1 – What does this moment actually feel like?
This moment feels amazing. Being one of the first African American collegiate players to have her jersey retired at Rutgers, it speaks for itself. But to actually accomplish means a lot.
2 – How were you notified of the news of your jersey retirement?
They had been planning for some time, probably like the last four years. And due to the fact that most players, including myself, have to play over in Europe I wasn’t able to schedule a good time. And not going over initially to Europe right away (this year), we were able to come up with a date.
3 – Your jersey will be the third to be retired at RU. Why do you think your jersey was chosen to be in the top three of all jerseys to be retired at the university? What significance does that have to you?
I have no idea why I was chosen. I’m thankful that I’ve been chosen because I spent a great deal of time there and did pretty good both athletically and academically. So to pave the way, it says a lot to the hard work that I put in being in college and on the professional level. It speaks volumes, so I’m thankful at the end of the day. I was able to accomplish something not many have been able to. It’s self explanatory, I think, but I’m happy and I’m thankful.
4 – Why did you change your jersey number from #25 to #23 when you went pro?
I’ve always admired Michael Jordan and it was a new start for me in my professional career, and I wanted to live up to his number.
5 – What was the experience like playing for a legendary coach like Coach Stringer?
It was a wonderful experience, both good and bad. When you’re a kid trying to become an adult, you always want to fight because you think you’re right. But at the end of the day you have a coach like Coach Stringer who is not just your coach but your mother at the same time. Constantly pushing you and making sure that you grow on and off the court. That will never be replaceable and something I will always value for the rest of my life.
6 – Do you have any stories about Coach Stringer’s lessons taught to you and/or your teammates? Or any other memorable stories of her?
Most definitely! She would do this drill like every single day until we mastered it. She didn’t care if somebody threw up or somebody got hurt, whoever was standing had to finish this drill; and if one person failed, we all failed and we had to start over. And she constantly did it, and I didn’t understand the significance of it but it’s something that I’ll always remember because no matter what, you’re always a team, you’re always sisters, you’re always connected. And if you want to accomplish anything great, you need each other. And you have to lift somebody up or you have to push somebody, so that drill will always, always be in my head.
That’s how she always tested us to be mentally strong, but people don’t know that. She was a more mental person than actually teaching the system. She taught the game of basketball. It was terrible at the moment but just imagine when you conquered it how you felt.
7 – What is one thing that Coach Stringer instilled in you that has stuck with you since your Rutgers days?
One thing that she instilled would be that it’s two sides to a woman; it’s not just the main thing that people may know about. But it’s always another side of you, so she always made sure that you were a young woman off the court as well as a basketball player on the court.
8 – Why did you choose Rutgers?
Because of Coach Stringer. It was solely because of that reason, the way she made me feel and what I thought that I could become as a basketball player, not just on the court but off the court as well as an African American woman.
9 – If you could relive one moment from your five years at Rutgers, what moment would it be?
The day I graduated and had to fly to Phoenix an hour into my graduation to get ready to get drafted.
10 – What is your best memory of playing basketball at Rutgers?
Being able to win a Big East Championship.
11 – Including yourself and Betnijah, 17 Scarlet Knights have gone to be drafted to the WNBA. What does that say about the program and the caliber of players Coach Stringer brings in and develops?
No matter what you’re skill level is, no matter what you scored in college playing under Coach Stringer, a guaranteed fact is every player that got drafted or touched a WNBA uniform was well-equipped and well-prepared to be a professional player.