Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Introducing Whitney Long

She's just 5-4, but Whitney Long has made a big impact on Norfolk State in her sophomore season. The Raleigh, NC native has started twice and is the Spartans top scorer with a 12.8 average and she dumped 30 at Savannah State to lead NSU to victory. Given her team-best 44 percent shooting percentage, we'd expect she'll be a regular in the starting lineup.

Coach Debra Clark beams when she talks about Long, who has a quirky personality but a model work ethic.
"Whitney has been a pleasant surprise," Clark said. "She can always find trouble. If I say wear white, she'll wear blue. But it's all little things. I stay on her. She comes to practice with the same attitude every day. She comes to work.

"She's the perfect example of what it means to have a great work ethic. If you work hard, these are the results you'll get. I'm on her all the time and she never cracks."

We chatted for a few minutes with Long, who amassed 1,200 points in just three years at Leesville Road High School, and here's what she said.

The best part of Christmas break?
"Sleeping in my own bed."

Your dream Christmas present?
"To pimp my car out. Tinted windows. (Long owns a 2004 Nissan Ultima.) I'd do the rims maybe. I like having a nice car."

On your Ipod?
"Gucci Mane. I have a lot of that."

Tell us about your 30-point night against Savannah.
"Actually the practice before I had a really bad practice. I was coasting through. During the day I just chilled. I was real mellow."

You're leading NSU in free-throw percentage at 87 percent. Your secret?
"I take a deep breath before I shoot. And I never take my eye off the rim."

Your funniest teammates?
"It's a tie between Recca Price and Shaneka Lee are pretty funny. Everybody's a character though."

Tell us a coach Clark-ism. What is she always saying?
" ' Oh my!' " It's always, 'Oh, my!' "

NSU won just one game last year. The Spartans have been more competitive this season and have two victories. What's different?
"Our work ethic as a whole as far as people doing stuff on their own."

Sports team you follow?
UNC basketball.

What's your signature move on the court?
"Actually it's my speed. I'm really fast."

What's a bet-you-didn't know about you?
"I love line dancing. And I'm always singing, even though I can't hold a note."

Thanks, Whitney. And good luck to you and the Spartans the rest of the way.

In case you've missed others we've profiled this season......

Taylor Hilton, William and Mary

Abby Redick, Virginia Tech

Simone Egwu, Virginia

Devon Brown, Liberty

Tia Lewis, ODU

Kquanise Byrd, ODU

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