Chat Transcript: Stephanie White
Stephanie chatted live with fans on Thursday.|
Synonomous with girl's and women's basketball in the Hoosier Heartland, Stephanie White announced her retirement from the WNBA in April. White concluded five seasons in the WNBA, including four with the Indiana Fever - but her legacy in Indiana was cemented far before playing her first game as a pro. Even before returning to the Fever, she was chosen as one of just two females among the 50 greatest basketball players in Indiana history, as named in the Indianapolis Star prior to the opening of Conseco Fieldhouse in 1999.
A prep star at Seeger High School, White finished her high school career with the state's single-season scoring record and was named Indiana's Miss Basketball in 1995. She stayed in-state to play at Purdue University, and as a senior was named the national college player of the year while leading the Boilermakers to their first NCAA championship.
White played with Charlotte in her first pro season in 1999, and a year later was acquired by the Fever to lead Indiana's inaugural season roster. White retired following the 2004 season after a series of injuries had taken their toll. She finished her pro career ranked among Indiana?s franchise leaders in a myriad of categories including: games played (112, 3rd); minutes played (2166, 3rd); 3-point field goals (92, 3rd); assists (225, 3rd); steals (115, 3rd), points (684, 4th), free throws (182, 4th).
Stephanie stopped by on Thursday for a live chat. See what she had to say about her decision to retire, coaching and much more.
Karl (Indy): When did you come to your decision to retire? And how hard was it to make that decision?
Stephanie White : I think I came to the final decision, probably mid-March and it was extremely hard. I spent the whole offseason having to decide what I wanted to do, and in the end, it was a decision I had to make to commit fully to coaching. It came down to that and I decided it was time to do it.
Stewart -- Alexandria, VA: Stephanie, we miss you in the WNBA. How are you handling the transition between pro player and college assistant?
Stephanie White : I hope fairly well (Laughing). I think being a former player makes me a better coach. I can relate to the players, because I very recently was a player. I think that helps the transition alot. I think it worked both ways too. When I was coaching, it helped me as a player as a player too. But in all, the transition is just going very well.
Austin: So how does it look for Kansas State with its upcoming freshman class?
Stephanie White : I think we have a great future, and a solid foundation. It's hard to replace five graduating seniors, but I am very excited about our future here.
Kevin (Brownsburg): What is your most memorable moment with each of your three Indiana teams (Seeger, Purdue, Fever)?
Stephanie White : I think Seeger. At that time, Indiana was a one-class system and we always went to the Sweet Sixteen and it was very happy. And in Indiana, winning Miss Basketball was a great achievement and I was honored to do that. In Purdue it was winning the national championship. Also one night..against Ohio State, we sold out our arena...that was a very, very memorable experience...an emotional night....to have that many people come to support us and watch that game. And at the pro level, running out on that court for the first time...for the first game of the Fever and represent Indiana once again, is something I will never forget.
Jim (indiana): What was it about Indiana that made you go stay here for college and then end you pro career here?
Stephanie White : I think that with my career it was always about the fans. Going to Purdue, my family and friends and fans got a chance to see me play. And in the WNBA, I had a good chance to go to the Fever when that franchise started. It meant a lot to me to finish up in my home state and continue to be a part of Indiana basketball.
Lo,Lafayette: Hey Steph! First of al congratulations on all you accomplished during your carrer. You were awesome to watch at Purdue and with the Fever. I was just curious as to which is harder for you, coaching or playing? Thanks for your time and GO WILDCATS!
Stephanie White : Thank you. I think that coaching is a litte more difficult. When you're playing, you can control your effort. You are in control when you are playing. Coaching, that's not the case, it's more difficult. You can see a pass someone can make, but you can't make it. That's been a transtition for me, and I'm adjusting to it, and learning to communicate the things I can see to help the players get better.
2nd row: Congrats on making a tough decision to coach. We certainly miss seeing you on the court. Is your aspiration to be a head coach, and does having the summers off from the WNBA help with freeing up time to do some recruiting.
Stephanie White : Yes, I would like to be a head coach some day. July recruiting is key, and it's important for me to get that experience. I need to have the summers off to focus on recruiting and that factored into my decisioni to retire from the WNBA.
Amy (Chicago): Hey Steph, Having gone through injuries during your playing career have Mahoney and/or Wecker sought your advice on dealing with it? If not, what would your advice be?
Stephanie White : I definitely talked to Megan alot and a little bit with Kendra. You need to stay confident and stay positive. It's harder mentally than physically. You need to be patient and work hard and get back to where you are 100-percent.
Pete (Casey): What other things would you like to do besides coaching now that you have retired?
Stephanie White : Oh, Vacation! (Laughing) Coaching is really something I'm enjoying. I never had those lulls in time, when I was coaching and playing, now as a coach I get some lulls where I can relax a bit and get recharged for the next season.
Sandra (Charleston): If you could be the head coach for any team at any level, which team would it be and why?
Stephanie White : Now I'm gonna get fired! (Laughing) I don't know there are lots of places. I'm a big John Wooden fan, I wouldn't mind following in his footsteps and going from Indiana to Purdue and winning championships at UCLA. But those are just thoughts, things you thought about from when your were young. My real goal, my dream is to stay in college basketball, which I love and win championships.
Stephanie White : I'd like to thank everybody for their questions and their support over the years. And all you young girls out there who love basketball, you stick with it, and work hard and do your best. It's up to you, you can do it.