Jan. 20, 2010
Senior guard Christina Rozier was an important piece to a strong effort by Washington this past weekend against second-ranked Stanford. Coming off the bench, Rozier scored 13 points and provided a spark that kept the Huskies close throughout the game. Although they were unable to pull off the upset, they have some momentum going into this weekend's slate against the LA schools. Rozier took some time to talk about basketball, as well as life off the court for the Washington guard.
GoHuskies.com: How did you feel about your performance against Stanford on Saturday with 13 points off the bench?
Christina Rozier: I came to play with a lot of excitement and energy. That's what I bring and that's what my teammates expect me to bring every night. Coming off the bench and looking at the game as it flowed, I knew that we could run on them and make some things happen. We came close to them a couple times, getting down seven at one time. I know that next time we play them, we could beat them. We had a couple mistakes that led to turnovers or quick shots. Next time we play them, we know what we need to do and what is expected of us to win the game.
GH.com: How are you adjusting to coming off the bench?
CR: It doesn't really affect me. I've always told myself that whether I'm off the bench or I start, I still have to do me and play my game no matter what. It doesn't really matter who starts, it matters who ends the game. As long as you go out there and play, no matter how many minutes, if you do good in the minutes the coach will see that you are important to the team.
GH.com: Are you getting into the groove of the rotation with fellow point guard Sarah Morton?
CR: I'm used to the rotation with [Morton] and I. Whether it's splitting minutes or playing together now, it's fun.
GH.com: You really get after it on defense, sometimes picking up full court and always in your opponents face. Has that always been your trademark and do you enjoy locking someone down?
CR: I have always had to play defense because growing up, I was always the shortest one. Where I come from, they always said you can't get the ball unless you play defense. Nothing is going to be given to you because you're short, so you have to play defense to get the ball. Defense was a big key to me growing up, and actually I love defense now more so than offense. I feel like anyone can score. Defense is a pride thing. You've got to want to stop a person from scoring.
GH.com: It's a long way from Seattle to your hometown Miami. What do you miss about Miami?
CR: I like the weather in Miami. I miss it. I'm not used to this weather even though it's my second year up here. I just love my community, my environment and the people I grew up with that inspired me throughout my life. What I miss most though is my family. I'm a big family person. Not being able to see them at the games every day that I'm used to. I'm kind of used to it now though. Seattle is a good place. It's a different experience and I like experience new places as well. Seattle's not bad at all.
GH.com: This is your last go around here at Washington. What are your plans after college?
CR: When I'm done here, I want to continue to play ball. The coaches already know that. I'll see where I go from there, whether it's in the US in the WNBA or overseas. I don't mind doing either or both. I would like to have my own YMCA gym. I like giving back to the community and helping kids. When I'm back home in Miami I like going to the park and playing with kids to show them how to play basketball. My mom works at a school in a [low income] areas. I like to go help her out with her class and with PE classes. I just love helping kids.
GH.com: Your profile says you played the alto saxophone. How long have you played?
CR: I played the saxophone in middle school and high school, but I had to stop my senior year because it was getting in the way of basketball. I was getting ready to go to college for basketball, so that's what I had to focus on. But I really loved the alto saxophone. I probably forgot how to play by now, but I hope after college I could pick it up because I really liked playing that instrument a lot.
GH.com: Can you talk about what Lydia Young has brought to the team even though she suffered a career ending injury this year? What was your reaction to that?
CR: My friendship with Lydia has grown over the years. I've known her since my old college. We went there together then came here so I've known her for three years. Each year I learn something new about her, good or bad. At the end of the day, when I heard about her injury, I thought that things can be taken from you so quickly that you don't even know. I didn't let her see me cry when it happened, but I did. I knew I had to stay strong for her and stay positive and let her know that God has something else planned for her. This isn't the end of the road for her. Playing for her is a real big deal for me. Every time I go out on the court, I think about her and my grandmother that passed away that I was close to. We love her energy and jokes. We just love everything that she does just being around us. When we're down, she'll come into the locker room all hyped up and will put a smile on our faces.