Time Out With... Stephanie Raymond
She has impressed in coming out of Northern Illinois to become a second-round draft pick, and now Chicago Sky rookie guard Stephanie Raymond is bringing her toughness and tenacity to the WNBA. Get to know her better in the latest edition of "Time Out."
  • Time Out Index
  • Where are you from?
    "Rockford, Illinois."
    When did you become interested in basketball?
    "I started learning basketball skills at the age of 5, but began playing controlled basketball at 9."
    When did you decide you wanted to pursue it professionally?
    "It has always been a childhood dream of mine to one day compete at the highest level and play in the WNBA. After I spent many days improving my skills, I quickly understood that I could compete with the best."
    Do you have a favorite on-court moment?
    "There were two things that happened my senior year at NIU. Throughout my four years there, we never beat a 'major' team. But my senior year, we beat Illinois at home, and I remember our fans really getting into the game and going crazy. The second moment was beating Kent State in the MAC tournament quarterfinal game. I jumped into my coach's arms and shed some tears because it was the furthest this program has gone in the postseason in a while."
    Who has been a role model for you in basketball?
    "My college assistant coach, E.C. Hill. I've looked up to her and her accomplishments ever since she took the coaching job at NIU. There are many qualities of her character that I truly admire and would like to someday possess. She was the first coach I ever had that really cared for what I did off of the court. She was brutally honest and wasn't afraid to say anything to me. She got me in the gym early and kept me late. She worked me harder than anyone because she knew what I was capable of. She showed me how to be leader both on and off the court."
    Who were the major non-basketball influences in your life?
    "My mother. She basically raised five children on her own and made sure we had everything that we needed. She put her life-long dreams on hold to take care of her family. She always wanted to continue playing basketball but couldn't go to college due to pregnancy. She later went to Rockford Community College and got her degree with a 4.0 GPA. I admire all of her determination and hard work that she has put into every day, making sure her family had and still has the best life possible."
    If you could play one-on-one against any other player or athlete, who would it be?
    "I would play one-on-one against Steve Nash because he is a tremendous athlete. I would like to get to know his style of play and learn some of his tendencies. I would like to pick up on other 'go-to' moves that could get me by my defender."
    Do you have any pregame superstitions or rituals?
    "I usually listen to music before and after games. It's usually rap before the game to pump me up and slow music after the game to relax my body."
    Which other sports do you play?
    "I played volleyball and ran track in high school."
    What are your hobbies or interests outside of basketball?
    "I really enjoy going to the movie theatre and seeing the latest flick. I enjoy working my brain and completing Sudoku puzzles. I love reading romance novels!"
    What other talents are you proud of?
    "I think I'm a pretty good cook. I like working with food and enjoying the outcome. My favorite dish is Italian chicken, cheesy potatoes and any vegetable."
    Have you held any jobs outside of basketball?
    "My very first job was working as a cashier at Target. I was just looking for a place where I could enjoy myself and make some money, and Target was the first place I went."
    How would others describe you?
    "Sometimes I think they would describe me as shy and other times as very outgoing and crazy. I always care for other people and can talk to anyone."
    How would you describe yourself?
    "I like to sit back and observe my surroundings and wait for the right moment to talk. I am very loving and generous. I can make anything out of a bad situation."
    What is one surprising fact about you that not many people know?
    "I have four tattoos!"
    Do you have any pets?
    "I have two dogs: Jordan, a German shepherd-Husky mix, and Buster, a shepherd-collie mix. I also have two cats: Kitty, a long-hair domestic, and Aly, a short-hair domestic."
    If you were not a basketball player, what would you be?
    "I probably wouldn't have gone to college because of financial reasons. To be honest, I don't know where I would be if it weren't for basketball."
    What is your favorite food?
    "I love Alfredo and Italian chicken."
    What is your favorite color?
    What is your favorite book?
    "Any romance novel."
    What is your favorite movie?
    "Love and Basketball, any Disney movie, Man on Fire, Ali, Hitch, Along Came Polly, Inside Man, The Hills Have Eyes, Shooter, Zodiac, and Dirty Dancing."
    What is your favorite television show?
    "I Love Lucy."
    Who is your favorite actress?
    "Jennifer Aniston."
    Who is your favorite actor?
    "Will Smith."
    Who is your favorite musician/artist?
    "R. Kelly."
    When your playing career is over, what might you pursue professionally?
    "Coaching or teaching. Coaching first because I love the game of basketball and would love to help others succeed in the sport. Teaching second because I can help change and shape young lives to live healthier."

    (Photos: NBAE/Getty Images)