Coach Auriemma is going to push you until you have nothing left to give. He brings out his incredible passion and fire and competitiveness that you just had no idea was there.
It never was difficult for me at all to leave home. Once I got up there, the culture was different, but going to college was just on my list of things to do. I’d always dreamed of playing college basketball and getting an education and winning a national championship, and I just knew that Connecticut was the best place for me to accomplish that. I never thought twice about it. It was moving me closer to the next part of my life.
The 2002 national championship game was such an incredibly proud moment for me. Standing out there, my heart felt like it was going to burst out of my chest. Being at Connecticut, having played there and invested so much, and then moving to OU and working on my dream job, that moment, in such a weird way, life couldn’t have gotten any better. It was the finals. We were the only two teams left standing. It was such an incredible moment to take in.
I remember getting ready to graduate high school, and hearing the announcement that there was a WNBA, how exciting that was, and how inspirational that was to know that women, after college, would have a chance to play.
After I left college, everything grew even more. It wasn’t just UConn and Tennessee; so many more teams started to emerge. There was so much more fan support. Women’s basketball became such a big deal. I can remember being in the Lloyd Noble Center for the first White Out vs. Baylor, and it wasn’t just sold out, it was standing room only.
Sports plant so many seeds inside of you as an athlete. At the time, when you’re put to the test or put under pressure, that’s really when you see it grow and blossom and bloom. It’s absolutely amazing what sports can do inside of you.
I absolutely love what I’m doing now. I’ve always had a strong passion for growing basketball in the state of Oklahoma, and not just on the girls’ side, but also on the boys’ side.
Basketball has given me so much, and I feel a strong desire to pass it on. I’ve been blessed with many different wonderful coaches, and taking what they’ve taught me, I’m just going to pass it on.