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Despite a lack of sleep, Gearlds still impressed the WNBA coaches and scouts at Pre-Draft Camp.
Q. Pretty much everyone has seen you play at this point, but how would
you describe your game?
Gearlds: "I'm a shooter first and foremost. I have good size at 6-1. Pretty smart and intelligent on the court, a nice basketball savvy and I'd like to think my game is pretty smooth."
Q. And not afraid to mix it up, I see (referring to a black eye)?
Gearlds: "That's actually from a teammate in practice."
Q. What skills do you feel you still need to improve or work on at the
Gearlds: "I have tons to learn. From getting quicker, learning things defensively and trying to pick up everything I can. Obviously I think I have so much I can learn and I'm ready to get started."
Q. What do you expect to be some of the biggest challenges/adjustments
at the next level?
Gearlds: "This biggest thing will be going against grown women every day who are stronger, faster and quicker in every facet. I will be trying to adjust to that level, the demand of the not having the college life anymore and adjusting to the real world."
Q. Where are you from originally?
Gearlds: "Beech Grove, Indiana. South side."
Q. So were you a big Fever fan?
Gearlds: "The Fever is right there, obviously, so I've been to a few games. Especially when Stephanie (Ready) played there because she went to Purdue. I also love the way Tamika (Catchings) plays."
Q. Are there any specific teams you would like to play for? Would you
want to stay close to home?
Gearlds: "Whoever wants to take a chance, we'll do everything I can to fit wherever I end up. Being close to home would be nice, but it definitely has its disadvantages in not getting to experience a new area of the country. I've been in Indiana for my entire life so I have to think about it from a marketing perspective now to get some exposure. I am very close to family, though."
Q. Is there a current WNBA player you model your game after?
Gearlds: "Everyone says Katie Douglas. I don't think it's something I have tried to model my game after. But our build and the way we play is similar. I personally love Reggie Miller, a shooter coming off screens. I grew up watching the Pacers play."
Q. Who player are you most looking forward to playing against or meeting
at the next level?
Gearlds: "I love playing with Noelle Quinn whenever I can. She is like Magic Johnson, just so smooth. She is so smart and fun to be around."
Q. What will you remember most about your college experience at Purdue?
Gearlds: "Definitely just the people I've met. The memories we made, the good times and the bad times. Just hanging with college teammates every day. We had a great season this past year so it will be the one that sticks with me the most. Even the three years with Coach (Kristy) Curry and her kids were great and I loved that relationship. I was fortunate and blessed to wear Purdue across my chest."
Q. Have you had time to think about your past few weeks?
Gearlds: "The past week has just been overwhelming. We lost in the Elite 8, got in at 5 a.m. the next day, had a 10 a.m., pick up to go to Atlanta for the men's Final Four events. Had about 20 minutes of sleep then flew to Pre-Draft Camp and slept another two hours. But I'm obviously excited to start a new opportunity and chapter in my life."
Q. Has there been a special coach or member of your family who has inspired
you to get to this point in your career?
Gearlds: "I can't say just one person. I have been blessed that there are so many people who have had an impact."
Q. And what do you do away from the game?
Gearlds: "I'm a golfer."
Q. Wow, what's your handicap? A future in LPGA, possible?
Gearlds: "I couldn't tell you. If I had more time and more money I'd be better. But I love to watch and play golf. Other than that, just watch movies. I could do that all day. I like Denzel Washington and Julia Roberts. Oh, my favorite movie is obviously Hoosiers."