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.
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