Spartan Women’s Basketball Spotlight: Freshman Class (Part Two)
GREENSBORO, N.C. – With the 2012-13 UNCG women's basketball season just one week from tipping off, uncgspartans.com will give Spartan fans a closer look at the ladies who will don the Blue and Gold in the coming months. Today we will profile the remaining freshmen who are competing in their first season of collegiate basketball – Lucy Mason, Jazmine Missouri and Medena Bartley.
What made you choose UNCG?
Lucy: I chose UNCG because it had everything that was on my list when I was looking at schools. It had the location I wanted in that, it wasn't too far from home but it wasn't too close either and the fact that it was in the city. The team was fun and I enjoyed being around them. The coaching staff had lots of experience and I felt that they would be able to get the most out of me, and finally the fact they offered African American Studies as a major which is something that I really loved.
Jazmine: I chose to come to UNCG because I wanted to get away from home, be around a group of people that made me feel welcome, continue my skills of basketball with a group of girls who want to be champions, and to further my education on criminal justice/ sociology for my future.
Medena: I chose UNCG because of the diversity and the home-like atmosphere.
Lucy: The biggest challenge in the transition between high school and college for me was not being able to see my family every day.
Jazmine: The biggest challenge in the transition from high school to college had to be the basketball workouts and getting adjusted to the campus. High school is totally different from college because a college campus is so much bigger. In high school you normally stay in one building but attend different classes within that building. The basketball level in high school was different because we didn't run as much as we were a very talented team.
Medena: My biggest challenge has been getting used to the academics.
How did you get started playing the game of basketball?
Lucy: I started playing basketball when I was young, my great grandmother had a goal on a clothes line and my brother, cousin and I would always be outside playing. A lot of my family members also played basketball, so I was always around it.
Jazmine: I first started playing basketball when I was about six years old. I used to always go outside and just dribble. As I got older, I used to walk down to the neighborhood basketball court and shoot around after I did my homework. My dad came with me all the time to help me get better and after a while I just went on my own every day. I started playing for my first team when I was in Elementary school for the club team. From then on I knew I wanted to keep playing because I loved it so much. Starting at such a young age was hard because the boys never let the girls play. They always said ''girls can't play basketball'' but of course we proved them wrong.
Medena: When I was younger, I never really liked toys so everything I wanted to do seemed to be sports related. I started playing on a basketball goal outside of my house at the age of seven.
What impresses you the most about Coach Palmer?
Lucy: What impresses me most about Coach Palmer is her knowledge of the game. I am constantly trying to learn new things and better myself on the court. Her knowledge will help make me a better player.
Jazmine: If there was enough time in a day to write about what impresses me MOST about Coach Palmer, I would write about this question all day. Coach Palmer is one of the BEST head coaches I've had since I started playing basketball. My dad started coaching me and I used to feel like he was always picking on me for being his daughter, so I wanted to play on another team to see if it would help my game get better. Come to find out, I liked playing with my dad much more than another coach. He always told me ''I'm not going to be your coach forever.'' From then on, I had to work around not having him coach me. I see Coach Palmer as a parent figure which is why she reminds me of my dad. She teaches us the game of basketball on a level that you wouldn't think somebody would even know. She knows a lot about basketball to be so young. She never shows any anger when she is having a bad day. She just comes to the gym hoping that her team is going to make her feel better. Coach Palmer is the first coach I've had to play in the WNBA and teach life lessons. She gives great quotes and teaches us that basketball is more than just a sport. I love her excitement and energy she has, even though she may be going through some things or in a lot of pain. You will never see her show it. She understands where you are coming from. She's always there when you need someone to talk to. She is funny, tall, very strong and a very understanding woman. She has been in our shoes so she knows everything we do before we even tell her. There is nothing to hide from her because she will find out. She's the best coach I've had!
Medena: What impresses me the most about Coach Palmer is that she played for the WNBA. You can also go to her about anything or any problem and she will know everything about it or have a solution to fix it.
What are some of your goals for your first year of collegiate basketball?
Lucy: My goal is to help the team be the best that it can possibly be both on and off the court.
Jazmine: Some of my goals are to set the tone for the season, prove any doubters wrong by winning a championship and out-working other teams. I want to bring energy and heart to EVERY practice and game, don't give up no matter what, give it all I have every second I'm on the floor and make the recruits for next year feel like they made a good choice by coming here.
Medena: I would like to become a better all-around player.
Which WNBA player do you think most resembles your own style of play?
Lucy: Becky Hammond because she does a good job of getting her teammates involved and she can also score when she needs to.
Jazmine: I think Kristi Toliver resembles my style of play because she is a point guard just like me. She isn't afraid to attack the basket or shoot. She has good ball control and great court vision, she gets excited when she makes good plays such as one and ones. She leads the team and she hustles!
Medena: I would say Tina Thompson.
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