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, Jenny Gilbertson (Wabasha, Minn.), 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?
"I was so excited to be able to play for the Phoenix this year. It's a privilege in itself to wear Green Bay across my jersey, but it felt extra special after waiting a whole year."
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 obviously great leaders and phenomenal players and they taught me what the Green Bay Way is. They taught me that hard work pays off and what makes Green Bay such a successful place. "
Throughout the past two seasons you've had the opportunity to work with Kayla, what has she taught you?
"Kayla is a hard-working and very poised person. I think playing with her has only helped me grow and push my limits. She was very helpful in teaching me our system both offensively and defensively and was a great role model for learning what is expected of us to be successful."
You had a couple great performances your first season on the floor with Green Bay. What can fans expect from you this season?
"Fans can expect a more consistent and confident player on both ends of the floor. I hope to bring a spark of energy and contribute to another great year for the Phoenix."
Last season at times when you were playing it appeared that you were being "too nice" against your opponents. I know you're a soft-hearted woman who doesn't like to be "mean" on the court but has the coaching staff tried to get you to be more "mean"? What do they tell you and does that go through your mind when you're playing?
"That's really something I want to change. The coaches never worded it necessarily as being more "mean" but just being more aggressive. I think that is something that comes with gaining confidence and I think that will have definitely changed by the time the season gets underway."
Personally, what are you working on during the off-season to help this team during your junior campaign?
"We have all been working incredibly hard at getting faster and stronger this summer in the weight room. I personally am also focusing on being a better defender on and off the ball and more of a threat on offense. "
What do you feel your role is for this upcoming 2011-12 season? What do you want your role to be?
"I don't really know what my role will be. All I know is that I'm going to work as hard as I can and trust the coaches to make the best decisions for the team. If I can work hard enough to be someone who comes off the bench early to give our starters a rest, I would be proud to take on that role with a smile. "
What are you most looking forward to during the 2011-12 season?
"I'm looking forward to getting back on the court with my best friends. We have all been working so hard together, and it should be a fun season!"
Other than basketball, what have you been doing in your spare time during the summer to keep busy?
"I have been taking summer classes as well as baby-sitting. Every now and then the team likes to get together, relax and have some fun too!"