October 22, 2008

A Matador Minute with Katrina Thompson

Oct. 22, 2008

Question What are your thoughts on the Oct. 25 Northridge Basketball Tip-off Event?

Answer "I am pretty excited. The team is ready to show everyone how hard we have been working and give a preview of what's to come this season. We want people to know that last year was last year and that this is a new team and we're ready to get down to business."

Question How have practices been so far?

Answer "They have gone pretty well so far. They have been intense and we are working very hard learning new plays. The team is ready to go after it. We just want to get the first game under our belt."

Question What did you do in the offseason to get ready for the year?

Answer "I spent a lot of time getting stronger and working on my mid-range game. This year I will be working with the posts, which is a new look. I am excited to work with associate head coach Carla Houser. She is an intense coach who has produced the team's leading scorer over the past several years and I am eager to continue that tradition."

Question How would you describe the team chemistry so far?

Answer "Last year, the chemistry was tough because we had a lot of newcomers. This year, we are all clicking and are on the same page. I can tell already that we are a tight knit group. The newcomers fit right in and we are feeding off each other's energy. We are working to get that chemistry to carry over to Nov. 1."

Question Are you looking forward to the trip to Alaska to participate in The Great Alaska Shootout?

Answer "I am definitely looking forward to the trip. It will be a new experience. Some of the players have family up there (Tonicia Tademy) so they'll be coming to the games. I am also super excited for dog sledding. That and the other things we'll get to do will just be the icing on the cake."

Question What are your thoughts on the team's newcomers this year?

Answer "Bridgette Conejo is a very funny, focused individual. She always wants to get as much information as possible, whether it is offense or defense, and then wants to get out there. She's my partner in crime. Jasmine Erving is battling some injuries, but when she returns, she'll get to work with Coach Houser and produce at a high level. Neeta SreeKanth is a force in the post. She is a good finisher around the basket."

Question Are you looking forward to any games this year?

Answer "I am excited to be playing at UCLA. Since I was a little girl, it has always been a dream to play at Pauley Pavilion. I am also excited to get back at everyone back in conference. Our games against Cal State Fullerton will be especially interesting because it is my goal to defeat every team in the league while I'm here and we still haven't beat them and we want to wrap that up."

Question How has your transition to the post gone?

Answer "It has gone well, though it requires more strength inside. It also affords me the opportunity to learn a new position and get more playing time. Now, I can play as 3 or 4 or 5, which makes the team more versatile. I would say the transition has been smooth so far."

Question What have you learned in your time at Northridge?

Answer "I have learned to expect the unexpected. With basketball, you never know the doors that will open. I have had the opportunity to travel and meet new people, some of who will be life long friends. It reminds me to be thankful for what you have and not take anything for granted. I wouldn't pick another group to share these experiences."

Question How has your role changed on the team now that you are an junior?

Answer "With being an upperclassman comes more responsibility and accountability. We want to display the program in a proper way and sometimes that requires you to grow up. Being a junior now means that I have to buckle down, set a standard and be a role model for the rest of the team."

Question What do you say the community to support team?

Answer I guarantee that if you come out, you will have a fun time. Our games represent a good family outing. We have outstanding talent on the team. We like to see new people out there and want to see the community involved because we like to get out the community."

"I know I personally enjoying getting out in the community. We get the chance show our faces and reach a new fan base. I love working with little children because a lot of girls look up to us. It serves as motivation to keep going because a lot of little girls gravitate towards us because they see us playing basketball and that makes them want to get out there."

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