Over the next few weeks UKathletics.com will feature the four newcomers on the UK Hoops team. This week we sat down with sophomore guard Rebecca Gray for 21 Questions.
Sophomore guard Rebecca Gray
Sept. 25, 2008
Where is your hometown? " Georgetown, Ky. "
Welcome home! How's it been back in your home state after transferring
from North Carolina ? "It's really been awesome. I love seeing familiar faces
everyday and having my family so close. I'm back in my comfort zone and I
can stay more focused instead of wondering about everyone back home."
Your family is very important to you. Tell us about them.
family is very close knit - mom (Amy), dad (Todd), sister (Rachael) and brother
(Steven). I have a new baby niece as my sister just had baby so this time
is very special for us. We only have this time to be together once and I
want to be around them as much as possible."
You have a unique nickname. How did it originate? "My nickname
is `Bee.' I was told I was a very energetic child, buzzing around do everything
and getting into everything. So my aunt Robin started calling me `Bee' when
I was two-years old and it stuck."
Were you a Kentucky fan growing up? "Oh my gosh, yes! I had
the whole bedroom suit with the sheets, blue walls, all of it. Jeff Sheppard
is my favorite all-time player. I wore No. 15 because of him. He's just so
smooth and I fell in love with his game."
Why are you wearing No. 23 now? "I wanted No. 15 but it was
already taken. It's cool though, because I wore No. 23 in middle school and
broke 1,000 points in that number. Michael Jordan also wore No. 23 so I thought
it would bring me good luck."
Did you look at attending UK coming out of high school? "I
did and even had women's basketball season tickets my freshman and sophomore
year of high school. Coach Mitchell was an assistant at UK then. He would
always come over and talk to me at the games but UNC offered me when I was
15-years old and I thought that going away to school was the best thing for
me at that time."
What has impressed you most about Coach Mitchell and his staff
so far? "He is really tough. That surprised me, but I like it because he's
going to get everything out of you. He doesn't want a day or even a breath
wasted. He has a very disciplined style and I need that type of attitude.
He has a winning attitude and he stays in championship mode."
How is school going and what do you like best about it? "I
like how the classroom building is one huge building. Four of my five classes
are in there and I don't have to walk anywhere. It's awesome."
What is your favorite class so far? "Crime, Law and Deviance.
It teaches the basic things you need to know about the law and what punishments
go with breaking certain laws. It's very interesting."
What is your major and what do you want to do after graduation? "Right
now my major is marketing but I want to coach. The Lord has given me the
ability to know and play the game of basketball and I want to be able to
use this ability to teach others."
Is it true you are engaged to be married? "Yes. Mason Karrick
is my fiance. We've been best friends since we were eight-years old and have
been dating four years now."
How did he propose? "It was a total surprise. I came out of
a night class this summer and he was parked beside me in the lot behind the
Joe Craft Center. I could tell something was different with him and I was
wondering what was going on when he dropped down on one knee and asked me
to marry him. We are waiting until after we graduated to get married. We
are in no rush."
Speaking of the Joe Craft Center, what were your first thoughts
when you saw it? "I knew it was under construction when I was at North Carolina
but I didn't see it in person until my visit with Coach Mitchell this summer.
Every corner I turned I was like `WOW!' This is the best facility in the
nation as far as I've seen. Nothing can compete with this."
What is your favorite shot on the court? "I haven't seen a
shot I didn't like. (laughing) I like to spice it up. I like the three-pointer
but a tight pass where someone else scores really gets me going."
The team is going through individual workouts before practice
starts next month. How are the workouts going for you? "Practice is fast-paced
and intense. Coach Elzy and Coach Insell ware really picky but they are helping
us work on our weaknesses. We are working a lot on ball handling and different
moves to get to the goal. Just one session seems to make everyone better."
What player has really impressed you so far? "Amani Franklin.
She has the biggest potential to break through and do great things. She has
these sparks where I think she could dunk if she wanted. She has changed her
attitude from the beginning of the summer and she is really working hard. I
think she will surprise a lot of people and could be our `bust-a-move' player
What are your thoughts on playing in the SEC? "I'm really
excited. When you think of the SEC you think of women's basketball tradition.
Everyone is so good and it makes you want to work harder and become better
too. I can't wait until I get out there on the court and play against the
other SEC teams."
What do you think you can bring to the team this year even though
you have to sit out due to NCAA transfer requirements? "I hope to bring my
game to practice everyday and make everyone else better. I also think I will
be able to help by seeing things during a game as a teammate instead of a
coach. Sometimes the coaches are on you and it's easier to take things in
when you hear it from a teammate."
What was it like putting that Kentucky jersey on for the first
time on photo day? "Awesome. I was thinking to myself that I look pretty
good in this UK blue. It makes everything about me glow. I also loved how
so many fans came to the photo shoot and are supporting us months before
the season even starts."
What motto do you try and live by each day? "I used to dwell
on mistakes and losses so I came up with this saying that I try to live by:
Learn from the past, live for the future, have no regrets and show no fear."