Stabresa McDaniel is one of three freshmen on this year's roster. A 5-foot-10 guard from Dallas, Texas (Skyline HS), McDaniel is a nationally-ranked recruit who received a three-star ranking from ESPN.com, and was ranked No. 56 nationally at her position. She talks about her decision to leave the Lone Star State and play for the Gophers, as well as how summer training and her college life are going so far.
How is the adjustment to college life going for you? Is it
pretty much what you expected it'd be like, or have there been some surprises?
College is going great so far! I knew it would different from high school, and I'm adjusting very well with my classes, teammates, and amazing coaches.
Did you feel as though you were prepared for summer training
with the team? What might you do differently next year now that you know what
I don't know if anyone can be well prepared for what to expect for summer training as a freshman. You just have to get yourself mentally prepared before workouts and grind it out. For next year, since I already know some things, I would just workout on my own and work on areas that I want to get better at.
What do you enjoy most about being part of the program at
I just enjoy being around my team. It's good for us to be close, both on and off the court.
Being from Dallas, how long had Minnesota been on your radar as
a possible college choice? What were the biggest influences on your decision to
attend the U of M?
Minnesota was one of my top picks since the end of my junior year. I finally committed the beginning of my senior year after my visit. My dad was the biggest influence on helping me make my decision to come to the U of M. He is always someone I go to when I need to make big decisions. I just wanted to be someplace where it felt like a second home to me, and Minnesota was the right place to be.
What is something that hardly anyone knows about you?
Most people don't know that, as a kid, track used to be my main sport, not basketball. I really wanted to get a scholarship for track until eighth grade, when I started to love basketball more, and eventually gave up track to pursue basketball.
When you're away from basketball and your teammates, what do you
enjoy doing most?
When I'm by myself, I usually just listen to music and watch a movie on Netflix. It keeps me entertained when I want to take a break from studying.
Do you have any routines or superstitions that you have to do
before a game?
Before and after my games, I always pray to clear my head to get focused. I also always put on my right sock before my left. I think, if I don't do that routine, I will have bad luck.
What are some artists or songs that are on your gameday
To get me pumped on gameday, I have to listen to Jay Z, Kendrick Lamar, Wale, and J Cole.
How old were you when you started playing basketball, and what's
your favorite basketball-related memory to this point?
My dad put me in basketball at age four. I played on a little YMCA team for a little bit, until I got older. My favorite basketball memory has to be my very last home game in high school. It was our Senior Night, my team did very well and it had finally hit me that I would be going off to college in a couple of months.
Who has been the biggest influence on your basketball career?
And who is the player you admire most?
My biggest influence is my dad. Without him, I wouldn't have made it this far with his words of wisdom to keep me going. He has always been there for me, and I just want to make him proud. My two favorite players that I admire the most are Candace Parker and Maya Moore. I admire how much poise and love of the game they have for basketball, and they are team players.
Do you have a nickname?