Q&A: Sasha Goodlett

SASHA GOODLETT: 6-5 ROOKIE IS READY TO WORK

April 24, 2012
Georgia Tech senior Sasha Goodlett knew she wanted to play in the WNBA and she knew it was a realistic goal. She set sights on making it her profession. The 6-5 center began shedding weight with a disciplined diet and she saw her stock rise as a pro prospect. Last week, after leading the Yellow Jackets to the first NCAA Sweet Sixteen in program history in March, she was selected in the first round of the WNBA Draft by the Indiana Fever. Prior to arriving in Indianapolis for training camp, she conducted a phone interview with FeverBasketball.com’s Ashley Bureau.

FeverBasketball.com: What were your expectations going into the WNBA draft?
Sasha Goodlett: “Honestly I was just really humble and proud, and very happy to be there. I was very honored to be invited. I had heard rumors that I would go first round, and yeah that would have been great but I was just very fortunate to be there so at the end of the day wherever I went I would’ve been happy.”

FB: How did it feel to hear your name called in the first round?
SG: “Honestly words can’t explain how I felt when I heard my name in the first round. All kinds of thoughts were going through my head and at first, I was like ‘did they really just call my name?’ and then I thought ‘Oh my God, I just got drafted in the first round.”  It was just so great. The feeling of it is unexplainable, just the best feeling ever.”

FB: At what point in your college career did you start thinking about the WNBA?
SG: “I started thinking about the WNBA seriously around the end of sophomore year or beginning of my junior year. I was working hard and a lot of people told me ‘you could definitely do this as a profession,’ so I just kept working hard and then towards the middle of my senior year that’s when I realized I really wanted to continue my basketball career as a profession.”

FB: Any favorite NBA or WNBA players? Who do you pattern your game after?
SG: “I have favorite players but I don’t have someone that I feel like I model my game after. I just try to be my own person when it comes to being a player, and I just do what comes natural to me. But there are players that I respect, like I love Sylvia Fowles’ game and I love Tamika Catchings’ game. The people that come in and just work hard all the time, those are the players that I really admire. “

FB: You mentioned Tamika, are you excited to be able to play under her wing and learn from her?
SG: “I’m very excited, probably more excited than ever. Tamika Catchings is a great leader and she’s a great person. And I am excited about everyone else that’s associated with the Fever, I get to go and learn my first year as a post player under Tammy Sutton-Brown. There is no better honor for me than to come here and learn from these players and also these coaches. I feel like it was just a great pick, a great selection, and I am just overall very, very happy and very excited to come to Indiana.”

FB: What are some of your personal expectations going into training camp?
SG: “Honestly it’s just back to the drawing board. My expectation is to come in and work hard every day, do extra, do a lot of work. I really want to come in and show my work ethic and let my work ethic speak for itself. One thing I am really looking forward to is being coachable and learning. I honestly want to learn and soak up all that I can while I am here. It is not every day that you get to go into a professional program and I am ready for the opportunity to learn the system, to learn the post position and take my ability to another level.”

FB: What do you think will be some of your challenges at the next level?
SG: “Conditioning has always been a challenge for me. It is something that I know is a challenge and I keep working on, nutrition-wise and strength-wise. I do my best and I go out there and I do extra all the time to make sure that I am able to get up and down the court. So I feel like, overall, my biggest challenge will be conditioning and even just playing, not worrying about nerves and not worrying about doing stuff exactly right but just going out and playing my game.”

FB: What are some of your goals for your first season in the WNBA?
SG: “My goal for my first year is to go in and do my best. Whatever happens, happens. My goal for myself is to come in and work hard, learn something new and get better every day. I’ll just take it one day at a time.”

FB: What motivates you as a player? In everyday life?
SG: “One thing that probably motivates me most is my team. When I was at Georgia Tech I had 14 other people that I was playing for and working hard for.  My mother is my biggest motivation, everything that she came from, everything that she overcame and persevered through.”

FB: What do you do in your free time outside of basketball?
SG: “I’m a big fan of reading. I love to read and watch movies. I just got a Netflix account, so I have been watching different seasons of different shows and random movies all of the time. But my favorite thing to do is just get a good book and read. And shopping every now and then if I can afford it.”

FB: Any interesting books that you’re reading now, or all time favorites?
SG: “My favorite fun book honestly has to be Harry Potter. I loved all of them, I grew up reading them. Every year it was my birthday present up until the last book. I am sure as I mature and as I get older my reading tastes will acquire different kinds of books.”

FB: What is a fun fact about you that Fever fans might enjoy?
SG: “Basketball wasn’t my first sport. I actually didn’t play basketball until I was 13. I started playing soccer when I was 7 and I love it still to this day.”