By Mike Myers
Katie Garrish, a freshman from Annandale, Va., is the Knight of the Week. Garrish is off to a phenomenal start on the women’s basketball team, averaging a double-double of 15.2 points and 10.2 rebounds per game. She is in the top five of the Capital Athletic Conference in both statistical categories and, after leading the team to a 2-0 record in the week of Nov. 19, she was named CAC women’s basketball player of the week.
“Katie has been a great addition to our squad this season,” commented head women’s basketball coach Heather Roberts. “She is a force in the post on both the offensive and defensive ends of the floor. She is a great teammate and an important part of our team.”
What made you decide to come to Southern Virginia University?
It was actually a late decision for me to come here. I figured that it would be a great environment for me, and I’m very happy with my decision!
What makes Coach Roberts unique from previous coaches that you have played for?
She is very enthusiastic. She is really tough on us sometimes, which is what we need to be successful and it’s good to have a coach that really pushes us to the limits.
What are your strengths and weaknesses on the court?
Well, I think I have a height advantage! That’s really helpful but I wish that I had a better outside shot, that’s something that I wish I could have. But I think I’m stronger inside with post-up moves.
Who is a player that you’ve looked up to in the past?
All throughout high school, I looked up to Jennifer Hamson from BYU. She played volleyball and basketball, and I aspired to be like her! She was a big role model for me and now she’s in the WNBA. She actually my stepdad’s cousin, so I got to have dinner with her sometimes!
How do you prepare for a game?
For this past game, we actually sat in the trainer’s room and listened to music and that got us all pumped. It really brings the team closer together and I think it helps on the court. I feel like our group of freshman bond really well with some of the older girls so we are pretty unified. We spend time together outside of basketball as well.
What are you majoring and what would you like to do for a career?
I am taking a lot of classes that focus on family and child development. I would like to be a teacher for third or fourth-grade students. I feel like I’ve helped my younger siblings learn those subjects, and I love seeing their faces when something clicks for them.
Do you have a favorite music group?
I’m a lover of music in general. When I study, I listen to Lindsey Sterling. I can’t listen to music with words because otherwise I’ll get distracted.
What is an issue facing our society that you would try to fix?
I really hate the racial problem that we have in America. It’s such a difficult issue for people to discuss and I wish people could understand more where other people are coming from. I wish people would be more open-minded and if there is a way to change that, I wish I could. I think having that perspective comes a lot from where I am from because it’s very diverse there. Seeing different cultures come together is really cool.
Outside of family, who has been the most influential person in your life?
My culinary teacher in high school was very influential on me. She always helped me through hard times but she also inspired me to do the best that I can and to never quit.
What is something unique about you that most people don’t know?
I shoot right-handed, but I’m actually left-handed so I’m kind of ambidextrous! I also played volleyball all throughout high school. I also played lacrosse, and I did the shot put and I made it to state my senior year.
What would you say to a prospective basketball athlete that is looking into SVU?
I think the environment is the best part. I would really like for them to visit this place first, and really meet the players because they’ll get to see how much fun it is. Even though we work hard, we like to enjoy our time together and that’s a big part of being on a team. Also, get to know Coach Roberts because she is a lot of fun!