January 19, 2010

Bringing Energy: SCU's Kathy Willinsky

Interviewed by: Justin  Kuehn (SCU Media Relations Assistant)

Being one out of only four upperclassmen, what types of responsibilities are associated with being in a leadership position?

We have A LOT of freshmen on the team, so one of the biggest responsibilities is for us to shown them what is expected of us individually and as a group. We have to lead by example and one of the biggest things is to look out for them when they are confused about basketball or school.

Jennifer Mountain is in her second year as Santa Clara's women's basketball head coach. What, in your opinion, have been the biggest positives of her coaching style and game philosophy?

I really like having Coach Mountain here as our head coach. She is very positive about everything we do. She expects the best out of us at all times and doesn't settle for less. You can tell that she really believes in what we are doing and has a lot of hope for what's to come.

In addition to becoming better players on the court, Coach Mountain has also stressed the importance of giving back to the community. Could you briefly explain some of the activities you and your teammates are doing in order to give back and explain what some of your experiences have been throughout this process?

We work with BAWSI (Bay Area Women's Sports Initiative) we go to elementary schools and spend time with the girls after school teaching them sportsmanship, how to work as a team, and most of all giving them positive role models to look up to. It is rewarding for them and for us.

Entering in the second half of the season, what are a few of the key factors that will allow the team to be successful throughout the remainder of the year?

We need to be able to play a full 40 minutes of a game. We always come out and play very well in one half and then do not do the same thing the next. We are really focusing on be able to play with the same intensity and fight in the second half as we do in the first.

You guys had a big tournament win last season at the WCC Championships. What do you need to do personally to help the team come tournament time?

I need to bring energy to the team. I have to be able to get everyone up and excited to play. When we are playing with intensity and energy we are a great team, so that's what I am going to do personally to help us do the best when it comes to tournament time.