Feb. 25, 2005
This week's featured athlete is women's basketball player Aja Parham, who is averaging 7.8 points per game and 4.7 rebounds per game in 22.6 minutes per contest. Parham has played in all 25 games this season and has started at guard in each of the last eight.
Q: What do you feel has been the greatest adjustment this team has had to make since losing Jessalyn Deveny for the season after she injured her right achilles tendon?
A: She was the leading scorer and a good leader on the court. People have to step up with leadership on the court. We've had to make some adjustments, which you always have to do when you lose a piece of the puzzle. That's kind of difficult. It's been more difficult on offense without her.
Q: This Saturday is your team's final home game of the season. With an expected capacity crowd as the Connecticut Huskies come to town, what do you expect for the nationally-televised contest this weekend?
A: I expect it to be a great game. I'm excited and I know the team is excited. I know we can come out with a big win. We have just got to play our game and, hopefully, we will come out with a victory.
Q: Having started the last eight games this season, how different is entering the game from the opening tip than coming off the bench in the first half?
A: You just have to be mentally ready and more prepared at that first jump ball. When you're coming in off the bench, you can sit and watch and get a feel for the game. It's a little different, but you've got to do what you've got to do, basically.
Q: Right now, your team is in the running for a third consecutive trip to the NCAA Tournament. What has it meant for you to be a part of the recent success of the women's basketball program?
A: It's been good. We have high expectations for ourselves. I know that back in the program's earlier years they were not as successful, but to be a part of a two-year Sweet 16 program is just great. We hope to carry it on this year.
Q: If you had to describe your style of play to someone who has never seen you play before, what would you say?
A: I like to do the stuff that, in a way, gets overlooked, like defense. I like defense and look at it as a big challenge. Whether its strong rebounding or loose balls, I like to just be the energy for our team in some way.
Q: Describe the demands and pressures of balancing your academic load with your basketball schedule at Boston College.
A: It's difficult because when you are on the road you miss class. You have to get your time management and everything like that together. It's a struggle. But if it were easy, everyone would do it, I suppose.
Q: What do you enjoy most about playing for Coach Inglese?
A: She knows the game. She has a passion for it and puts a lot of time into it. She's taught us a lot. She's taught me a lot about the Xs and Os of basketball. Under her, your game will develop because you're playing for a coach like that.
Q: You lead the team with 49 steals this season. Talk about your defensive play, and what it takes to maintain the same intensity day in and day out.
A: I guess that's just kind of my role on the team - to be a defensive captain and get things done defensively. I like to get things done that need to be done. I like to be aggressive and just help out our team, particularly on defense.
Q: Over the last two and a half seasons, what has been your greatest thrill as a part of the women's basketball program?
A: I think I'd have to say it was beating UConn at UConn [last year]. You take the fact that there was a certain feeling we got with our team before the game, during the game, and after the game. We knew we were going to win, and it's something that a lot of teams sometimes can't experience - knowing that you're going to win a game that you probably shouldn't on paper. We came together as a team, and that was really exciting.
Q: When you're away from the court, what other sports or hobbies do you really enjoy?
A: I to dance a lot and I sing a lot. But as far as sports go, I really like volleyball and softball. I guess I'm pretty good at volleyball, but with softball I can't catch a ball for my life, but it is fun.