Morris Hopes to Provide Creativity On and Off the Court
By Emily Diekelmann | April 14, 2010
Making the transition from college athlete to professional isn’t easy.
Just ask Fever first-round pick Jené Morris, who is not only preparing to make that transition on the court, but also finishing her bachelors degree and preparing to move thousands of miles from home.
Although being a pro will be a big change for her, Morris is anxious for the challenge.
“It is going to be pretty difficult,” Morris said. “It is now a job and I am going to be competing everyday for a spot on the team. In college, you are definitely competing but it’s not at the same level of intensity. I am excited to go to Indiana. I hear their fans are amazing. In San Diego, we didn’t really have a huge fan base, but to see that Indiana sold out during the Finals is something I can’t wait to be a part of.”
Currently finishing her media studies degree at San Diego State, Morris will finish her last month of class in the next two weeks prior to leaving for Indiana.
Morris is the first player from San Diego State ever to be selected in the WNBA Draft, so it is understandable that she didn’t assume pro basketball would be a part of her future. Morris knew the importance of her education, though, and even after being drafted, it still is a priority for her.
“I have worked too hard to come this far and not graduate,” Morris said. “That was the overall goal and going pro was something I really didn’t think about. My degree comes first and I will just have to buckle down and focus in the next few weeks so I can get everything done and then be able to focus on just basketball.”
Describing herself as a passionate and energetic basketball player, Morris doesn’t want people to see her just as the woman on the court. Armed with a Twitter account and personal website (jenemorris.com), Morris loves providing her fans with that additional glimpse into her life.
“Twitter definitely helps me a lot especially because Indiana fans have welcomed and embraced more than I could have ever thought,” Morris said. “I think that it gives the fans an insight as to who I am and what I am doing. It gives them a glimpse into my personality because my website is cool – even though it’s updated as often as I would like. Twitter is a more accurate account of what I do on a daily basis.”
Coming from what she calls a “normal, hard-working family,” Morris has creative interests in advertising and photography, which she credits in part to her diverse background growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area. She attended a conservative Catholic middle school, then transitioned to the more liberal education at The Urban School, from where she graduated before attending her first year of college in Berkeley.
Having her media studies degree soon under her belt, Morris plans to obtain a master’s degree in advertising. Ideally, she will begin pursuing her creative passions while still playing the game.
“I love photography and I am building my own website so I am really into graphic design. Eventually, I want to be a creative director. I love watching ad campaigns and commercials. I am looking at a lot of programs, specifically the Academy of Arts in San Francisco. I am trying to find a program I can do online just in case I choose to go overseas in the offseason.”
Classifying herself as an eccentric, free spirit, Morris uses her geographic location to help her take time away from the game every so often. Taking her VW Beetle convertible to the nearest beach, Morris uses that time to reconnect and regain focus.
“Living in San Diego, I definitely go to the beach a lot,” Morris said “When I am stressed out, I take out my drop-top Beetle convertible and just drive the coast to the beach. I just relax there, free my mind and take a walk or sometimes run.”
Coming to Indiana for training camp in a few weeks, Morris will exchange the California sand for Midwestern city life.
Wishing for just one thing she could bring with her to the Hoosier state, she replied, “I would probably have to say the weather and the beaches because it is pretty constant here year round,” Morris said. “We may have a couple of rainy days but we don’t get snow or the crazy cold. Our highest day is usually around 90 and I get to wear tank tops, flip flops and shorts all year long.”
At least for the WNBA summer, Indiana’s new fans of Jené Morris can plan to look for the drop-top Beetle and probably find her clad in shorts, flip-flops and a new Fever t-shirt!