In just her first season with the Sacramento Monarchs and in the WNBA, guard Scholanda Dorrell has been thrown right into the thick of things. She began the season as a starter, filling in for ailing teammate Kara Lawson, and has settled into her role as defensive sparkplug off the bench. She is mature and grounded and has the love of her family to keep her passionate and strong off the field, allowing her to focus on the one thing she wants most right now, a WNBA championhip.

Q. What is your motivation when don't feel like working out, running that extra mile, or waking up early?
"My daughter, my three-year old daughter. She is my life. "

Scholanda Dorrell, Sacramento Monarchs
Juan Ocampo/NBAE/Getty Images
Q. How and when did you first start playing basketball?
"I think seventh grade."

Q. Who have been some of the major basketball and non-basketball influences in your life?
"I'd have to say my middle school coach. He was my track coach and convinced me to go out and try basketball to keep me in shape for track. I ended up loving it a lot and he's always done a good job of letting me know that basketball and sports period are not what was the most important thing. He was always on me about academics and made sure I stayed on top of that and was always focused on that first. I'd also have to say that along with him it'd have to be my mother. My mother supported me and stayed behind me but she could care less about sports. Any C I got, that was it, no more basketball. She didn't want me to go to the high school that I went to because it wasn't known to be an academic school, so she was really against me going. But since I loved basketball so much, she encouraged me to follow my dream, but any C's she would have pulled me right out."

Q. How often do you work out?
"Well, I haven't had an offseason yet to really workout, but since I'm not a fan of running, I think I might try to do some classes such as dance or step aerobics. Just some type of fun cardio dance class, something fun, not just running on a treadmill looking at a wall."

Q. What else drives you?
"I just want to be successful and reach the highest point that I can reach in my life. Being fit is my biggest thing and being comfortable. I want to be at a place where I'm comfortable to take trips if I want to, put my daughter to whatever schools she wants, and be able to provide my daughter anything she wants to do."