Q & A: Courtney Hurt
COURTNEY HURT: UNDERSIZED REBOUNDER ENTERS A WHOLE NEW WORLD OF BUSINESS
April 24, 2012
Courtney Hurt went to Virginia Commonwealth University to play basketball. She just wanted to play – and play she did, to the tune of double-digit points and rebounds as a junior and senior. A double-double machine at just 6-1, she twice led the country in rebounding. She is an accounting major who has dabbled in the stock market and realizes that the WNBA is a whole new business from the game she played in the Colonial Athletic Association. Prior to making her journey to Indianapolis for Fever training camp, she conducted an interview with FeverBasketball.com’s Ashley Bureau.
FeverBasketball.com: You averaged 22 points and 12 rebounds per game, and you led the country in rebounding two straight years … what were your expectations leading into the WNBA Draft?
Courtney Hurt: “I knew that I was going, but I didn’t know what round it would be in. I’m glad to have gotten drafted. It was definitely a good experience, and I am happy.”
FB: Was there any disappointment that you fell to the third round? Or did you really expect to hear your name called?
CH: “It was a little nerve-wracking, I was sitting there with my coaches and I was just waiting for my name to be called. After going through the first two rounds and not hearing my name it was definitely a little nerve-wracking.”
FB: At what point of your college career did you begin thinking about the WNBA?
CH: “Going into my senior year, all the recognition I was getting and the experience with USA World University Games kind of opened my eyes. It made me think if I could play with the elite players at the college level maybe I can transfer that to the WNBA.”
FB: Talk about being a rebounder and playing the forward position at just 6-1.
CH: “I’ve been undersized since high school, so it is nothing new for me. That is why you always have to develop a jump shot, you know, everyone is going to be taller and sometimes bigger than me. So it’s about recognizing how to score and how to get into the best rebounding position possible.”
FB: Fever GM Kelly Krauskopf called you a “premier rebounder for her size.” What is it that makes you such a great rebounder?
CH: “I just have a knack for going after the ball. If you want to score you have to get a rebound. When I got to college, [VCU coach] Beth Cunningham told me she recruited me because of rebounding -- which I thought was funny because in high school all you hear about are points. But rebounding is what got me playing time as a freshman and it just took off from there.”
FB: Any favorite NBA or WNBA players? Who do you pattern your game after?
CH: “Without a doubt, Candice Dupree. I just love watching her play. She’s so smooth and I want to be that smooth one day. I would say my game is very similar, we can bang down low and we can shoot the jumper. But I would say my game is more like Danielle Adams or Sophia Young.”
FB: What are your expectations for yourself as you head into training camp in the next few weeks?
CH: “I am going in there with nothing to lose, and just going to do what I do best. Focusing on not going outside of my game, rebounding, scoring when I am open and learning how to be more selective in my shots, because I will be surrounded by the best players in the world. So just taking good shots and rebounding the ball, because that’s what they need, so that is what I am going to do.”
FB: What motivates you as a player and in everyday life?
CH: “Basketball is just something I do for fun. I want to win. It’s like a video game, it is fun but you still want to win. So it is just the aspect of winning that motivates me, because it feels good to win. Basketball has always been fun for me. It’s something I love to do.”
FB: Now that basketball is going to become your career, might that change your mindset, or do you think it’ll always just be fun for you?
CH: “I think it’ll be more businesslike. It is going to be more of a business mindset. But if it is not fun I am not going to enjoy doing it quite so much -- so I hope it stays fun. I don’t really know what to expect. I know it’s going to be a lot more serious.”
FB: What do you like to do in your free time outside of basketball?
CH: “I like relaxing and I love watching ESPN or playing video games and of course hanging out with my teammates.”
FB: Have you been to Indiana? What have you heard about it?
CH: “I have not. That’s the funny thing about my draw is that I can’t recall ever being in Indiana, so that’ll be fun. My head coach is from Indiana, so she has said great things about it. I’ve heard a lot of great things so I am excited to go.”
FB: What is something interesting about you that Fever fans would find interesting?
CH: “I am very involved the business world. I love playing in the stock market, I’ve worked with some penny stocks. Being an accounting major I like numbers and money and all that stuff that involves business.”