Sunday, June 19, 2016

Chit chat with JMU star and WNBA rookie Jazmon Gwathmey

We must admit our interest in the WNBA increased significantly when James Madison's Jazmon Gwathmey made the San Antonio Stars roster. The CAA Player of the Year was picked in the second round and is learning her way around pro ball. We caught up with one of our all-time faves for a chat about what life is like as a Star.

Ladyswish: What's playing for San Antonio like?

Jazmon: The practices are definitely different than college. They're very fast paced -- not a lot of teaching; coming out of college you should know your basketball terminology. It's more on the go; see as they do and do it.

They're definitely bigger practices guys to go against than I'm used to.

LadySwish: What's been the hardest part to learn?

Jazmon: Trying to keep up with the pace but not trying to play 100 miles per hour. The pace might be fast up and down-wise, but I've still got to set up my moves.

LadySwish: How would they like to use you?

We like to run in transition, which is something I like to do. Defensively, I use my length guarding guards. My main focus right now is running the floor in transition and defense.

LadySwish: How does it feel not to play so much?

Jazmon: It's not my time. I'm learning getting better each and every day, so when my time does come I'll make the most of it. I've got veterans in front of me who are playing fantastic. I'm learning from them on and off the court. If my name gets called, great. If not, I'm cheering them on for 40 minutes.

LadySwish: Who on your roster have you bonded with?

Jazmon: You've got Monique Currie, she's a vet. Very strong moves and she's a guard. I watch  her and how she gets open. You've got Kayla McBride. She's a fantastic shooter. Watching her when I'm on the bench and how people guard her, she finds different ways of scoring and getting open.

LadySwish: What is the lifestyle like?

Jazmon: I wake up, eat breakfast, drive to practice, get out around 2 o'clock and then I go home and try not to sit on the couch and fall asleep. You have the rest of the day to yourself. We have a pool. You can go shopping. I try to stay productive and not sleep all day. I go walking around; I have my dog, Nyla (Yorkie/chihuahua mix),  here, so we'll go out to parks and stuff. I try not to buy too many shoes.

I like when it's not raining. It's been raining a lot. When the sun is out, it's beautiful. The Riverwalk is nice to go to. It's a beautiful area. The whole state is flat, so you can see miles and miles.

I've been to L.A. I've been to Connecticut. I've been to Dallas. Being a rookie, you don't know that many people. A lot of the veterans, they know people in L.A, so they go out, have dinner and hang out. I'm meeting new people; that's one of the positives about traveling. In college, we were on a set schedule and they wouldn't allow the players to leave the hotel. Now we're grown women so we check in and are responsible for ourselves. I try to stay focused on the road.

L.A. was an experience. I got to go to Hollywood Boulevard and see the stars on the sidewalk, got to see Jimmy Kimmel, is that his name? I got to see the Hollywood sign on the hill.

LadySwish: How did you feel when  you made the roster?

Jazmon: It was a huge relief. I honestly didn't even know until I saw text messages. Throughout the whole camp, in every player's mind is  you don't want to get cut so you're always doing extra, maybe even trying too hard.

LadySwish: Do you talk to Kenny Brooks?

Jazmon: Every day at first. I give him updates and he gives me pointers. I'm weaning off of him and trying to do things on my own.

LadySwish: Are you going to root for Virginia Tech WBB?

Jazmon: I'm rooting for Coach Brooks. I'm still purple and gold.

LadySwish: What do you think JMU WBB will be like under Sean O'Regan?

Jazmon: I think they'll be fine. They'll have a lot of energy, because Coach O has a lot of energy. He doesn't like to take it; he gives it.

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