Q&A With Karima Gabriel
July 31, 2013
Karima Gabriel arrived at the Heights as a transfer from DePaul in the summer of 2012. An Eagle now, Gabriel will be eligible to play this season after sitting out the 2012-13 season. Gabriel, a 6-foot-2 forward, adds a defensive presence inside with her shot blocking ability. Gabriel, whose family is originally from Sudan, lives in New Hampshire and attended the Peddie School in New Jersey.
What prompted you to transfer to Boston College?
Although the adversity I faced my freshman year strengthened me as a student-athlete, I still did not find the right fit. Instead of staying and being unhappy I knew I had to make a change.
Why Boston College?
BC was that right fit. It is closer to home, academically challenging and has an amazing women's basketball program. Among other things, these are the aspects I valued and I enjoy every day here.
Had you met the coaching staff prior to arriving here at BC?
I did not meet the coaching staff any sooner than my recruiting process. However, I learned I was in the mix of kids they spotted back before they went to Denver and when Coach Johnson was assistant coach with Coach Inglese.
Was it tough to sit out the season last year?
It wasn't easy, but luckily I had supportive teammates and the coaches kept me involved. I think the key was I didn't feel excluded because I was still able to help my team during practice. I had all the resources to be just as game ready as the rest of the players who played.
What did you learn from watching the team all season?
I believe I did a great deal of learning throughout this year. From a personal standpoint, I learned how the team played and how I could complement the system the coaching staff built. Team wise, I've seen an incredible progression in attitude, passion, discipline and so many other aspects that make a great team. I learned our success this year is going to be based on this progression and there's nothing more exciting than finally being able to fully be a part of that!
What do you hope to add to the team this season - defense, offense, shot blocking, leadership ...etc
I plan to be a spark this year. I'm going to add on with any and all my strengths. Defensively, my job as a post is to protect the paint. My strongest assets are shot blocking and rebounding. Offensively, I believe I can help the team by being a finisher and executing plays.
Can you tell the fans a little about your background? Where are you originally from and how did you land in New Hampshire?
I was born in the city of Khartoum, Sudan in Africa. My family and I moved to Egypt when I was eight years old for two years. We then moved to the United States. We went through a placement program because we were refugees. During a two month pit stop in New York, we were assigned to New Hampshire because the immigration services we worked with told my parents it was a good place to raise a family. They weren't wrong. I love New Hampshire. It has afforded me and my siblings with so many opportunities.
You have six siblings - are they all in college - do they play sports as well?
My older brother is 22 and he is finishing up his undergraduate studies. My younger brother below me is in his freshman year of college and plays basketball as well. The rest of my siblings are in high school and middle school and they all plan to play basketball in college. My older brother doesn't play collegiately, but he loves sports just as much as we do. Basketball is one of greatest passions as a family and it brings us closer. We're a very big family and we love to do things together. Basketball is way we can continue to do so.
Away from basketball and BC what do you do for fun?
Hanging out with my family is my favorite thing to do when I'm home. I enjoy the barbecues, dance parties, movie nights and dinner time at my house. My friends are pretty fun too. I absolutely love watching television. Currently, I am obsessed with Scandal and Pretty Little Liars.
Do you play any other sports?
No, but I ran track in high school and played volleyball for two years. I really liked volleyball.
Have you had the chance to go into Boston? What is your favorite area that you frequent and why?
Going into the city is so much fun. I usually go to Newbury Street, but Harvard Square in Cambridge is my favorite area to visit. Personally, Newbury Street is for more if I want to just chill and be at the mall, look around and go to the food court with my friends. I enjoy shopping and searching for things in Harvard Square because it usually has better prices for the things I want.
What will you do when you get some time away from BC in August?
August is going to be loads of family time for me. I haven't had a chance to have more than two days at home at a given time for a while. We're planning lots of family activities for that month because it is the first time we'll all be together for a solid three weeks since last year. I think one of the activities we're doing is going to Six Flags and we're also throwing a party with our extended family for all the 2013 high school diplomas.
What is your major and what are your plans after basketball?
Right now I am a political science major, but I plan to switch to psychology. I don't have definitive plans for after basketball, but I am hopeful my BC degree will help me figure things out on my own terms.