Saturday, December 5, 2009

Introducing Simone Egwu

The latest in our series of profiles of newcomers to the state's women's college basketball scene.

We're fond of calling these athletes "kids". Then you talk to them and often discover they're actually bright, articulate young adults with seemingly limitless potential. Virginia's engaging freshman Simone Egwu is the latest example. We only spoke on the phone for about 10 minutes, yet I struck by the poised, self-assured and comfortable-in-her-own-skin manner in which she handled our interview. Turns out Egwu is interested in politics and maybe even running for president. Now I'm not sure what her platform will be. But if first impressions mean anything, she'll probably get my vote.

First of all, I should know this, but how do you pronounce your last name?

Egg-woo. Just like it's spelled.
o you have a nickname?

It used to be Monie, but we've already got Monica Wright so that hasn't really caught on here.

The Cavaliers just got back from the Bahamas. What's the funniest thing that happened to you guys down there?

We went out on a banana boat and in the middle of the ride, there was this huge downpour. We all got pelted with rain.

That's funny?

It wasn't at the time. But it's funny now.

Now, give us three people, from current times or from history, with whom you'd love to dine.

Oooh, that's a tough one. OK, of course you'd have to start with Barack Obama. Then, ah...let's see...ah...

We'll get back to that. Let's talk Cavaliers hoops. I'm sure you hear from Debbie Ryan quite a bit these days. Give us a Ryan-ism, something she says all the time.

You are what you are.

Hmmm, Bill Parcells
uses that one, too. Now tell us about your teammates. Who's the funniest?

That's a tough one because we're all pretty hilarious. It's hard to say.

How about the quietest?

That's Paulisha (Kellum). She barely talks, but then she's surprise you with a comment out of left field. And you're like, "You know, you're right!"

The most outgoing?

That would have to be Monica. She's very friendly, very outgoing.

And finally, the smartest. Or, since you had a 4.3 GPA in high school, the second-smartest.

That's the biggest joke because me and Jayna (Hartig); we're like the biggest nerds on the team. Every time we're talking, people are like, 'They must be trying to cure cancer."So I'd have to say Jayna.

OK, now about those three people...

Man, that's tough. So many names... OK, I'll say Bob Marley. You know that would be interesting. Then, ah...oh, it's such a long list...ah....

Don't worry about it. Let's get back to you. You've already done some nice things on the court, but it's a pretty big jump from high school hoops to the college game. What's been the biggest adjustment?

Well, you already expect everyone to be bigger, faster and stronger, so the biggest thing for me was getting into shape. I mean, I though already was in great shape. But there's a big difference between being in shape for high school and being in shape for college.

Do you have any on-court quirks?

For some reason, in practice I'll find myself standing in the third position (a ballet move). And everyone will be like, "Stop standing like a ballerina!"

How about off the court. Tell us something about you most people don't know.

I love eggnog season. When it's Christmas time, I love anything eggnog-flavored.

We haven't gotten that one before. Finally, how about a must-do before each game?

I have to listen to some sort of loud techno music. It actually relaxes me. Because if I just sit there quietly, I have a tendency to think too much and over-analyze things.

We only need one more person to complete your imaginary dinner party...

OK, let's go with Colin Powell. He's a former secretary of state, so you know I'd like to hear what he had to say.

Perfect. Thanks, Simone.

Not a problem.

For more on Simone Egwu, check out
this Q&A session from the Cavaliers' official website.

Other profiles in our Ladyswish newcomers series:

Devon Brown, Liberty

Tia Lewis, Old Dominion

Kquanise Byrd, Old Dominion

Coming up: Abby Redick, Virginia Tech

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