Jane Thompson enters her first season with the Golden Gopher women's basketball program as a freshman guard. A native of New Milford, Conn., Thompson walked on to the team after earning three varsity letters in basketball at New Milford High School, where she was an All-South-West Conference honorable mention selection. Here's a short question and answer with Thompson.
Q: Being from Connecticut, how did you hear about the University of Minnesota and what made you decide to visit campus?
A: I really wanted to go to a city school. So I went on visits to schools in Chicago, San Francisco, New York, Boston, pretty much all over. Then one day, Minneapolis came up on a list randomly, and I saw that the math program was ranked really highly. I was kind of surprised, because I had never really heard about it. So, I was talking to a lot of people about the Twin Cities and they told me how clean it was and how nice the people were. I thought it might be interesting to go somewhere new and see a place that I hadn't heard much about.
Q: When did you know for sure that you wanted to enroll at Minnesota?
A: When I came to visit campus last year, I really like how pretty the campus was compared to a lot of the East coast schools. Those campuses seemed too gray, but there was so much green here and I really liked the ivy-covered buildings, and when I walked on campus, all of the people were so friendly. So, I thought that I might as well branch out and go somewhere new, and I definitely think this is a great place to spend four years.
Q: What made you decided to try out for the Gopher women's basketball team?
A: All through high school, all I did was play sports, and I felt like if I could try out I might as well go for it, because it would be a lot of fun to be on the team. So, I talked to Coach Borton over the summer about trying out for the team, and she told me that I should work out and get stronger over the summer and then see where I stood from there once school started.
Q: Were there any other sports that you were thinking of playing?
A: I played basketball and I played soccer in high school, but I figured since the winters get pretty cold up here, soccer might be a little bit chilly, especially because I was a goalie. I started playing soccer my freshman year of high school, but I have been playing basketball pretty much my whole life, so it was my first pick.
Q: What has been your favorite part about being on the team so far?
A: It was really nice getting all of my Minnesota gear, because while I was trying out for the team, there was the uncertainty as to if I was actually on the team or not. So, when I got my gear and finally got to put my jersey on for the first time, I really felt like I was "in" with everyone. So that is one moment that I will always remember. It felt really good.
Q: Growing up, how did you originally start playing basketball?
A: Ever since I was little, I was always drawn to sports. It didn't really matter what sport it was. I played baseball starting from when I could walk. My dad and I would just go out and play catch. My cousins and I would always play sports together, too. We played football, basketball, baseball, pretty much everything. But, basketball was an easy sport to play, because all I needed was a ball and a hoop, then any kids that wanted to play could join in. I am an only child, so it was easy for me to just grab a basketball and go out and shoot around by myself if I wanted to.
Q: Being an only child, is it nice to have a group of people that you can call "family" away from home? A: I miss my teams from high school, because you build a family with them, but it is really nice to have a group of players that you see all of the time and that become really good friends.
Q: Being so far from home, do you ever get homesick?
A: I didn't think that I was going to get homesick, but I actually did get a little homesick the fourth week that I was here. Then my dad came here to visit me unexpectedly and it was really nice to see him. But, I know that my parents are just a phone call away and that it is all just a part of growing up.
Whalen Named to 2016 Olympic Team
Former Gopher Lindsay Whalen was named to her second United States women's basketball olympic team Wednesday
Go FORE Classic Set for June 13
Registration is open for the annual golf event benefiting the Gopher women's basketball program.
Registration Open for Stollings Basketball Camps
The camps will provide the opportunity to play on the Williams Arena court and receive instruction from Gopher women's basketball staff.