlanta, Georgia. I will be working for the leveraged finance group. After a couple years of that, I have no idea.

Phi: What is your favorite thing to do off the court?

AK: Hang out with friends and watch sports.