Notre Dame G Charel Allen.
Matt Cashore/US Presswire
Notre Dame guard Charel Allen warned us here at WNBA.com that she wasn't a great interview because she's soft-spoken and low-key. But Allen wasn't in Tampa to provide us with some great quotes; she was there to let her game do the talking in hopes of impressing WNBA teams at the Pre-Draft Camp.
And that's the approach Allen took throughout her college career at Notre Dame, which she led to its first Sweet 16 since 2004. Allen talked to WNBA.com about the Irish's 2008 run, which player she admired growing up and the motto which she plays by.
WNBA.com: What have you been doing and working on since the end of your team’s season?
Allen: “Well, we ended Sunday, so it was just recently, but I’ve been working on my shot and just trying to get better.”
WNBA.com: What memories do you have about your college hoops experience? What will you remember most?
Allen: “I will remember this season and how we went to the Sweet 16 because I had never been to the Sweet 16 since I’d been at Notre Dame.”
WNBA.com: What strengths, qualities or skills will you bring or add to a WNBA team?
Allen: “My shooting ability. And I feel like my first step is quicker than most.”
WNBA.com: What skills do you feel you need to improve or work on at the next level?
Allen: “I need to work on my defense.”
WNBA.com: What do you expect to be some of the biggest challenges/adjustments at the next level?
Allen: “When I was coming into college, I would say the strength because I’m small. I have a small frame, so that will probably be the biggest difference once again.”
WNBA.com: Did you have a favorite team growing up?
Allen: “Not really. Swin Cash is from the Pittsburgh area, so I followed her when she played for the Shock.”
WNBA.com: Where are you from? Tell us about your hometown.
Allen: “I’m from Monessen, Pennsylvania, which is 40 minutes south of Pittsburgh. It’s a small town. My graduating class was like 64. Everyone in the town knows each other.”
WNBA.com: Are there any specific teams you would like to play for?
Allen: “Any team. I will play for any team (laughs).”
WNBA.com: Is there a current WNBA player you model your game after, or that you look up to?
Allen: “Like I said, Swin Cash is from my area and I look up to her a lot. She also has a small frame, although I’m more of a guard and she’s more of a post, so it’s kind of different.”
WNBA.com: What WNBA players are you most looking forward to playing against or meeting?
Allen: “I would love to meet Diana Taurasi. She’s a great player, along with Lisa Leslie. But I really wouldn’t mind playing against any of them.”
WNBA.com: Who are some of your all-time dream teammates that you’d want to play with?
Allen: “Sheryl Swoopes, Lisa Leslie, Diana Taurasi, Cappie Pondexter and myself I guess.
WNBA.com: There you go. That’s a starting five.
Allen: “Yeah (laughs).”
WNBA.com: Out of all the prospects for this draft, who’s the best player you played against?
Allen: “Candace Parker. We just lost (to Tennessee) and she’s a great player. I could say I played against Essence Carson (of Rutgers) because she guarded me. She’s a great player, along with Matee (Ajavon). We play in the Big East so we play against some really good competition.”
WNBA.com: How about the best players that you’ve just seen and not played against?
Allen: “We’ve played against a lot of the good teams so… (laughs).”
WNBA.com: What are your plans for draft day?
Allen: “I’m probably going to watch in my room from school, because I still have class (laughs).”
WNBA.com: Do you have a career path that you’d like to follow after basketball?
Allen: “If I could make it in the league and play overseas, I would love to coach afterwards. I love the game so much that I feel like I would make a great coach.
“I would love to coach at any level. I’m not being picky. Any level. I would love to coach college level. I was talking to my coach and I would tell her I don’t know how she does it. But I look up to her. I feel that she’s been a great coach.”
WNBA.com: What is the best piece of advice you ever received?
Allen: “Well I’m a shooter so my one friend told me you shoot to get hot and you shoot to stay hot. I like that motto (laughs).”
WNBA.com: What’s your favorite way to relax off the court?
Allen: “Listen to music. I like to listen to music a lot. I usually just hang around with my friends because I’m really low-key and my friends are a lot like me.”
WNBA.com: Since the WNBA is in its 12th season, do you remember what life was like for you at age 12?
Allen: “What grade is that (laughs)?”
WNBA.com: Sixth or seventh.
Allen: “I was playing basketball, but I was probably a manager for the middle school team.”
WNBA.com: What is your favorite book?
Allen: “That’s tough. I like The Coldest Winter Ever.”
WNBA.com: What is your favorite movie?
Allen: “The Nutty Professor and White Chicks.”
WNBA.com: What is your favorite album?
Allen: “That’s tough also because I love music. I can’t pick a favorite album. I like Keyshia Cole and Monica.”
WNBA.com: What is your favorite TV show?
Allen: “Any reality TV show.”
WNBA.com: What luxury item can you not live without?
Allen: “My cell phone (laughs). That was easy.”
WNBA.com: What’s you best on-court moment?
Allen: “I would just say making it the Sweet 16 again. We beat Oklahoma, the fifth seed, and we were the fourth seed. We beat them and they were playing in Oklahoma.
WNBA.com: Do you have any pre-game rituals?
Allen: “Not really. I do the same thing, but I don’t even really notice it. It’s not like I’m tying my right shoe first then… no, I just listen to music and relax.”
WNBA.com: Do you have a source of inspiration?
Allen: “No (laughs). I just go out there and have fun.”