Q & A with Gonzaga's Courtney Vandersloot
|Courtney Vandersloot became the first player in Division I history to amass 2,000 points and 1,000 assists|
Photo courtesy of Gonzaga University
Gonzaga point guard Courtney Vandersloot has been compared to NBA legend John Stockton, the NHL's Wayne Gretzky and the Seattle Storm's Sue Bird. Given her ability to become the first player in Division I history to amass 2,000 career points and 1,000 career assists, there's a good chance she will one day be the one players are compared to for years to come.
WNBA.com: To finish college with over 2,000 points and over 1,000 assists, whatís it like to leave your mark on not just womenís college basketball but the sport of college basketball as a whole?
Courtney Vandersloot: I think it says a lot about our program and what the program I played in and system I played in. I had teammates. I was in the rare position where I was asked to score and create for others, and thatís just the system I was in and I had teammates behind me who could step up and make the baskets. So it means a lot. Itís been so hectic since the end of the season that with the upcoming Draft itís been hard to sit and think about it, but I think it will be something that I look back to and think that it was pretty cool.
WNBA.com: An NBA legend like John Stockton has had nothing but great things to say about you. Do you know each other well or talk regularly?
CV: Always [laughs]. Heís around once in a while and every time you have someone like that in your presence you always want to make it a point to at least say hi and heís one of the most down-to-earth people Iíve ever met. He wants to talk to everybody. Itís not just me, itís the team. Itís everybody. I think it says a lot about who he is. He has such a mark on the NBA and heís still from small-town Spokane and wants to talk to everyone.
WNBA.com: Would you say heís developed into a role model for you?
CV: Absolutely. Just the way he handles himself and his style and how he plays and everything heís done. He was a little bit before my time but obviously Iíve had the chance to look back and see what heís done.
WNBA.com: Heís come out and drawn comparisons to you and hockey legend Wayne Gretzky. Whatís the correlation there?
CV: Well I donít know much about hockey (laughs). I donít know, but if John Stockton says it, I believe it.
WNBA.com: Having played at Gonzaga in the upper Northwest, in terms of point guards you were playing in Sue Birdís territory. Many have drawn comparisons to your game and hers. Whatís your take on that?
WNBA.com: A lot of players have said that they donít like to think about it, but have you given any thoughts to where you might go in the Draft?
CV: I think about it just to prepare, but anything can happen so you donít want focus and get focused on just one or settle with one option when anything can happen. Thatís the best part of the Draft, when you really donít know. Thatís the exciting part of it.
WNBA.com: Any dream teammates awaiting you in the WNBA?
CV: There are so many great players. The great thing about being a point guard is that almost every team has a great point guard. And itís something that wherever I go someone is going to have a point guard that I can learn from and just adapt my game to fit their system and thatís the most exciting part for me. I get to be in a learning experience again and get to expand my game even more.
WNBA.com: Letís say youíre running the point. Who are two potential targets you would love to have working the ball down low?
CV: I would love to pass the ball to Lauren Jackson. That just comes right off the mind because of Seattle and Iíve watched a lot of their games. Candace Parker would be awesome to be able to see her in the lane. Thatís hard to just name two, but if I have to I guess that would be it.
WNBA.com: The speed of the game transitions greatly from college to the WNBA, but youíve always played a very high-octane offense. Would you say that this has prepared you for the road ahead?
CV: For me I think one of the biggest adjustment would be the physicality of the game. We played at such a fast pace, and I know that everybody is going to be faster and quicker and definitely strong, but I think that every player is going to have to adjust in basically every part of their game. Thatís what going into the next level is all about.
WNBA.com: If you embrace the challenge of taking on another teamís defender, who do you most want to go up against?
CV: The marquee matchup would be against Sue Bird. Itís kind of like how since so many people compare us together, it would be quite the challenge to say the least.