Q & A With Kristen London
Kristen London, a senior on the women’s basketball team from Decatur, Ga., recently checked in with VirginiaSports.com. The Cavaliers face fourth-ranked Duke on Thursday at John Paul Jones Arena. Tip-off is 7 p.m., and the game will be streamed live over the Internet by ACC Select.
Question: How is the team preparing for Duke?
London: We’re getting after it on defense. And being positive and staying positive. We’ve been studying our scouting report and trying to learn as much as we can about their team.
Question: Does last week’s win over No. 8 Maryland give you a confidence boost?
London: Yes, but at the same time it’s just another game. In the ACC, everybody can beat anybody on any given day. That was a confidence booster though, us beating a higher-ranked team.
Question: You have had a couple big games at Clemson and vs. Maryland and Longwood. Have you felt a difference in your game over the last few weeks?
London: I definitely do feel a difference. I think that any player, especially when they’re in my positions, can slowly build confidence when they get minutes and repetitions. Not even on the offensive side either, my confidence is growing on the defensive side too. When you’re able to stay in the game longer and make defensive stops, everything else kind of follows.
Question: Your Dad, Mike London, was an assistant football coach here at UVa and won the NCAA FCS Championshipo in his first year as the head coach of Richmond. What would it be like to be the second person in your family to win a championship?
London: Well first of all, my brother played football for the New York Giants, and they won the Super Bowl last year. So he was actually the first one and my dad was the second one. It would be nice for us (Virginia) to take it all the way, but we don’t really talk about stuff like that in my family.
Question: How would you describe yourself as a teammate?
London: Outgoing and positive. If it looks like one of my teammates is having a bad day, I will do anything in my power to make them laugh. I feel like they appreciate that.
Question: What is the area of your game that you worked the hardest on in the offseason?
London: Everything, but mainly shooting. I tried to shoot 1,000 shots a day. My defense has actually been highlighted in these past couple games though, which is a little ironic.
Question: Is there anything people would be surprised to know about you?
London: I have major OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder) about certain things. I feel a need to touch corners a lot. Anything with corners.
Question: What’s the hardest part about basketball?
London: Sometimes getting that reality check. Especially for me, coming to Virginia. There’s going to be people who are better than you, more athletic than you with a better shot. But what I have come to realize now is that little things and hard work can get you far.
Question: If you could take a quality of one of your teammates, what would you take and from who?
London: Jayna (Hartig) is a very positive person. I would take her positivity and her patience. And I would take Monica (Wright)’s boy-like jumping ability.
Question: What is your favorite part of practice?
London: When Coach Ryan says “Alright, circle!” because that means it’s over.
Question: What is your favorite memory from this season so far?
London: I have a lot of memories, but the one that has touched me thus far was my 3-pointer against Maryland. It’s crazy because I’m 22, and I’ve been playing basketball forever, but that was the moment right there. We sealed the deal on that one. Nobody ever knew my number or knew I existed, and I got to hit that shot and look into the stands and I saw my little sister cheering her head off in the stands.