Michele Answers Your Questions

Lynx center Michele Van Gorp took time during the team's road trip to answer questions submitted by fans. Here's what she had to say.

June 13, 2003

I just wanted to say that I admire how well you ladies are doing this year! How do you like Suzie as your new coach and Teresa as your new teammate?
Cara (Fairfax)

I like Suzie as a coach very much, along with Nancy and C.J. as well. They taken a very team-like approach to coaching, but each one brings and draws from their own basket of knowledge. I feel like I can go to any of them with a question and get an answer to it.

Playing with Teresa is like the fulfillment of a childhood dream to me. I am rarely star-struck by anyone, but she has that effect on me. She found it rather amusing when I told her that. She has amazing vision on the floor and sees the possibilities developing before any of the rest of us do. She thinks "outside the box," which is something some of the rest of us are not used to. Once all of us get better at reading each other on the floor, I think the "Edwards Effect" will be even more profound.

I am a fan from your Duke days. Looks like you have gained a lot of muscle since then. How much is that helping your game this year? You are making the Duke fans very proud!
Carole Ross (Durham, NC)

I think that having more strength has been the single most important factor in how I feel on the floor this year. I don't feel pushed around by anyone this season. I have always felt stuck in the middle as a post; I was bigger than some people physically, but a lot slower, and those that I was quicker than just pushed me around. I finally feel like I have moved a little more to the stronger side of the scale, although I still feel like I have a ways to go. Go Blue Devils!

What's it like to play with Georgia Schweitzer now, compared to when you two played together at Duke? Good luck on the season!
Marianne (Emory, VA)

The difference between playing with Georgia now and playing with her then I think is just a matter of age. Georgia has always been a great athlete and teammate. She has matured as both a player and a person (as have I, I hope!). I do find that she is quicker to take a verbal shot at me or pick on my various quirks now than when she was a wee teenager. I am very happy to have her as a teammate and friend.

You seem to be playing with a lot more intensity this year. It's great to see. To what do you attribute the change?
Cheryel (Brooklyn Park)

I just feel better on the floor this year. I feel stronger and more capable. Most of the game for me is about confidence. The more confident I am, the better I play.

Hey Michele, which teammates do you hang out with the most?
Alyssa (Chino, California)

This year it seems that I don't hang out with one particular person more than another. I enjoy spending time with each of my teammates. Usually people will just speak up if they are planning on going somewhere and others are free to join with them if they want or not if they don't feel like it. But we don't spend all of our time together; I am sure we would begin to get on each other's nerves if we never had a break from each other. I have friends in Minneapolis outside of the basketball arena that I love to hang out with.

When growing up, were you embarrassed by your height? You are so effective defending under the net. Continued success.
Judy (Bloomington)

I was not embarassed by my height, but the way some people treated me because I was tall was extremely hurtful. They were the ones bothered by my height, not me. My height made a lot of things difficult, but not embarassing. I was called names, had a hard time finding clothes and shoes and had a very difficult time making friends. But that is adolescence for everyone I suppose.

Is everyone in your family above average height?
Iggy (Eden Prairie)

No, not everybody. One of my two sisters is 5'6". Everyone else is pretty tall.

Could you dunk, if you tried, cause I would really love to see it?
Olivia (Minneapolis)

Yes, I can dunk. Sometimes I do it in warm-ups, but it really depends on how my body feels. If my body is hurting, I really don't feel like jumping that high when I don't have to. Sort of like if your head hurt, would you go bang it on the wall???? :)

who is your favorite WNBA mascot?
Samantha (Roseville)

It was Spot the Dog from the Fire, but he isn't around anymore. I guess this year will be an open tryout for my new favorite.

Hey Michele!! You are an awesome basketball player. Did you play any other sports in high school?
Jen (St. Cloud)

Yes, I did. I also played volleyball, softball and threw shot put and discus in addition to playing basketball. I have never enjoyed being idle, and playing sports year-round kept me busy. I miss being able to play those other sports, as nowadays I play basketball pretty much year-round. Someday, when it is not how I make my living, I will get back to those other sports I love.

Find more Lynx mailbox responses in the Features Archive. And remember to check lynxbasketball.com next week for a new Lynx player mailbox!