Second Team All-American Chrissy Givens is hoping to stretch her success at Middle Tennessee State into success at the WNBA level.
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CLEVELAND, April 3, 2007 — She may not have gone to the "big" Tennessee, but Chrissy Givens has been a big-time player on the college scene. After averaging over 22 points a game as a senior in leading Middle Tennessee State to the second round of the NCAA Tournament, she was named a Second Team AP All-American, the first in school history.
Givens impressed many at the WNBA Pre-Draft Camp and is projected by many to be a first-round pick in Wednesday's draft. She spoke recently with WNBA.com's Adam Hirshfield about her basketball idols and her hopes for a career in the WNBA.
Q. What positive qualities or skills will you bring to a WNBA team?
Givens: "My work ethic. I wouldn't say I'm (only) very talented, but I was also given an athletic body and a heart and a mindset to do it, so sometimes heart outweighs talent. And that's the biggest thing for me. I will fight so hard and do whatever I have to do for a victory."
Q. What skills do you feel you still need to improve or work on at the next
Givens: "This is only the second year I've been shooting 3-pointers, so I have work on getting a quicker release. And I can always work on my ball-handling. You see people doing crossovers and all of that, and I want to be able to do that one day."
Q. Did you have a favorite team growing up? Was there a player you really
liked to watch?
Givens: "Chamique Holdsclaw. I had pictures of her on my walls. I wanted to go to Tennessee. I didn't get to go to the 'big' Tennessee... I went to the little Tennessee."
Q. Is there a specific WNBA team you would like to play for?
Givens: "I wouldn't mind going to Minnesota. We went up there for a tournament, and the area's really nice and when I was watching them play, I felt like I'd really add a lot to the team. They have a lot of energy and they're really up and coming. That's the kind of team I'd like to go to. I don't want to go to a team that's already set. I want to go to a team where I can make an impact."
Q. And it would be kind of fun to play with someone like Seimone Augustus,
Givens: "Yeah, we came from the same state and I never played with her or against her, so it would be kind of neat."
Q. Is there a current WNBA player you model your game after or look up to?
Givens: "I used to always model myself after Sheryl Swoopes. She's the reason I wear No. 22. I just like the way she plays. She hustles, she runs the floor, she's quick. That's part of the reason I like to play the way I play… running, hustling, playing defense."
Q. Who is the most important individual on the court for a team?
Givens: "I would have to say the point guard. To me, the point guard is the coach on the floor. And if she doesn't get the team where it's supposed to be, then things are not going to be right. If she doesn't have a good head on her shoulders, then the team's not going to be right. I think the coach is most important, but the most important on the court is the point guard, because they need to know everybody's position and get everybody where they're supposed to be."
Q. Do you talk trash out on the court?
Givens: "I might do a little 'And one!' every now and then or scream a bit and pump my fist (laughs)… (in a soft, baby-like voice) but I'm nice about it. If it's a good game and the score is within a 10-point margin and you hit an and-one, it's OK to talk a little trash. But if you're up 30 or 40, it's kind of pointless. Same if you're down 30 or 40. Don't talk trash then."
Q. What should a WNBA fan know about you, the person?
Givens: "I'm hard-working, I'm fun, I like to have fun, I like to laugh a lot. I work hard and I like to get stuff done and I like to keep people happy. I do what I have to do."
Q. What do you like to do for fun?
Givens: "Dance, watch movies… I just love to sit back and relax. I like funny stuff, like all of the Madea movies. My favorite movie has to be Shrek, though."
Q. What's the most exciting single on-court moment you've ever had in basketball?
Givens: "My sophomore year, when we were down in N.C. State. There were a couple of seconds left and our senior hit a shot to win the game and it was like… wow, we couldn't believe we had just beaten N.C. State. The way everybody on our bench just jumped up… I mean coaches in suits! Everybody just jumped up. That was my most memorable moment."
Stay tuned to WNBA.com or watch on ESPN2 at 1 p.m. ET on Wednesday to follow Chrissy's next memorable moment at the WNBA Draft in Cleveland.