9 Questions With Katie Lou Samuelson

You were just selected with the No. 4 overall pick of the WNBA Draft. What was your first thought when you heard your name called?

Awesome. It felt great. For me, going into this I was trying not to have expectations of where I thought I was going to go, so I really didn’t necessarily expect to be called. When I heard my name, it was just pure joy.

It was a quick turnaround from the Final Four to draft day. How did you prepare yourself mentally and physically for the night?

It was definitely hard because it’s your career. Your [collegiate]career is over, but you have to be able to put that aside and really enjoy the moment when you’re here, because this opportunity is rare for people, to be able to get invited to this draft day and then be drafted. For me, I try to enjoy every moment of it.

What are you hoping to bring to the Chicago Sky?

I’m hoping to go in there and learn a lot. I think I have an ability at my position; I’m a little more unique in the sense that my height helps and my length, so I’m hoping that can transition onto the court.

Who is the first person you called after you were drafted?

I got the chance to talk to head coach [James Wade], and I was excited to get that going.

At what point in your career did you realize that you had a good chance of playing basketball professionally?

I think leading up [to college] and in high school, my focus was so [much so] on college that it wasn’t until I was in college that I thought, “Wow, the next step is the WNBA, and I think I have an opportunity to put myself in that position.” So, once I was at UConn and figuring all that, I knew I had a good chance.

Now that you have officially made it to the WNBA, what are you most excited about?

I’m excited to get this level of play. These players are all the best in what they do. This is not like in college where you play a team with two of the best players every once and awhile and it’s rare. Every single team you’re playing day in and day out have 12 people on their roster that could play and sub in for each and every person.

What are you looking forward to getting to experience in the city of Chicago?

Just exploring. I never really got the chance to explore Chicago. I’ve been there once in high school, but I wasn’t really able to go around [the city] and stuff. So, this is going to be a new kind of world for me, especially after being in Storrs, Connecticut for a while.

You will be reunited with former UConn players Gabby Williams and Stefanie Dolson. How excited are you to play on a team with them?

So excited! I mean, clearly, I played with Gabby for three years. So, for this, this is amazing that we get the chance to play again. You never expect that. And Stef, she’s just an awesome person and she’s always been around throughout my career at UConn. I was actually just with her the other day at the Final Four!

Deep dish or thin crust pizza?

I’ve got to say thin crust for now! But I’ve never [gotten the chance to] eat deep dish that much, so I can’t really speak on it.