SummerTimeOut Featuring Katie Bushman
Editor's Note: Coming off the program's first Sweet 16 appearance in the NCAA Tournament, there is a lot of anticipation for the 2011-12 women's basketball season as well as the expectations it holds. Every Tuesday throughout the summer, Assistant Director of Athletics Communications Jill Wunrow will sit down with one player to talk about the expectations they have for themselves for the upcoming season and what fans can expect to see from them individually.
Junior, Katie Bushman (Phillips, Wis.), 6'2", C
How exciting was it for you to put on the jersey this year and play for the Phoenix after redshirting last season based on NCAA transfer rules?
"It felt awesome to finally be able to put on a jersey, especially a Phoenix jersey! Playing at the Kress is always so exciting, and it's great to be able to get out there in front of all our amazing fans! It's always an awesome feeling to be able to play on the court and represent Green Bay!"
What have you learned from the upperclassmen of Kayla and Celeste that you will carry with you throughout the remainder of your career?
"Kayla and Celeste were great leaders and role models. Both of them exemplify the definition of hard work and we all held high respect for each of them. Personally, they both taught me the importance of attitude and giving my best effort in everything I do, even the little things. They taught us that whether we're on the court, in the weightroom, or in the classroom, we should hold ourselves to the highest standards and give our highest effort with a positive attitude. Kayla and Celeste were amazing role models and I hope to portray myself like them for our underclassmen."
In the post position, during practice you work a lot with Julie, what has she taught you?
"Julie is obviously a huge part of our success as she continues to dominate in the post year after year. She is so athletic and works extremely hard and that's very admirable. Playing against her day after day in practice only makes me better. Julie is very good with breaking down each drill or move in the post. She will always take the time to explain and demonstrate if something is unclear. I think everyone can see how strong and hard Julie goes up to the basket and that is what I strive to work towards each day in practice. Julie talks a lot about working through fatigue and that the biggest part of basketball is the mental part. She says that you can accomplish anything when you tell yourself the right things."
You have got the biggest hair bun of any player in the Horizon League, potentially even in Division I women's basketball, what's your secret?
"Well, I definitely appreciate the recognition for 'The Bun' because it is something that I take great pride in. Let's just say I am a huge consumer of hair products I care not to mention along with lots and lots of gel and hair spray!!! It always needs to be placed in the correct position on my head otherwise I won't walk out the door until it meets perfection. I don't plan on cutting my hair for a while, so Phoenix fans can expect 'The Bun' to continue to grow throughout the season."
You were part of a very special moment last season when you scored the final bucket of the game against Southeast Missouri. On that play, you got the ball from Heather Golden. How neat was that for you to experience, especially now that you look back and realize the importance of that play during her career?
"I will never forget that moment. I knew the importance of that play as I was going up to score (that's why I was so nervous!!). Just to have the privilege to step on the floor with Heather Golden let alone have her assist in her final appearance in a Phoenix uniform is a memory that I will never forget. I saw the 'Golden Smile' and it remains as one of the top highlights of the season for me."
Personally, what are you working on during the off-season to help this team during your junior campaign?
"Summer is always the time to work hard and get better. As a team we have been lifting three times a week, playing pick-up, and working on our skills and fundamentals in our post and guard groups. I have just been staying focused on working the hardest I can in all of these areas in order to make myself and everyone around me better. I can feel myself getting stronger and better conditioned thanks to strength and conditioning coach Rick, and I have seen tremendous improvements with the whole team in this area as well."
What can Phoenix fans expect from Katie Bushman this season?
"I simply want Phoenix fans to see how excited I am to be a Phoenix. Green Bay Women's Basketball is such a special program that is unlike any other. Just the way our fans support us throughout the years makes the experience so special. The people here are amazing and I wouldn't want to be a part of any other program. So this year at the games, Phoenix fans will be seeing me jumping up and down, doing multiple chest bumps, and maybe starting the wave now and then because it is going to be an exciting year! "
What do you feel your role is for this upcoming 2011-12 season? What do you want your role to be?
"I am now entering my third year on this team and I want to step up and take on more responsibilities in order to make this team stronger. I had a great talk with coach about the role I want to take this year; we call it the 'glue player.' I want to be a player on this team that holds everyone together. Whether this means keeping everyone upbeat during a hard practice, helping the freshman with any new questions they have about school or basketball, or simply getting the whole team together to hang out. I want to be that player that is a spark that keeps our team chemistry stronger than ever. Morgan Faase was a great example of this and she is a player that I admire the most because she took on a role that may be overlooked at times but is so important!"
Other than basketball, what have you been doing in your spare time during the summer to keep busy?
"Well, basketball, summer classes, and a part-time job is definitely enough to keep a girl busy for a summer, but I always like to try to find some extra time for myself. It's like I can't get enough of them because in my spare time you'll see me hanging with my teammates. We all love to lay out and work on that summer tan, or simply hang out and watch movies. I'm quite fond of the mall (maybe a little too much) and could spend a whole day there. I have also been getting more into reading, and I don't mind sitting outside with a good book."