Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Chatting with Jackie Cook about ODU, Wendy, her dog and more

LadySwish loved chatting with Old Dominion senior Jackie Cook, this week's CAA Player of the Week after averaging 18 points and 7.5 rebounds against USC Upstate and VCU. The guard from Hinkley, Ohio, also added six assists, seven steals and one block for the week.

Cook opened the season with 17 points and nine boards against Virginia Tech. The Lady Monarchs are 3-0.

We've heard folks noting you've lost weight and are in better shape this season. What's your take?

I did lose a little weight, but really I toned up. Everyone says, 'You've lost all this weight!' Not really, but I did so many workouts during the day in the offseason. I wasn't happy with the way our season went last year, and it is my senior year and my team. I was going to make sure I was in the best shape possible coming into my senior year, so it wasn't going to be anything like last year.

You were recruited by former coach Wendy Larry, who spoke highly of your maturity in addition to your game when you signed (Larry took Cook out on her boat during Cook's visit.) Was Wendy leaving a hard adjustment for you?

Definitely. That's the coach who recruited me, so there was uncertainty with me being a young player at that. But everything happens for a reason. I wish her the best of luck. She's a great lady, legendary coach.

Do you keep in touch?

She always calls me on my birthday. She's so good with birthdays, which is so cool. Every now and then, she'll shoot me a text and I'll shoot her a text. My family keeps in touch with all my old coaches.

Despite all the good things happening with your team, this probably wasn't the career you envisioned. Can you talk about that?

I'm a winner at heart. I despise losing. It's just about adapting to the adversity that comes your way and being able to overcome things, just knowing that at the end of the day, this is what God had in store for me. Everyone thinks it's so crazy and it's not worth talking about us in the NCAAs, but that's what we're going for. We're dreaming big. That's what we want.

How do you feel about ODU not being able to compete for a CAA Tournament championship?

Horrible. It's not our fault. We didn't choose to switch conferences. It hurts because they punish the athletes for it. Our school has big plans and is doing big things changing conferences, but we're in the crossfire, which stinks, but there's nothing we can do about it.

Tell us outside of basketball what is important to you.

I have a strong support system with my family. My brother, Connor, plays football at Michigan State. My parents go back and forth. (He's a redshirt freshman QB.) I have a big old English mastiff named Duke. He's our good luck charm for the team. He's 6, so I got him when I was a freshman in high school. My parents dress him up in ODU stuff and put shirts on him and send me pictures all the time. I just put one on Twitter.

Why the name Duke?

He actually was named for Duke, the school. When I was a (high school) freshman, I loved Duke. My brother came up with the name, actually.

What other hobbies do you have?

I love working out. I'm big into CrossFit. If I had the opportunity, I would do CrossFit all year round. I love the kettle bell. I love fashion.

Who do you enjoy watching play the game?

I enjoy watching NBA, but there's not one specific person I love. I used to love LeBron. He's a phenomenal player, but there's bad blood there. (Hint: Her hometown is a half hour away from Cleveland.)

What do you see in your future?

I would love to play overseas. I'd love to be able to see the world through basketball. I was always interested in sports broadcasting, but I've recently become interested in being an NFL sideline reporter.

Talk about this year's Lady Monarch team.

We're a lot closer. Trust has developed. Last year it was all  new people. We didn't really have chemistry and know each other. When you don't know someone, you can't trust them. Coach is a ball of energy and she's always positive. That's what she preaches with us like a sandwich: Give a positive, negative, positive.

Your secret indulgence?

I love coffee. Starbucks. I get a vanilla latte, but I've recently switched to the pumpkin spice latte.

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