This week’s blog features a ‘Question and Answer’ with 2-time PGC Grad, Kristi Toliver. KT currently plays for the WNBA Chicago Sky after being drafted 3rd overall in the 2009 draft. This time of year during the WNBA off-season, she plays professional basketball overseas for Sopron, in Hungary.
A bright professional career ahead of her, she is best known for clutch shots and big game moments, especially in the NCAA tournament. Who could forget the 5’7″ Toliver launching a fade-away 3-pt shot over the outstretched arms of 6’7″ Alison Bales of Duke that catapulted the Terps into overtime and an eventual championship win in 2006? I caught up with her this week to get her thoughts about the Madness that is March.
LF: What are your fondest memories of participating in the NCAA tournament?
KT: Being a player in the NCAA tournament is something that I always cherished and a time that I’ll never forget. The feel of the tournament is different than any other basketball I’ve ever been apart of and there is really nothing better. My freshman year was probably the most memorable year in the tournament because of the amazing run we made, ultimately bringing home the crystal ball.
LF: Would you consider the shot over Alison Bales in the NCAA Championship game the biggest shot of your career?
KT: I don’t think I could have a more important shot in my life than the one I made over Alison. With everything that was on the line and doing it on the biggest stage in women’s basketball, I don’t think it could get any sweeter. However, I sure hope I’m wrong!
LF: Who are your Final Four picks this year on both the men’s and women’s side?
KT: My men’s Final Four picks are West Virginia, Kansas State, Kansas, Villanova. I like following for the women’s Final Four: Connecticut, Tennessee, Stanford, and Oklahoma.
LF: Do you have any immediate ‘sleeper’ picks to watch that you think will make it deep into the tournament?
KT: Well, I’m not sure if you’d call a #3 seed a sleeper, but I think in the women’s game that is Cinderella enough for me. With that being said, I have FSU [Florida State] and Oklahoma making it deep in the tourney (FSU losing the elite 8 game against UConn and Oklahoma beating Nebraska and going to the Final Four).
LF: What do you think about recent conversations to increase the number of teams invited to the NCAA tournament?
KT: I think that the tournament should remain the same. Call me old fashioned, but I think it’s a flawless tournament and a special tournament that you need to earn your way in. I think expanding it only takes away from how special it is. That’s what the NIT is for!
A big thank you to KT for sharing her thoughts about the NCAA tournament. You can stay updated on all of KT’s successes by following her on Twitter here: @KristiToliver.
We were privileged to host a PGC clinic with Atlanta Hawks point guard Jeremy Lin.
Here’s what Jeremy had to say about his time with us:
“The thing I love about PGC is they teach players to think the game. They learned about leadership, how to communicate, how to stretch yourself, take on risk—life lessons. It’s a different level of understanding of the game.”
PGC Basketball provides intense, no-nonsense basketball training for players and coaches. Our basketball camps are designed to teach players of all positions to play smart basketball, be coaches on the court, and be leaders in practices, games and in everyday life.
We combine our unique PGC culture with a variety of teaching methods and learning environments to maximize the learning potential of those that attend our sessions. In addition to spending 6-7 hours on the court each day, lessons will be reinforced through classroom sessions and video analysis.
Our goal at PGC is to empower you with the tools to fulfill your basketball dreams, while also assisting you in experiencing the joy of the journey.