Q&A with Jeanette Pohlen

June 18, 2011

After playing four games in the WNBA, Fever rookie Jeanette Pohlen took time after a practice last week to discuss her transition from college basketball in California to professional basketball in Indianapolis, and the role she plays for the Fever.

FeverBasketball.com: You recently moved from California. How do you like the city of Indianapolis?

Jeanette Pohlen: “Everyone has been really welcoming, including my teammates, which is very comforting because those are the people that you see every day. They have really helped make the adjustment and transition from California to here.”

FB: Have you been homesick at all?

JP: “I do miss California, but Indianapolis is a great city. My parents have already been out here and I know my friends will visit as well so I haven’t really been homesick yet. The atmosphere of the city of Indy seems very family-oriented and makes me feel right at home.”

FB: As a player, you are well-respected for your ability to shoot the basketball. Who taught you your jump shot?

JP: “It was a combination of a lot of people. In high school, I really wasn’t much of a shooter. I was known more of a slasher type, who was very aggressive taking the ball to the basket. Going into college, shooting was one area I really needed to improve upon. My coach told me she needed more shooters on the team. So the summer before my freshman year, I really focused on improving my 3-point shot and it’s something I have continued doing ever since.”

FB: Describe the transition you have made from the college game to the professional game.

JP: “Right off the bat, it’s quicker, a lot more aggressive, and a faster-paced game all around. With the 24-second shot clock, it has to be played faster. The players are much stronger and much more physical. You definitely don’t have as much time to take a shot. If you have an open shot you have to shoot it right away. Otherwise, you might not get another one.”

FB: Over the past three years you were a starter for Stanford, now you have been thrust into more of a reserve role for the Fever. How has this change affected your mentality?

JP: “I have the same mentality as I did my freshman year at Stanford. I want to be able provide a spark off the bench. I want to bring defensive energy and be ready for anything because you never know how the game will play out. Someone may be in foul trouble or get hurt, so you always have to be mentally prepared for your time to play. I stay very optimistic and high-energy on the bench.”

FB: Is it intimidating at all to play with some of the WNBA’s greatest players, such as Tamika Catchings or Katie Douglas?

JP: “At first it was, but I’m getting used to it now. People that you have watched on television growing up, it’s a dream come true. Even some of the players on the other teams, it’s like ‘oh my gosh!’ You kind of have to put it in the back of your mind though and take it to them. It’s just so surreal to be in this situation. There are only so many players in the WNBA and to be one of them is just amazing.

FB: What are some of your personal goals for the season?

JP: “Hopefully, to come off the bench and give the team whatever it may need, whether it is to hit a shot, to make a stop, just anything. I try and hit my shot when I’m open, but I also realize there are other people that need to get the ball as well. Ultimately, my personal goals are geared towards the betterment of the team. I’m all for the team.”

FB: When you are not playing basketball, what do you enjoy doing?

JP: “In California, I really enjoy being outside, hanging out with friends at the beach, and shopping. I’m hoping to find some new hobbies out here, because I’m not a big person on staying inside. I like to be active.”

FB: If you weren’t playing in the WNBA, what profession would you seek?

JP: “I would probably go either one extreme or the other. Since I am a communications major, I would probably try and be in sports marketing or sports media. However, I really like fashion. I love to read fashion magazines and see what people are wearing and just all the different styles that are out there. It’s all really fascinating to me.”

FB: Do you have any superstitions or rituals you must do before a game?

JP: “I’m kind of boring, but I usually do my hair after I get taped. I have to eat something before the game, whether it is some fruit or a granola bar. I just need something to hold me over for the game.”

FB: What object or possession can you absolutely not do without in your life?

JP: “Probably my cell phone. These days, it has everything on it. You don’t even need a computer anymore. It’s just nice to be able to stay connected with people while away from home.”

- Cole McKeel