January 9, 2009

Shooting Threes With Kathy Willinsky

Jan. 9, 2009

SANTA CLARA, Calif. - After scoring a career-high 14 points against San Jose State, sophomore forward Kathy Willinsky sat down with SantaClaraBroncos.com to talk about the season, pregame rituals and her love of oldies music.

Q: The team seems to do pretty well when you are having a career night. Have you ever noticed the correlation?
A:
I have noticed it in games but I always think there are probably other things that affect it that we have done differently...it wasn't anything in particular that I did. I think it does help when I do score because it takes a lot of pressure off of Lena so she is able to score more and get more rebounds, which helps.

Q: Getting the win against San Jose State, what does that do for the confidence going into conference play?
A:
We were all really happy after the win. I think it gives us some confidence, and I think we are getting better every game and that just proved to us we can actually go and win. It gave us a lot of confidence and proved that we actually are peaking, so we are getting better every time. I think that it gave us a lot of confidence to go into league and I know everyone is really excited about the game tonight and we all have a lot of confidence, especially since we just had a win.

Q: What did you do this summer for the preseason to get to where you are this season and getting more minutes?
A:
Last year I really held back and didn't play how I used to play in high school and travel ball, with a lot of emotion. I didn't play at all last year so I thought I might as well just go and do what I do and what's the worst that could happen? It could be just like last year. I got my chance against Florida and took full advantage of it and then I finally got to show Coach what I can do, play with a lot of energy on the court.

Q: What kind of pregame rituals do you have?
A:
Rhi and I always stop off at 7-11 and I always get an energy drink and a candy bar. She'll get a little protein bar. Then we just sing in the car driving over here and eat our candy bar and drink our energy drink. That's usually what we do. I always take a nap before.

Q: How long of a nap?
A:
At least an hour, as much as I can get in. Whenever it is a home game, it is usually a little longer.

Q: How would you describe the team in one word?
A:
Potential. We all have so much potential. If we work hard I know that we can be good, and if we just keep working hard to do that.

Q: When you are not doing basketball or in class, what do you do to relax?
A:
Sleep. Everyone on the team makes fun of me because I am always taking naps. My naps are pretty long. I usually get to bed by ten o'clock and can sleep in pretty late.

Q: What is your favorite place around campus to go get something to eat, or chill, take a nap?
A:
To eat, Rhi and I like to go to Mio Vicino, it is a little Italian restaurant - it is really good.

Q: What is your major?
A:
Liberal studies. I want to go back and get my credentials after I graduate. I want to teach elementary school, eventually high school, and I want to coach basketball back in Las Vegas. I think I would want to teach 3rd or 4th grade.

Q: What were your thoughts on the snow in Vegas?
A:
It had snowed a lot before I got there. When I was flying in, I remember just looking out the airplane. Usually everyone is looking out the side to see the strip and I was peering over everyone to look the other direction. The mountains had some but by the time I got there, it had all melted.

Q: If not basketball what would you be doing? Would you be doing another sport or pursuing other things?
A:
I always joke around with my parents that if I didn't go to college, I would probably go to hair school. I like to do hair and makeup. That's fun. If I weren't playing basketball I would be trying cosmetology.

Q: Who is your favorite athlete?
A:
Dirk Nowitzki because he can shoot the three pointer. I think he is a really hard worker. He's the type of player that I would like to be like.

Q: What is something that most people don't know about you?
A:
I really like oldies music from the 50s and 60s. I had my parents buy me some CDs for Christmas and stuff. It's probably something most people don't know about me, that I like oldies and country a lot. Most people just think I like R&B and rap. But I really like oldies and country.

Q: Do you have a favorite oldies song?
A:
Yes, I like the song "Leader of the Pack". That is probably my favorite oldies song. Whenever we would go to the fifties diners where you can put a quarter in the jukebox, I always search for that song.

Q: Are you excited the WCC tournament will be in Las Vegas this year?
A:
I am really excited about it. All of my friends and family can come to the game. It will be really fun to show everyone my life and how it is actually so much different from what people expect it to be... my house is far away from the strip.

Q: What is your favorite meal your mom makes?
A:
I love stroganoff.