Monday, October 21, 2013

VCU freshman Burgess lovin' life as a Ram

We told you in August about 5-11 guard Brittani Burgess (St. Mary's Ryken High, Leonardtown, Md.), once Delaware bound, landed at Virginia Commonwealth -- part of a highly touted recruiting class that Blue Star ranks 38th in the nation and tops in the Atlantic 10.

Burgess, one of seven freshmen, took time to chat with LadySwish. We asked her about ...

Life at VCU: I love it here, honestly. I love the team, the campus; I love everything here.

Feeling at home as a Ram: It feels like I've known these girls for the longest time. Right when I got here, we connected. It's not like a lot of teams. We're all together. They're goofy. I love them all, actually.

Off-the-court fun: We had a talent show.

And.... It was Robyn and Zakia Williams who won. They did a skit about how you should never give up and always follow your dreams. It was funny.

Your talent? I didn't have a talent! I tried to make balloon animals, but I couldn't do it, so I just drew animals on the balloons.

On once being headed to Delaware:  I got a call. It was actually my birthday. I got a call that I wasn't admitted to the University of Delaware. It had nothing to do with basketball. It was academics. It changes you, honestly. Those quick words changed me. You don't know what you're going to do when you had a D-I scholarship that just got taken away.

Coach Tina (Martin) was very supportive. She told me she still loved me, and she was sorry it happened. The very next day I got a call from coach Nik (Nikita Lowry Dawkins) at VCU. She had seen me play, but I had committed to Delaware. Coach Tina had contacted VCU and said I was free.

On considering VCU before that: About two years ago, going into my junior year, I visited with the different coaching staff and different players. I didn't get the vibe I have now.

On living in the city: I didn't think I would like it, but I love the diversity. I like the people here. It's all good since I've been here.

On all that conditioning: I wasn't here for all that conditioning over the summer, but they told me how it was, and it was no joke. Once I got here, I saw how hard it was. You have to make certain times, and the weight room ... we're getting it done.

On your role as a Ram freshman: Coach reminds us every day that you have to compete for your spot. It doesn't matter if you're an upperclassman or lowerclassman. That helps all of us understand if you want to play, you have to work hard. She's looking for effort every single time

On playing other sports in high school: I high jumped and took second in the conference (5-4, in case you're wondering).

On her favorite shot: Mid-range. The elbow shot.

On her favorite players: I watch all the time. I like Seimone Augustus and Diana Taurasi. For the men, my favorite player is John Wall. I've been watching John since he was in high school.

On her major: I'm undeclared, but I plan on going into business. I want to open up my own rec center.

Road trip she can't wait for: I'm ready for that Ohio State game (Nov. 14). All the games we want to win, but that should be good.

Simple reflection: You don't get a lot of second chances. It will change a person. I've been on top of my grades since I've been here. The coaching staff, the academics, the teachers, they support you a lot.

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