Lady Bears Interview

March 29, 2006
In May, four members of the 2005 National Championship Lady Bears basketball team will graduate: Jordan Davis, Chameka Scott, Abiola Wabara and Sophia Young. Before hitting the road in March for the NCAA play-offs -- where they made their third consecutive Sweet 16 appearance -- they met with student writer Jennifer Russell who asked the women to share some lesser-known highlights from their college careers.
SP_06_interview Baylor Magazine: So who would you say is the goofiest person? (Everyone points to Chameka and laughs) MAG: Why would you say that? Jordan: She's stupid! (laughter) Chameka: Well, then that would be the "stupidest person." Abiola: See? That's what we're talking about. Sophia: She just says stuff -- off-the-wall stuff -- all the time, but it's really funny. MAG: the comic relief of the team? All: Yeah ... Chameka: OK, I'll let that happen. MAG: Who, out of the whole team, spends the most time getting ready? C: Rachel? Rachel or Jordan, it's probably a tie. J: No, because Rachel does the "curl the hair" and makeup thing all the time. She's goin' out to the club when she gets ready for the games. A: Yeah, we're all like, "Excuse me? Where are you going?" MAG: Who has the worst luck? J: Well, Rachel always thinks something's wrong with her. C: That's a whole different story: Who's the hypochondriac? Rachel. MAG: Who has the best luck? S: I don't think it's luck. C: Yeah, (laughs) all of us are struggling. MAG: Who eats the most? (Women point to Chameka) J: Chameka ate a whole plate of sausage, chicken, ribs, brisket -- stacked this high -- and she ate it all. C: Time-out, though ... . The reason I did it was because they said I couldn't. S: She would have done it anyway. J: But she said, "I'm gonna eat till I fall asleep."

MAG: Who's the most encouraging? J: Do we encourage? During practice, we all try to talk to each other, and during games. C: During games, we yell at each other, but ... (laughter) MAG: Who is the most admired? C: Well, me ... I mean, obviously. J: See? She's goofy. C: Maybe Sophia. J: Well, yeah. I admire Sophia. C: Just one day, I'd like to walk around and be Sophia. Seriously. MAG: Who has the weirdest habits? S: Well, I have some weird habits, but I don't think anybody knows about them. C: Would you like to share? J: Tell us, come on! A: (Pointing to Sophia) Oh, I can tell you something weird she did once. She got her makeup done at the mall, and before we went back, she took a bath, and she was in with her head sticking out so that she wouldn't mess up her makeup. C: Yeah, let's give Sophia that award. (To Sophia) I admire that about you! J: Oh, Sophia and her closet habits. MAG: do you Have any pregame rituals? C: When we come out of the locker room, we always give everybody a high five ... . There are a lot of personal superstitions, and then there are team superstitions like when we run out, we do the same thing every time, and we say certain things before games, and every time we come out of a time-out we say the same thing. J: Abbi and I have a handshake that we do, and Sophia and Chameka have a handshake that they do. C: [Our] handshake is so much cooler. MAG: What are some of your individual personal superstitions? C: I've been wearing the same kind of rubber band around my ankle since freshman year. J: I have to shave my legs the day of a game. C: Um, that's called hygiene. (laughter) J: But even in tournaments, each day I would shave and it's like I'm shaving nothing. MAG: How have you changed? S: How haven't we changed? C: I've gotten bigger. (Showing off her muscles) I'm huge now. S: I used to be really shy. J: I was always kind of shy, but I always wanted to go home. And now, I don't at all. C: Abbi learned English! A: Ha ha .... Whatever, I just didn't talk much. J: Abbi used to have really bad personal space issues. C: Yeah, she'd sit right up on me all the time. J: She'd forget that in America, you have like 3 feet of personal space for everyone. MAG: Do you hang out off the court? S: Chameka goes to the movies a lot. C: We all go to the movies a lot. J: Chameka and I live together, so I can never get away from her. The whole team makes random trips to the movies .... C: We go to guys' games and ... every home volleyball game, we'd go dressed up in themes. J: We go to football games a lot, too, and just meet up together. C: But sometimes once you get out of practice, you're like, "All right, I don't want to see y'all till tomorrow." But then there are times when you realize these are the only people you want to hang out with. During season, I really don't have an outside life, and I'm OK with that. MAG: What memories will stick with you? A: Getting to know them. J: One thing I'll always remember is how we could make any situation seem funny. Just turning something that may be completely awkward into something funny and not feel so bad. C: We pull pranks a lot. S: But if something really funny happens during a game, we won't laugh then, but we'll wait until after the game. J: Everybody remembers ... when someone screws up or trips on the court, and we just wait to talk about it until after the game. You're not getting away with any screw ups because you've got three people who are going to remember. C: That's what I'll remember -- the fun stuff we did and how close we were. I just don't think a lot of teams are as close as we are. MAG: What's your funniest traveling memory? C: The snowball fight at OSU last year! We had time before our charter plane was leaving, so the coaches went out to go eat, but we weren't really hungry. So we stayed outside, played in the snow and we made the biggest snowball ever. J: My favorite memory was freshmen year when Chameka and Sophia were trying to tackle me and knock me out. Sophia, all sneakingly, comes in my hotel room and just starts talking. And all of a sudden, I hear these feet pounding down the hall. The door busts open, and Chameka seriously just lays out, like she was in the air coming at me. I look at her, stuck my hands and my feet up in the air, got a hold of her and just flung her up against the wall. She just nailed the wall. MAG: How do you keep up with school? C: We show up to class -- showing up is a big thing. One of my teachers this year told me, "I didn't think you'd even be here today." And I was like, "Well, I'm here, but I clearly failed my test." Teachers are a big part. If you get to know your professors, they make it a lot easier. J: This year's been really good for us, too, because in the new locker room we got laptops, so we can take those and do our homework and stuff. It was really hard to keep up last year, but most of our professors were really understanding. MAG: What's the most memorable thing that's happened with one of your fans? S: This lady came up to me and she was like, "Can you take a picture with me and my baby? ... I named her Sophia after you." J: I had a kid named after me last year. They were really big Baylor fans. C: When those students rode in the bus for 19 hours to go to the championship last year, that blew my mind. MAG: What's next after graduation? C: Well, uh, I'm gonna follow Sophia wherever she goes. ... (laughter) Just like hold her water bottle or something. Actually, I'm trying to get into commentating or broadcasting somewhere in the sports world. J: That's kind of something I'd like to do, too. I might hang around Waco for the summer. A: Well, I'd like to go play basketball overseas for sure, but I'll hopefully get drafted. But if that doesn't happen, I'll play for the national team. S: I'm going to play professional. MAG: What do you most admire about your coach? C: I admire the way she relates to us. She's still kind of a younger coach, and she's been through what we're going through. So, she'll see if we're tired, and just be like, "Let's just go home today." J: It helps a lot because she did play for four years at a really intense level. S: I think it's good that she has kids. ... She gets to have a life with them, too. She brings them a lot on road trips and stuff. J: If she doesn't have to miss any of their events, then she doesn't -- the only time she'd miss is if we had a game. MAG: What advice could you share with the rest of your teammates? A: My coach back home [in Italy] didn't want me to come here and he didn't think I'd get anything out of it. So, the way I see it, you have to stick with your dreams and just go ahead. I did it. J: Just play hard and enjoy it because it'll be gone in a second. C: This is the last point in your life where people will be pushing you and being there for you, taking care of you. S: Keep working hard and even though things might not go the way you want them to sometimes, just don't give up.

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