TAMPA, April 4, 2008 - Should Tamera Young hear her name called during the 2008 WNBA Draft on April 9, she'll break new ground by being the first James Madison player ever selected. But making history is nothing new to Young, who became the all-time leading scorer for both James Madison and the CAA during her senior season.
WNBA.com talked to Young at the pre-draft camp in Tampa, where the 6-2 guard dished on a variety of topics, including why she'd make a good pro, which WNBA star she is most often compared to and her high school's claim to basketball fame.
Q: What have you been doing and working on since the end of your team’s season?
YOUNG: “I’ve been working on moves to the basket, three-pointers, mid-range jump-shots and different moves off the wing and in the paint.”
Q: What memories do you have about your college hoops experience? What will you remember most?
YOUNG: “One memorable moment was when the coach called a timeout when I broke the school scoring record. Another was when we beat Indiana in the NIT at Indiana. It was very exciting because it was a close game, and we beat them in overtime.”
Q: What strengths, qualities or skills will you bring or add to a WNBA team?
YOUNG: “A great rebounder from the guard spot. Just a competitive attitude. I just love the game, so I give it all I have and leave it all on the floor. I work hard.”
Q: What skills do you feel you need to improve or work on at the next level?
YOUNG: “Limiting turnovers from college… knowing exactly the situation to where to get the ball into the post players. But I guess I could improve on any and every aspect.”
Q: What do you expect to be some of the biggest challenges or adjustments at the next level?
YOUNG: “Playing against the veteran players who have been here is always an adjustment when you go up a level. You have to play better against bigger and better people. In college, everyone’s not great, where in the WNBA, everyone is great.”
Q: Did you have a favorite team growing up?
YOUNG: “It used to be the New York Liberty because I have family in New York. My aunt always got us tickets so we would always go watch them play.”
Q: Are there any specific teams you would like to play for?
YOUNG: “Not really. I just want to get my foot in the door anywhere I can. Any team that would take me I’d be happy and satisfied.”
Q: How about the Liberty?
YOUNG: “Yeah, sure. I would like to stay on the East Coast, but everything happens for a reason, so you never know.”
Q: Is there a current WNBA player you model your game after, or that you look up to?
YOUNG: “Not really. When Seimone Augustus was in college I used to watch her a lot and people compare me to her a lot. So I guess I could say her.”
Q: What WNBA players are you most looking forward to playing against or meeting?
YOUNG: “That’s a good one. I like Swin Cash. I wouldn’t mind meeting her. Lisa Leslie too.”
Q: Who are some of your all-time dream teammates that you’d want to play with?
YOUNG: “Cynthia Cooper… I used to love her. Sheryl Swoopes. That’s pretty much it.”
Q: Out of all the prospects for this draft, who’s the best player you played against?
YOUNG: “Marcedes Walker. I played against her twice, last year and this year. I played against Krystal Vaughn in our conference. She’s real good. Kimberly Beck and Sarah-Jo Lawrence of George Washington were also tough. And then there’s Maryland’s Laura Harper and Crystal Langhorne.
“The rest I never played against, but I watched Charel Allen play. She was good when I watched her. Candace Parker, of course.”
Q: What are a few things people need to know about you personally and what you’ll bring to the WNBA?
YOUNG: “I’m a hard worker. And I can be silly. I like to have fun, whether it’s on the court or off the court.”
Q: Do you have any pregame rituals?
YOUNG: “I listen to my iPod always, and I pray before the game.”
Q: What is your favorite book?
YOUNG: “B-More Careful.”
Q: What is your favorite movie?
YOUNG: “Love and Basketball.”
Q: What is your favorite album?
YOUNG: “Mario’s new album that just came out.”
Q: What is your favorite TV show?
YOUNG: “The Parkers.”
Q: What luxury item can you not live without?
YOUNG: “My cell phone.”
Q: Where are you from? Tell us about your hometown.
YOUNG: “I’m from Wilmington, North Carolina, which is called the Port City. I went to Michael Jordan’s high school. It reminds me a bit more of Florida than Harrisonburg.”
Q: Do fashion and style play a big role in your life?
YOUNG: “Yeah, I love shopping. My favorite stores are Gap and Express. I like a lot of designer stuff. I’ve got designer sunglasses and shoes. I’m a shoe fanatic.”
Q: Do you have any favorite designers?
YOUNG: “Gucci. Coach.”
Q: What is the best piece of advice you ever received?
YOUNG: “Leave it all on the floor. Give everything you’ve got while you’re there. You never know who’s watching, so it could be a first impression.”
Q: Since the WNBA is entering it’s 12th season, do you remember what life was like for you at 12?
YOUNG: “I was probably somewhere just playing basketball. When I was younger, there was nothing else; I just wanted to play basketball. When the WNBA started, I was just impressed and excited. It’s been my dream since I was young – I’ve wanted to play in the WNBA.”