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Q&A With Katie Zenevitch

Junior forward Katie Zenevitch crashes the boards in a game against UMass last season.

Junior forward Katie Zenevitch crashes the boards in a game against UMass last season.

July 26, 2012

Junior forward Katie Zenevitch was a prominent fixture in the Eagles lineup as she started every game she played in this past season. She led the Eagles in scoring, averaging 10.5 points per game, and rebounding, averaging 6.1 rebounds per game. Zenevitch sat down with BC Athletics to discuss what she has been up to this summer, how the new coaching staff is doing, and what the fans can expect this season.

Tell us a little bit about yourself, both on and off the court.
I'm in the Lynch School of Education here at BC. My major is elementary education. I enjoy spending time with my family. I am a huge Disney fan. Oh, and my family just got a new puppy! His name is Chip, named after Chip and Dale, and he is an 11 week old Cockapoo. It's the first dog our family has ever had, so it is very exciting. As far as my game goes, I don't think I would necessarily compare myself to any player. There are definitely players I look up to right now. As I was growing up I really looked up to Larry Bird. He is my mom's favorite basketball player, so I think she would try to instill in me the work ethic that he displayed. On the court and in workouts I consider myself to be a very hard worker, so I guess my mom did a good job!

You were able to get home for a few weeks earlier in the summer before returning to campus for team workouts and classes. How did you spend your time off at home?
I went to Disney World with my family! It is something that we have done pretty much every year since I can remember. This year I went for two weeks. For the first week my high school coach, her husband, and their two kids, Matthew and Emily, were there. I'm very close with all of them so that was very fun. For the second week my brother's girlfriend and my boyfriend came down, so that was obviously a lot of fun. We got to go to the Harry Potter World at Universal Studios, too, which was incredible! I love going to Disney World. It makes me very happy. Besides Disney, I just tried to get ready for the summer at BC by shooting and working out a lot. I also wanted to make sure I spent lots of time with my family because I knew I wouldn't see them much once I came back to campus for team workouts.

How have workouts been going for you and the team this summer?
Workouts have been going well. I think that we have been working very hard. As a team, we are heading in the right direction. The freshmen have come in with a great attitude; they want to learn new things and work hard. Overall, it has been a very productive summer for us.

You and all of your teammates have been working extremely hard this summer and putting in a lot of time in the gym. What is one aspect of your game that you are focusing on improving heading into next season?
Two aspects that I have been working on a lot with Coach Yvonne Hawkins are how I drive to the basket and how I use the shot fake. I've definitely seen, between last year and in pickup games this summer, that I am getting my shot blocked more than I should be, so I want to improve upon that. I also continue to work on my outside shot, but I am focusing more on getting to the basket; taking a few dribbles and then either taking it to the rim or kicking it out to Kerri Shields or Kristen Doherty for a wide open jump shot.

Tell us a little bit about Coach Erik Johnson. What are your impressions of him so far?
Coach Johnson is a great coach. He has been so helpful and supportive with everything this summer, personally and with the team. He is getting us back to the point where basketball is fun for all of us. We went to his house earlier this summer for a cookout and it brought our team so much closer together. At the cookout we were able to develop a strong level of comfort with Coach Johnson and the rest of the staff. Having a good relationship with them is going to be crucial to our success this season. I think Coach Johnson is doing a great job with everything so far. I am excited to finally have him as a coach because he recruited me when Coach Cathy Inglese was here. We got to know each other on a personal level back then, but it will be good to have him coaching me out on the court.

And how about the rest of the new coaching staff...how do you see them fitting in and contributing to the team?
Coach Hawkins is my position coach, so I have been working with her, one-on-one, to improve my game, which has been really beneficial for me. Coach Shelley Sheetz is just fun to be around. She definitely brings the spark that we need from our coaching staff. Coach Lisa Faulkner is great, too. She has been helping out the guards a lot. The entire staff seems really friendly and they know how to work well with each other and with the team.

When we spoke to Shayra Brown a few weeks ago she said the freshmen could definitely improve upon some things and that they needed work. How have freshmen Nicole Boudreau, Alexa Coulombe and Amber Cooper been progressing since arriving on campus at the end of June?
Well, to talk about Nicole first, I went to Central Catholic and she went to Andover, so people from Massachusetts will understand the big rivalry our schools had. But it turned out that we were roommates for the summer, which has been awesome because we have been able to get to know each other on a personal level. Before, we only knew each other on the basketball court. As a player, she wants it. She goes after it every day and those are the types of players we need on this team. She is a great shooter, too. Nicole, Alexa and Amber all just want to win and you can see that in how they go about workouts and the pickup games. They all have a fire in them. Alexa has been playing great in pickup. She can definitely be a very versatile player. She can play in the post or go outside and knock down shots. Amber is going to be great in the post position, and we're going to need her down there. She has been a really strong rebounder.

And how about the the other newcomer to the team, Karima Gabriel, how is she fitting in with her new teammates?
Karima is the type of player who goes very hard all the time. She has been working tirelessly in the workouts and pickup games. She has the will to win. She makes me work harder in the pickup games, too. We may go after each other and battle, but it's because we want each other to get better. One day after pickup she came up to me and said, "We're done playing? I want to play more!" She always wants to be on the court, getting better and working hard.

In preparing to come back strong next season, what are you and your teammates doing to motivate each other? What are the goals and aspirations that you all have established?
Right now, we are all just focusing on having fun. I know I keep saying it, but we want basketball to be fun for our team. We know that if we're having fun we will probably be successful on the court. Even though we want to have fun, it doesn't mean we aren't working hard. When we play pickup Tessah Holt and Tiffany Ruffin are going after each other up and down the court. Nicole is always on Kerri trying to force Kerri to drive to the basket. Alexa and Kristen are pushing each other to get better, too. We all want to help one another get to that next level. Coach Tom Shruhan has been doing a great job with us in the weight room, pushing us and making sure we're working hard. Overall, we're focusing on having fun while pushing each other to get better.

What is the one thing you have been looking forward to the most, for this upcoming season, since the end of last season?
The first thing that pops into my head is that I really want to beat Boston University. Between the game last year and seeing them each week when we play pickup together in the summer, I just really want to beat BU. I am also looking forward to, with the new coaching staff and new players, it will feel like a new beginning. As a team, we are definitely heading in the right direction. We're going to get after it this season. Other teams may be taking us for granted based on how last season went, but they aren't going to know what hit them after they face us. I'm just looking forward to the season and being with the girls. We always know how to make things a good time, which is a great thing.

- Interview conducted by Brad Fadem, Media Relations Assistant

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