Q&A With Comets Center Michelle Snow

The WNBA's Most Improved Player in 2003, Houston's Michelle Snow started every game in 2007 and posted career highs in both points (13.0) and rebounds (7.9) a game.
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Michelle Snow is the biggest player on the WNBA's most storied team. Standing 6-5, this former Tennessee Lady Vol casts an imposing shadow on the court for the Comets despite the presence of legends Sheryl Swoopes and Tina Thompson. Though Snow joined the team after the Comets' four straight titles from 1997-2000, the championship mentality still exists in Houston.

But with both a new coach and owner, change is in the air this summer in Houston. How will things be different? WNBA.com spoke with Snow while she was training and playing with the U.S. National Team in Italy.

Q. For the first time in your WNBA career, you won't have Van Chancellor on the sidelines with the Comets. How will that be different?
"There will be a lot less use of the word 'paraphernalia,' which is one of his favorite words (laughs)."

Q. Of course… Anything else?
"Without Coach Chancellor, we lose a lot of the great tradition of this game. With four championships, expectations were always high for our team. Now people are waiting to see how we respond to a coaching change and to a transition. I think it will be an easy transition for us. Karleen Thompson has been our assistant for two years, so the players know what she expects, we know she is disciplined, we know she likes to run and is defensive-minded. We know that she is also a player's coach. If you work hard as a player, she is going to do what she can to help you get better. She will do whatever she can to help this team get better."

Q. And you still have two of the best players in the world in Sheryl Swoopes and Tina Thompson there to keep thing moving.
"Yeah, and it has really been a privilege to grow under them. Sheryl Swoopes is one of the best perimeter players and Tina Thompson is one of the best post players in the world, and I know they are doing what they can to help me grow and learn. Being their teammate has allowed me to grow at my own speed."

Q. How old were you when you first learned to play basketball?
"Ever since I was little, basketball was a family tradition. On Sundays, we'd eat dinner and go out to the park and play. Usually the women are cheering and the men are playing. But I'm a daddy's girl, so I got out there with my dad and uncles, and you know they roughed me up when they taught me to be aggressive."

Q. What age was that?
"Probably age 3 or 4… since I could walk."

Q. Could you ever imagine you'd be where you are right now?
"Honestly, when I was young, I always told my mom I wanted to play professionally overseas. There was no WNBA or opportunity to stay in the States. I wanted to go to college, earn a degree and then go overseas."

“I went overseas to work on being more aggressive," says Snow of how she's hoping to improve her game in 2007.
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Q. Ever think about where would you be without basketball?
"If not in this sport, I would be in medicine. It's something I've always been interested in… medicine and the business world. I always wanted to be a brain surgeon, but I'm not going to school that long. So maybe psychology."

Q. How much do you love this game?
"Basketball has always been my saving grace. No matter what was going on, I could always go to a gym to get away from everything. I could do whatever I wanted to do and there were no limits. I never believed there was anything I couldn't do. If the guys got a scholarship, I wanted one. When I saw guys dunking, I didn't know that a woman shouldn't do that. I went out and tried it. So basketball is my way of being in control no matter what else is happening out there in the world. When I leave the court, I feel like there is no better place in the world than where I just was. And being surrounded by players who want to work as hard and love the game as much, it takes things to a whole new level."

Q. What are your goals this season?
"I went overseas to work on being more aggressive. With the players that we have in Houston, I sometimes find myself watching because they are so great. At some point, you have to be more aggressive and find a better place on this team and we will still all work together."

Q. So does being more aggressive mean that you'll be dunking this year?
"I am definitely dunking this year. No reason why not. In the past, I've sat back and watched and it's a matter of taking the opportunities and deciding not to wait on a chance and do it whenever I choose to."

And now, it's time for some "3-point shots" with Michelle... her opportunity to pick her favorite of three options:

Q. Favorite non-WNBA team in Houston: the Rockets, Texans or Astros?
"Definitely the Rockets. I'm a basketball fan. I am a huge fan of Tracy McGrady, Juwon Howard, these guys. I love watching them play."

Q. Which game show would you most like to appear on: Deal or No Deal, Price is Right or Jeopardy?
"Deal or No Deal. Just the fun of it. I would just take my chances on that one."

Q. Favorite big city: New York, Los Angeles or Chicago?
"What, no Miami? My favorite city is Miami -- I love the water, I'm from Florida and I'm waiting on another WNBA team in Miami."