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Ohio State's Jessica Davenport grew up watching fellow Columbus native Katie Smith.
Q. What do you think you will bring to the WNBA team that selects you?
Davenport: "I'm able to play with anybody. As a post player, I'm able to score inside, pass the ball back out for open shooters, catch and run the floor."
Q. Are there specific skills you feel you still need to work on at the next
Davenport: "Definitely things like my speed and strength. I'm not the most athletic person or the fastest person. I utilize what I can and make the most of it."
Q. What do you expect to be the toughest challenges for you as a WNBA player?
Davenport: "In playing against more experienced players, I'll be going up against players who have been doing this for possible as long as I've been living (laughs). These veterans are the best players in the world, so we all have to adjust to the speed and quickness and the nuances of this game in the WNBA."
Q. Is there a current WNBA player you have looked up to or tried to model
your game after?
Davenport: "Definitely being a post player and a center, I look at Lisa Leslie. She is definitely the best post player in the world, and in watching her play, you can see that's she's not just a back-to-the-basket player. She is able to catch and shoot and guard from different spots. That's definitely a player I look up to."
Q. Where are you from originally?
Davenport: "I'm from Columbus, here in Ohio."
Q. So was Katie Smith your favorite player growing up?
Davenport: "Yes, obviously."
Q. Are there any specific teams you would like to play for?
Davenport: "It doesn't matter. I'm kind of a homebody, so if I go far away from home, that will be different for me. Unfortunately Ohio doesn't have any teams."
Q. As one of the most decorated players in Ohio State history, what will
you remember most about your college experience?
Davenport: "Just being around my teammates. We are a very close-knit team. We have those inside jokes that no one else gets except for the twelve people in that little circle."
Q. What is the secret to getting all those rebounds?
Davenport: "First you have to throw a body on somebody. Then I go up. If I'm on the offensive end of the floor, I keep the ball high and go back up with it."
Q. How do you prepare to defend the talented centers in the WNBA?
Davenport: "I'll just try to take deep a breath, focus and try to stop them. I might try new things to stop them. I have had nights where I've been on and know it can be hard to try and stop me, so knowing that, you just do what you have to do."
Q. What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?
Davenport: "To just enjoy it, to take it all in. I've gotten the chance to travel to a lot of places and meet new people. So just to continue to experience a lot of new things that the regular 21- year old would not get to experience."
Q. Do you have a favorite or most memorable moment on the court?
Davenport: "I would say winning our first Big Ten Championship my sophomore year. It was the first major championship I'd ever won."
Q. Any crazy or weird pre-game rituals?
Davenport: "I'm not superstitious, but I have to do things in order. So I put my left shoe on first. Little things like that, though I wouldn't call that superstitious. I put on my lip gloss before game, then my water after that… just a natural order."
Q. Who has been your greatest inspiration?
Davenport: "Just my parents. They are at every game and you can just see how proud they are of me after the game. But they are also so proud that I am getting a great education at Ohio State. That is first and foremost. Then that I got to compete yet."
Q. How do you relax away from the game?
Davenport: "I like to lay down and watch TV."
Q. What are you favorite shows?
Davenport: "Well that depends on time of day. I do like crime shows and have certain shows I watch. I love CSI, which usually comes on in the afternoon in that block of time before practice. After practice, I'll come home and watch an NBA game. Or any game. Then maybe something interesting on BET, MTV or the reality shows. I've also been watching American Idol this season. So it depends on the time of day."
Q. So what do you want to do after hoops?
Davenport: "I want to get it so that hard-to-find clothing for tall women is available in stores and you don't have to always order them. I want to be able to go to a JC Penney's and find something that fits that is inexpensive. It's been so hard to find clothing."