Kristen Mann Q&A
The 24-year-old was born in Lakewood, California and graduated from Foothill High School as a Nike All-American and 2001 Orange County Athlete of the Year. Sticking to her SoCal roots, she played at the University of California, Santa Barbara and averaged 19.5 points, 9.4 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game her senior year.
Soon after college, the Minnesota Lynx acquired Mann in the first round (11th overall) of the 2005 WNBA Draft. Last season, she started in 17 games for the Lynx, averaging 7.6 points and 3.6 rebounds per game. The 2008 expansion draft sent Mann to Atlanta, and on July 4, 2008, the Indiana Fever acquired her rights in exchange for Alison Bales.
Newcomer Kristen Mann talks with FeverBasketball.com's Lesley George about her unexpected arrival in Indiana.
FeverBasketball.com: In your second full practice with the Fever, what was it like playing outside Conseco Fieldhouse on Thursday?
Kristen Mann: “The outdoor experience was very different. To be honest, I felt like I was completely out of shape. I felt like I was running in slow motion. But once we got in the swing of things we kind of tuned out everything else and focused on what needed to be done. I think the setting will be different in New York because we’ll have the stadium, and the sun won’t be as much of a factor, hopefully.”
FB: On Wednesday you traveled to Minnesota to see Atlanta take on the Lynx. Talk about how it felt seeing two of your former teams playing each other.
KM: “I was trying really hard not to cheer for anyone, but obviously I was rooting more for Atlanta because they were the underdogs and I really wanted them to get the win. I needed to say goodbye to my teammates, so it was nice to see both teams play and see some fans in Minnesota that I haven’t seen since last season as well. It was kind of odd being there and not playing, but it was cool being a part of that."
FB: What are your impressions of the Indiana Fever so far?
KM: “Very professional. Everybody has been extremely nice, reaching out to me if I need anything. This place is unreal, a really nice facility. ”
FB: What are your strengths and what can you bring to the Fever?
KM: “Hopefully a lot of energy. I’m versatile. I’m very offensive minded, and not just with scoring; I like to get people the ball. I’m a very intelligent basketball player, and that’s always been a strength of mine. I’m probably not the quickest player in the world, but I find a way to get it done. I focus on the little things and what I can control.”
FB: What is your personality on the court?
KM: “There were some fans in Atlanta who called me “the General”, and I thought that was pretty interesting (laughing). It was obviously different playing there, we were a really young team. Right now with the Fever I’m a little passive, trying to figure out where I fit in, learning all the plays and getting to know everybody on and off the court.”
FB: You grew up in Southern California. Who were your role models?
KM: "I’ve always looked up to my mom. My mom had me when she was 17 and was a collegiate softball player. She was single parent, so she definitely has overcome a lot of obstacles in her life. Seeing how well she’s raised me and our family is just amazing. She’s my hero. ”
FB: Are there any players or coaches that you admire in basketball?
KM: “I’ve always admired Catch (Catchings) for how hard she works every possession. It’s unbelievable what she’s capable of, and she continues to get better every year. It’s relieving to me that she’ll be a teammate and I won’t have to guard her in games, but I will probably have to guard her every day in practice (laughing). She’s going to make me better, and hopefully I can make her better as well.”
FB: You’ve played internationally in Spain and France. Do you plan on being overseas this winter?
KM: I do. I don’t really have plans yet, but I’d like to go back to Turkey where I've played, as well.
FB: What are your favorite activities off the court? We understand that you’re fan of the Dave Matthews Band.
KM: “I love Dave! I bought tickets for his Atlanta show months ago, but it was on Monday so I missed it. I try to go to as many shows as possible and have been to about 20. He’s definitely my favorite, but I just love music in general. I play acoustic guitar and love live music. I’m definitely a free spirit, very artsy. I just like to chill, relax and spend as much time as possible with my close friends."