Every week, a member
of the Athletics Media Relations staff will sit down with one member of
the Georgia Southern women’s basketball team for an Eagle Spotlight of
the Week. This week’s featured player is J’Lisia Ogburn, a
junior from Dublin, Ga. Ogburn has started all 20 games and leads the
team in rebounding, averaging 6.2 rpg and is second on the team in
scoring with 10.1 ppg.
AMR: Tell me how you started playing basketball.
J’Lisia Ogburn: My mom signed me up at the recreational department in fourth grade even though I didn’t want to play. I never really thought about playing basketball. You can say I was sort of forced into it.
In high school you played basketball, softball, and you ran track. Why did you pick basketball to play in college?
Basketball was the sport that I was best in, so that is the one I focused on the most and concentrated on the most. That’s the one I put the most time into.
What was the most difficult part of the transition from high school sports to collegiate sports?
Nothing really, not that I can think of; I adjusted pretty well. At least I thought I did.
You started 13 games last year...this season, you’ve started all. What did you work on in the off-season to improve your chances of earning a starting position?
I worked on having stronger takes to the basket, finishing stronger. Last year I didn’t shoot that much but this year I’ve learned to look for my shot more.
You’ve been playing really well lately... What can you attribute to that?
My teammates have given me the confidence, saying that “they know it’s in me, just do it.” So that has really helped me lately, knowing they are supporting me.
As a junior this year, what conference team is the team to beat this season for you? Why? If UTC... take me through that win.
UTC, but I want to beat them again. I was excited once the game started, I just wanted to stay ahead, match all their shots and I wanted to stop [Shanara] Hollinquest. After the game, it was nothing but chaos, screaming and yelling in the locker room. It was a great win for us.
Half the team are freshmen, how does that impact the team’s dynamic on the court? How does it impact your team chemistry off the court?
It makes the upperclassmen work harder. Since the freshmen are not as experienced as we are, we have to step up our game. We have to work a little harder. Off the court, everybody gets along pretty well, we joke all the time. There are a bunch of laughs going on with us.
Are you finding you are looked upon as a mentor more this season because of the team dynamic?
I try to be a good mentor. I try to play well because if I don’t, I know I am setting a bad example.
What were your preseason goals for this team and where do you think the team stands currently in relation to those goals?
Our preseason goals as a team were that we wanted to win the conference, stay above 500, which we are right now, and go to the NCAA tournament. I feel confident where we stand with our goals. We can do it!
Preview ahead for me the next game. You face UNC Greensboro on Saturday, a team you lost your first conference game to.
Losing to Greensboro made us feel bad. We do not want to lose on our home court, so we will be out for blood.
Here is a hypothetical situation for you. Your team is down by one point in the Southern Conference championship game with one second left and you have the ball. Would you rather be going for the jumper or shooting a one-and-one from the free throw line?
Wow, that’s difficult, it really depends on how much time is left on the clock, but I’d take the one-and-one. I feel confident in my free throw.
Who is your favorite NBA player? Why?
It’s gotta be Kobe [Bryant]. One, he’s cute and two, he’s an excellent athlete.
Who is the funniest girl on the team? Why?
Ashley Rivens, just some of the stuff she says. We have a lot of inside jokes.
Actually, I take that back, it’s Carolyn [Whitney]. She makes the funniest faces. She’s just so goofy, you probably wouldn’t expect that but she is. The things she says, it’s like, did you really just say that?
What can you take from your basketball life and incorporate into your everyday life?
Learning how to work with people in different settings.
Has playing basketball made you a better person?
If I wasn’t on such a strict schedule with basketball, I’d probably be doing things that I shouldn’t be doing. So yea, basketball has made me a better person on and off the court.
- Category: Women's Basketball
- Published on Monday, 26 January 2009 00:08