an interview by UO Fast Break Club President, Jim Long
(photo credit: Paul W. Harvey IV)
1. The Roster web page says you are a graduate student in chemistry, were seen playing in the rec center gym and got invited to play open gym with the team, then got invited to walk on by the coaching staff. Has this been a problem with your graduate studies?
So last year I was still an undergraduate, but I was planning on entering grad school. I also had the chance to enroll in graduate classes last year, so I knew how hard it was going to be, and I knew I had to be prepared. It is actually hard to be a graduate student in chemistry because I have a lot of work to do. Obviously it is also harder to get A's, especially when you are an athlete. This first term was even harder because I took 17 credits and 5 classes. Therefore I had a 2.8 GPA. However, when I reach the end of my degree work, I will have to maintain an overall GPA of 3.0. I should be fine because I am taking fewer classes this term.
2. The Roster web page also says that you attended UO last year and graduated with a degree in chemistry. Did you attend the women’s games? Impressions?
Yes I was an undergraduate student last year, but I did not graduate from the Oregon. I actually graduated a year before in France with a bachelor's degree in chemistry (3 years of University) and I was completing my first year of (French) Master here in Oregon, as an exchange student. I went to see two WBB games and I thought the team was good and really athletic. They really made me want to play at Oregon.
3. You clearly love basketball. Did you play basketball in college? Where? Is the game very different here than in France?
Yes I do! I started to play when I was 5 years old and it has been a long journey since then. Indeed I played basketball when I was in college, but I did not play for my University (like I would play here for Oregon), I played for clubs. Actually clubs are a big deal in France, we do not have competitive teams in our colleges, I would say that is more for fun or that is to stay fit (lol). But yes I played in clubs at a good level. Basketball is different in France in many ways, but mostly I think that the way of playing is the same. Comparing the NCAA to French clubs, the levels could obviously vary from one team to another, but it really depends on the division. Some NCAA teams could easily play at the division 2 in France, for example. However the WNBA is a better level than the first division in France. There is no question about that.
4. One coach told me that you bring a lot to the team practices. How is it to be part of this team?
As you noticed, after the Oregon Daily Emerald article about me (click here for ODE article), playing in the US was one of my dreams. So I just cherish every day that I spend in the arena because I am happy and really thankful to be a part of this amazing experience. I have wonderful teammates and a great staff around me everyday, I also feel spoiled and I want to give back by being a great teammate and doing great practices for the good of the team. If you come to the arena you would always see me smiling. :D This is how it feels to fully live your dream! I love competition and I love to win, I love smart basketball and most importantly I love to feel a part of a team, that is something I couldn't live without.
5. Do you travel with the team?
Yes I do! I got to travel to Las Vegas, California, Colorado, Portland, and Corvallis. I travelled to many places I have never been to :)
6. What have been your biggest challenges here at Oregon?
As far as I am concerned, I think that the biggest challenge is to obtain a degree at Oregon while I am playing basketball.
7. Has your family visited Eugene? Did your parents play basketball? Do any of your siblings play basketball?
My family came to visit me last year. My mom used to play basketball (and she is even smaller than me, lol). My two sisters play basketball and my brother plays soccer.