From the Locker Room
Get to know your favorite players off the court as we ask them questions and take a deeper dive into their experiences as student-athletes.
- WHO IS THE BEST PLAYER YOU'VE EVER GUARDED?
- • “Mariah Jefferson” – Brandey Tarver, Senior, Cincinnati
- • “Sanya Chong” – Macey Hollenshead, Junior, Fairfield
- • “Alexis Jones” – AJ Alix, Junior, TCU
- • “Kelsey Mitchell” – Sam Rodgers, Freshman, Cincinnati
- • “Rachel Banham” – Madison Weekley, Senior, Northern Iowa
- • “Tiffany Mitchell” – Kyvin Goodin-Rodgers, Redshirt Junior, Western Kentucky
- • “Courtney Williams” – Ana Owens, Junior, Cincinnati
- • “Jewel Lloyd” – Angie Davison, Senior, Northern Iowa
- • “Breanna Stewart” – Sam Cooper, Redshirt Junior, Fairfield
• “Lebron James…In my dreams, and I beat him.” – Angel Rizor, Freshman, Cincinnati
WHAT IS THE CRAZIEST PRE-GAME SUPERSTITION YOU HAVE SEEN?
- • “Everyone has to make the last shot for good luck” – Maya Benham, Sophomore, Cincinnati
- • “An old high school teammate claimed that she would always play better if she kept her earrings in during warmup” – Nicole Bus, Freshman, Fairfield
- • “A former teammate use to put her sock, ankle brace and shoe on her left foot before putting anything on her right.” – Madison Weekly, Senior, Northern Iowa
- • “Watching SpongeBob before every game” – Jordan Moore, Sophomore, TCU
- • “A person had to warm up with the same pair of socks” – Angel Rizor, Freshman, Cincinnati
- • “A basketball player used to eat a waffle before every one of her games.” – Phoebe Sterba, Freshman, Penn
- • “I had a teammate who had to do things 3 times, nothing more or nothing less. So, in warmups she would only do three of everything. If the drill got back around to her and it was her fourth time she wouldn’t go.” – Ariel Atkins, Junior, Texas
- • “The craziest superstition I’ve ever seen is wearing the same pre-wrap for every game that season. “– Ivy Brown, Junior, Western Kentucky
- • “A player would eat M&M's before every game. Should leave our school colors and the other team's colors for last and then eat the other team’s first.” - Hannah Schonhardt, Senior, Northern Iowa
- • “Someone talking to themselves in the mirror” - Nikira Goings, Sophomore, Cincinnati
• “One of my teammates gave the pregame speech from the movie Miracle before every one of my high school games my freshman and sophomore year.” – Ashley Russell, Sophomore, Penn
WHAT IS THE MOST MEMORABLE ADVICE A COACH GAVE YOU?
- • "Use basketball as a tool to get a chance you would never get without it." - Tinee’sha Coleman, Freshman, Cincinnati
- • “Championships are won on the court, not on reputation.” – Ashley Russell, Sophomore, Penn
- • “A full and a confident heart cannot lose. Never let anyone tell you that you can't do something.” - Khadidiatou Diouf, Redshirt Sophomore, Fairfield
- • “Be relentless, be a presence & fall in love with the process.” – Jordan Moore, Sophomore, TCU
- • “Play with heart and passion. It will take you a long way.” – Sydney Petty, Freshman, Cincinnati
- • “Remember your teammates may not always be open but the basket always is.” – Phoebe Sterba, Freshman, Penn
- • “Worry more about doing the little things and everything else will come easy”. – Ivy Brown, Junior, Western Kentucky
- • “ 'You either don't know or you don't care.' I think that's pretty true because when you're doing something wrong you either don't know that it's wrong or you don't care enough to change it, and do the right thing." – Kelsey Lang, Senior, Texas
- • “Nobody can stop you, only you can stop yourself.” – Shanice Johnson, Junior, Cincinnati
- • “ 'You have to let the game come to you.' Whenever I am playing a game, I always think to not force things and to just play and have fun. If I do the little things – like cut hard, screen, rebound – then other things will fall into place.” – Michelle Nwokedi, Junior, Penn
We asked former WBNA player, Texas Tech alum, and 2017 Women's Final Four Ambassador, Alicia Thompson to write a letter to her younger self. Here’s what she wrote:
I'm writing to you from the future and it looks as though life and basketball has treated you well. You have had quite a few obstacles to overcome, but you have done a wonderful job dealing with and getting through them. I have a few words of wisdom for you to carry with you along your path.
- Well, for starters, you are perfect the way you are. Even in your imperfections, you are perfect!
Allow yourself to make mistakes. It's ok. We learn lessons through our mistakes. Well..at least we SHOULD.
Be a good teammate. Treat others how you want to be treated. Be a leader. Be encouraging. Be supportive. Be Self-less. Be positive. Be caring. Be proud for your teammates when they succeed. In fact, you should be equally as proud of someone's success as you are of your own.
Practice with passion. Play with passion. Live with passion. Do this for yourself; not for others. In doing this for yourself, you will naturally and automatically have an undeniable effect on many.
Always work hard for what you want. Set goals with the intention of accomplishing them with determination and perseverance. Be grateful for everything you have, receive, and experience as all of it is a gift to help you along life's journey.
Do well. I know you will. I'm very proud of you!
- • "Scoring my first bucket in the 6th grade." - I’liyah Green, Freshman, Cincinnati
- • “Playing with the boys in 1st grade.” – Macey Hollenshead, Junior, Fairfield
- • “My dad coaching me in YMCA Basketball.” – Kelsey Lang, Senior, Texas
- • Following a girl around who had the same colored wristband as me when I played in first grade. Colored wrist bands were how we knew who we were guarding.” – Angie Davison, Senior, Northern Iowa
- • “Playing with my brothers when I was 4 and shot the ball from around the free throw line. Well, I threw it up there and made it.” – AJ Alix, Junior, TCU
- • “My first basketball memory would have to be playing YMCA basketball in elementary school. I remember being the tallest out of everyone and having so much fun. YMCA basketball is what made me fall in love with the sport.” – Michelle Nwokedi, Junior, Penn
- • “My first basketball memory is definitely in the drive with my dad. We would always invite my cousins or other neighborhood kids to come and play with us. It was so much fun. I knew that when the garage door went up and I heard a ball bouncing outside, my dad was calling me out." – Ariel Atkins, Junior, Texas
- • “Playing my first AAU game when I was 6”. – Antoinette Miller, Freshman, Cincinnati
- • “I started playing in 5th grade. I joined my first rep team and we didn't even have tryouts. It was just a group of 10 girls who had no idea what we were doing. It was a mess but I'll never forget it." – Nicole Bus, Freshman, Fairfield
- • “Practicing with my older sisters AAU team when I was too young to play.” – Ashley Russell, Sophomore, Penn
• “Shooting on my little tikes basketball hoop in my driveway.” – Hannah Schonhardt, Senior, Northern Iowa