Q & A With Kristi Kingma

Feb. 26, 2009

Husky co-captain Michelle Augustavo continued her series of Q & A's this week with freshman guard Kristi Kingma. Despite battling an ankle injury that kept her out of three games early in Pac-10 play, Kingma has become one of the Huskies' top offensive threats and a major contributor in just her first season at UW. Kingma and Augustavo sat down before the team's trip to the desert to face Arizona State and Arizona.

GoHuskies.com: How do you like your experience here at Washington so far?
Kristi Kingma: 'It's been an unbelievable experience and I feel so blessed to be able to be a Husky. You know we have struggled at times on the court, but I have had a great time getting to know my teammates and I wouldn't trade it for the world.'

GH: How has the transition from high school to college been, both on and off the court?
KK: 'On the court it's been quite an adjustment just in terms of the physical play and having to deal with different types of injuries. But off the court it hasn't really been too tough. Taking summer school really prepared me for that and we have great upper classmen that have taken me under their wing and shown me the way to go.'

GH: You were a 3-sport athlete until you came here...how did you end up choosing basketball over soccer and track for your college career? And what is it like just being able to focus on one sport?
KK: 'Track was never something I really wanted to pursue after high school. I think that as I continued to get older I just saw that I was better at basketball than soccer. I do miss playing soccer a lot and I miss being on the track, but it's been nice just to focus on one sport. I feel like I'm able to reach my potential more than if I was doing all three.'

GH: You were very heavily recruited...what made you choose Washington?
KK: 'I've grown up wanting to be a Husky my whole life. I've idolized the purple and gold since I was like five years old. Coach J really recruited me hard and convinced me that this was the right place for me. I know now that it is.'

GH: What do you like about the team this year?
KK: 'I love my teammates. I love the fact that even though we've gone through some tough times we've stuck together and because of that I have made incredible friendships that I know I'll have for the rest of my life.'

GH: Having started almost every game this year you have had a huge impact on this team...what do you think you bring to this team?
KK: 'I think I just bring competitiveness. I try to win everything I do whether it's in practice or in the games. Being young I haven't fully been able to reveal my role yet and so I feel like more than anything I just bring an intensity and competitiveness.'

GH: The games you have not started have been due to injury...how hard was it to sit out those few weeks because of your ankle injury? How are you feeling now?
KK: 'It was tough because I wanted to be out there on the court with my teammates and do everything I could to help them get wins. It was also a good learning experience because I got to sit on the bench and see some areas where I could improve. I feel great! My ankle is a lot better and it gets better every week.'

GH: You guys are headed down to the desert tomorrow...what's it going to take to beat the Arizona schools?
KK: 'It's going to take the same intensity that we brought last time we played ASU. We had a tough loss against Arizona last time out, but we came out on fire against ASU. And it's going to take that intensity for both halves of each of the games this weekend.'

GH: You personally had a good game vs. ASU last time out (14 points)...do you expect that they will key in on you defensively?
KK: 'I don't really expect things anymore. I don't know whether they will or not because we have so many offensive weapons, but if they do then I know that it will be beneficial because then other players will be getting open looks.'

GH: Do you think the team feels more confident right now having gotten a win against UCLA on Friday night?
KK: 'Yeah, I do think that we're more confident and more than anything I think we are just relieved because we knew we could get a win it was just a matter of when we were going to get that. I think that everyone is just more relieved and now can play more stress free.'

GH: What are your goals for the rest of the season?
KK: 'My goals are to win out the rest of the Pac-10 season (ASU, Arizona, and WSU). And win the Pac-10 tournament - so we have as much momentum as we can heading into next season.'

GH: What do you like to do in your free time?
KK: 'I love to sleep. I love to have ice cream and other relaxing foods with my friends. I like to play games.'

GH: Being from Seattle you have to have some favorite places...what's your favorite restaurant?
KK: 'My favorite restaurant is Olive Garden but it's not really a Seattle place. In Seattle I really like Varlamos.'

GH: Favorite food?
KK: 'Chocolate covered strawberries of course.'

GH: Favorite movie?
KK: 'The Notebook is my favorite movie and second is Blue Crush.'

GH: Tell me something about each of the seniors that the fans wouldn't know.
KK: 'Heidi McNeill...can recite every line of every word Will Ferrell has ever said in his life. Michelle Augustavo and her family...I don't think I've ever been around them when I have not choked of laughter. Her family is outrageously crazy and honestly if you talk to them for 5 minutes you are going to be rolling on the floor laughing.'

GH: Thanks Kristi and good luck down in the desert!
KK: 'Thanks and Go Huskies!'

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