Editor's Note: Back by popular demand. Coming off another historic season which featured the program's record-14th consecutive regular season Horizon League championship, as always there is a lot of anticipation for the next season in Green Bay women's basketball. Every Thursday 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. This week we catch up with the last of our junior class in Sam Zastrow.
Redshirt Junior, Sam Zastrow (Algoma, Wis.), 5'5", G
As you enter your junior campaign at Green Bay, what are you most looking forward to this season?
"With having a different coach this season, it will be interesting to see and learn his style. I'm also just looking forward to being with the girls every day. I know it's the same girls I've been playing with the past few years but I like to see how much everyone improves in the offseason. It's such an amazing feeling to see everyone's hard work pay off."
What do you think is the most valuable lesson you've learned throughout the past two years that you carry with you every day at practice or games?
"The most valuable lesson I've learned is to respect your teammates and yourself. Everyone makes mistakes in practices and games and I'm always willing to help out where needed if one of my teammates needs instruction. No one is perfect so we all need to continue to work together on helping each other improve."
What do you need to improve on the most in order to be the player you want to be in the 2012-13 season?
"My defense needs to improve from moving my feet faster to guarding the ball and not always trying to steal it and just focusing on defensive stops."
You have the honor of playing for Coach Borseth this season and growing up in Algoma it's safe to assume you've had the chance to see him coach during your prep career. What have you seen from Coach Borseth so far that has been refreshing and unexpected and how excited are you to have him at Green Bay?
"Coach Borseth has such a great personality and is so approachable and easy to talk to. I remember being a little kid when my dad and I were in Kohl's and we saw him and I was completely star struck. My dad encouraged me to go talk to him, so I did and he knew already who I was and where I was from. He's just so personable, which is great."
Throughout your career you averaged 4.5 minutes per contest. Do you accept the role of coming in during the final minutes of a game and what are you doing during the offseason to have your best season yet?
"I definitely do not accept the role, it's not fun, especially when I work hard every day and do the same thing my teammates do. I know I have to continue to improve and can't just expect to go to practice and then play, I have to concentrate at getting better at the little things. I love guarding Megan at practice because she's one of the best players I've ever played against. I know that if I can guard her, I will be prepared to guard anyone."
Over the past year you've dropped a noticeable amount of weight. What brought you to the decision to do so and what was your secret? What have you noticed with the transformation?
"At first I didn't really notice the weight I was putting on and just thought I was getting stronger with muscle mass until one day my dad told me that I clearly had too much weight on me. I just started to eat the right things and working out all the time. I knew I couldn't have that much weight on me if I ever wanted to play. I was slow, felt like I wasn't moving and couldn't get up and down the floor. I certainly notice the difference now."
What can Phoenix fans expect fromthis season?
"Fans can expect to see hard work from me. No matter what happens, whether I play the four minutes at the end of the game or I play longer, I'm going to work my hardest."
Having your dad who is also a coach, how much do you confide in him for advice relating to your game and how much do you work out with him during the summer, in the little time you do have to go back to Algoma?
"Every time we see each other we talk about basketball and what he thinks I need to improve on. We won't be talking about anything basketball related but then he'll just randomly bring something up like, 'you really need to work on your foot speed and you really should jump rope, etc.', we are constantly talking about it. When I go home during our break he'll workout with me every day, head to our high school gym and shoot. In high school it was sometimes hard having him as a coach but now I feel like we've both grown so much that it's a plus having him not only as a dad but a coach."
Should you have any free time during the summer months, what do you typically spend your day doing?
"Lying outside in the sun or if I have a day off I like to go visit my niece and my sister in Door County."
Favorite ice cream or summer treat and why?
"Blue Moon ice cream. At first I thought I would never try to eat something blue but once I tried it I loved it right away."