Jan. 19, 2010
SEATTLE - This Saturday, Regina Rogers will tip-off against her former team in UCLA. The redshirt-sophomore and Seattle native out of Chief Sealth High School played one year with the Bruins before transferring back home to Washington, despite her status as one of the top emerging players in UCLA's system. In an interview on Tuesday afternoon, Rogers talks about the difficulty leaving Los Angeles, the excitement about playing in front of friends and family, as well as her feelings with this weekend's matchup with the Bruins.
GoHuskies.com: What are your thoughts on playing against UCLA for the first time since transferring?
Regina Rogers: It is going to be fun and entertaining. It is always fun to play against my old teammates. I did not do that last year but them coming here and me being able to see them is a lot of fun too.
GH: How much conversation have you had with them [former teammates] since you left?
RR: My roommate Darxia Morris. Well, she was my roommate. I talk to her often. Christina [Nzekwe], I talk to her a lot.
GH: Is there any extra motivation to do well playing against your friends?
RR: Yeah, always. Being able to go and play against them and having this opportunity of getting an extra year and being able to come home and play is just motivation.
GH: Were there any hard feelings either way once you left?
RR: No, I talked to them before I left. A lot of them knew I was having problems. They just wished me the best. I don't think there were any hard feelings.
GH: How has everything worked out for you?
RR: I just like being able to be at home, home time. I have a lot of fans here, a lot of family and a lot of friends. It just helps me a lot. I'm able to forget about whatever was going on and being able to come back and overcome that.
GH: How did you got about telling the coach and people at UCLA that you were leaving?
RR: My head coach that recruited me was already released. She was not there anymore. I did not really have to tell her anything. I talked to the athletic director and I was released that way.
GH: Did being in between coaches factor into your decision?
RR: It factored in a lot. It helped it, I think it helped my case a lot.
GH: Who was the hardest person to tell at UCLA that you were going to be leaving?
RR: I think it wasn't really one person. The hardest people were my team to tell. To tell them I was leaving. After me being one of the leaders and one of the main scorer's, it was kind of hard for me to tell them why I was leaving at first. I kind of explained it to them. Everyone asked the question of `you started and scored a lot so why would you want to leave that place? It is L.A.'
GH: How did you do that? Did you address the team, or did you tell a few people?
RR: I addressed the team. I sat and talked to them. The people I was closest to on the team I talked to them more. I took them aside and explained my situation.
GH: When did you know for sure that UCLA wasn't for you and you wanted to get back home?
RR: I think I knew spring. I left in spring of 2008.
GH: Are there any drastic difference between schools to you?
RR: I don't think there is any difference at all. I think I am better here because I am used to the weather, I am used to being at home. I don't think there is too much of a difference.
GH: With the Pac 10 so close, how important are these games this weekend?
RR: I think they are very important. Each game is very important. It is really important to me because it is UCLA. It is a chance for us to make our record better. Any win, anything is better.
GH: How much is the home crowd going to impact this series?
RR: I think it is going to be a lot. I think Saturday is going to be a really big one because Christina [Nzekwe] is coming back. Everyone wants to see us play against each other. It has been awhile since we have played against each other, I guess 8th grade? Everyone is going to come and see it.