Getting to Know Khadijah Whittington

Sure, Khadijah Whittington didn't play in the SEC, so she didn't have to match up regularly against Candace Parker or Sylvia Fowles. But balling at N.C. State still allowed her to play against the high level of competition that comes with the ACC, namely Crystal Langhorne, Laura Harper, LaToya Pringle and Erlana Larkins -- four players who were taken in the first round of the 2008 WNBA Draft. And Whittington also was fortunate enough to learn from one of the best and most inspirational coaches in Kay Yow.

As a result, Whittington finds herself well prepared to take on the new set of challenges ahead of her as she begins the next chapter of her basketball career. The Fever, who selected Whittington with their only pick in April's draft, figure to be the top candidate to dethrone the Shock in the East, so what Whittington contributes may go a long way in determining if they reach their 2008 goals.

Whittington shared her thoughts about adjusting to the WNBA, playing for Coach Yow and more when she recently talked with What memories do you have about your college hoops experience? What will you remember most?

Whittington: “Oh, man. I have so many memories from N.C. State. Just Coach Yow in general. Just being able to play under her has been a blessing. I’ve learned so many life experiences from her. Since my freshman year, I picked up a lot.” What strengths, qualities or skills will you bring or add to the Fever?

Whittington: “Hopefully I can bring my rebounding skills and just my way to hustle and play with my heart. That’s what I do.” What skills do you feel you need to improve or work on at the next level?

Whittington: “Shooting. Jump shots.” What do you expect to be some of the biggest challenges/adjustments at the next level?

Whittington: “Being able to adjust to whatever position they want me to play.” Did you have a favorite team growing up?

Whittington: “I used to like Connecticut, and i liked Houston because of Cynthia Cooper.” Is there a current WNBA player you model your game after, or that you look up to?

Whittington: “I really like the way that Tamika Catchings plays. She hustles and that’s the kind of player I am. I like the way she hustles and never gives up. I would really like to model myself after her.” What WNBA players are you most looking forward to playing against or meeting?

Whittington: “I really can’t say. I would love to play against my best friend Tiffany Stansbury. That’s somebody I really would love to play with. I’m just excited about this whole experience, though.” Who are some of your all-time dream teammates that you’d want to play with?

Whittington: “Cynthia Cooper most definitely. Then I would love to play with Lisa Leslie, Tiffany Stansbury, Tamika Catchings… I like the way Yolanda Griffith plays.” What is your favorite book?

Whittington: “Maya Angelou’s book of poems.” What is your favorite movie?

Whittington:Forrest Gump.” What is your favorite album or music artist?

Whittington: “I love Usher Raymond, and I would have to say his Confessions CD.” What is your favorite TV show?

Whittington: “I don’t have a favorite TV show, but I have a favorite station and it’s LMN, Lifetime Movie Network, woo!” What luxury item can you not live without?

Whittington: “Eyeliner.” Where are you from? Tell us about your hometown.

Whittington: “I’m from Virginia. I’m from the country (laughs). I really didn’t get out a lot. I’ve traveled a lot; I played on AAU teams and different high school teams.” Do you have any pregame rituals?

Whittington: “I like to take a shower and listen to gospel music before the games.” Do you have a source of inspiration?

Whittington: “Coach Yow and my father.” What is your favorite way to relax off the court?

Whittington: “I like to sing, but people might say I can’t sing. I like R&B and gospel.” Do you have a career path that you want to follow after basketball?

Whittington: “I would love to coach. Definitely college level.” What is the best piece of advice you ever received?

Whittington: “From Coach Yow, never give up. If life kicks you, let it kick you forward. That’s her main quote and I really like that quote. I write it on my shoe.”

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