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Meet Hurricane Freshman: Krystal Saunders

Meet Hurricane Freshman: Krystal Saunders

Oct. 13, 2010

CORAL GABLES, Fla. –

Krystal Saunders, a South Florida native, is the final Hurricane freshman to take time to sit down with Hurricanesports.com and tell ‘Canes fans what it has been like to be a new face in a new place and what expectations she has for herself and the Hurricane women’s basketball team this season.

What made you choose the University of Miami?
I chose the U because it was close to home (Hollywood, Florida). I knew I didn’t want to go too far as I am very close with my family and I wanted them to be able to stop by and see all of my games. Coach Meier and the team play my type of game; fast paced, full court pressure, a very athletic and exciting style of play. I knew that the team was looking for a shooter, and I felt like I could fulfill that role.

What are some of the goals that you have for yourself and for the team this season?
I will not be satisfied with the team this year unless we make an NCAA Tournament appearance. This team is ready, and I feel like our goal should be to win the ACC and be named ACC Champs! Personally, I want to help the team get better in whatever way I can. If the team wants me to come in and score, I want to score; if they need me to defend and make a big stop, that’s what I want to do. I want them to know that the player they brought in is exactly what I said I would be.

You are just about to start midterm exams, what have you learned so far about the demands of being a student-athlete at the U?
I have learned that being a student-athlete is a full-time 24/7 commitment. The minute you wake up you have to prioritize what you need to get done during that day. The demands of being a student-athlete means that you need to go to your classes, go to practice and weights and then commit to doing your homework and preparing for class the next day immediately after practice. You need to stay focused all the time.

Of the veterans on the team, who do you look up to the most and why?
I look up to all of the upper-classmen on the team but Riquna, Shenise and Shawnice are really my role models. BayBay (Riquna) is like a sister to me. She really welcomed me to the team and has always been there for me since this summer. Moe (Shenise), as a teammate, I just respect and admire her for her game and for being such a team player. Pepper (Shawnice) is someone that I feel like I can go to and talk to about anything both basketball and life issues. She is mature and has played in the BIG EAST so she knows what it takes to win and what kind of chemistry a team needs to win.

Tell us something interesting about yourself that the public does not know…
The oddest thing about me that most people don’t know is that I am petrified of polka dots! Black and White polka dots are the most frightening, I don’t know why, but if someone is wearing polka dots I will look the other way the entire time we are talking!

Who is the best dancer/singer on the team…the funniest…the loudest?
Dancer- Me and Maria

Singer- Morgan

Funniest- I am!

Loudest- Selina/ on the court it’s Sylvia

What’s your favorite thing about campus?
The gym at the BankUnited Center.

What have your first few weeks of practice been like?
The first few weeks have been great; I have been able to catch on to the plays really well which is important! Coaches are doing a lot of teaching, and the practices and coaches are very intense; you have to be very focused in practice because you will miss something if you aren’t, and that will be the next play they go over!

What’s your favorite class and why?
My favorite class is math, my professor is really cool and I like the fact that this class built upon the math class I took this summer session.

What does it mean to you to be a Miami Hurricane?
To be a Miami Hurricane is everything.  In my family, I have been the only person to go to a major Division I program and there are a lot of expectations for me both on the court and academically. Everyone at home is praying for me to make it and I don’t want to let them or my team down.

My favorite motto:
My two favorite life motto’s are:

“Good, Better, Best, May I never rest until my good is better and my better is best”,  and “The joy of the Lord is my strength”