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Episode · 1 year ago

Kara Lawson

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Former WNBA and Olympic Champion Kara Lawson was named Duke University’s fifth head women’s basketball coach July 11, 2020. She joins us in the Huddle this week to discuss her journey.    Lawson, a 2003 Tennessee graduate, brings her decorated basketball career, both on and off the court, to the Blue Devils after spending last season as an assistant coach with the Boston Celtics. She had helped Boston to a 43-21 record and into third place in the Eastern Conference prior to the stoppage of the 2019-20 NBA season due to COVID-19. Lawson was the Celtics first female coach in the franchise’s 73-year history. Her impact on the women’s basketball community is evident as she was named one of the 100 most influential people in women’s college basketball as announced by Silver Waves Media in the summer of 2020.     Coaching Experience: 2020-present:  Duke University (Head Coach) 2019-20:  Boston Celtics (Assistant Coach) 2017-present:  USA Basketball 3-on-3 Team (Head Coach)   USA Basketball Highlights: Preparing USA Basketball 3-on-3 Team for 2021 Tokyo Olympics Helped lead 3x3 teams to six gold medals since 2017 Led U18 3x3 teams to three straight titles Led 3x3 men's and women's teams to gold medal at 2019 Pan American Games 2009 National Team Training Camp 2008 National Team (Gold Medal) 2007 FIBA Americas Championship Team (Gold Medal) 2006 National Team Spring Training Team 2001 World University Games (Gold Medal) 1998 World Youth Games Team (Bronze Medal)   WNBA Highlights: Surpassed 3,000 points, 800 rebounds and 700 assists over her 13-year career Led nine of her teams to the playoffs out of 13 seasons 2012 & 2009 Kim Perrot Sportsmanship Award winner 2007 WNBA All-Star Led Sacramento Monarchs to WNBA Title in 2005 Drafted in the 2003 Draft, No. 5 overall, by the Detroit Shock 2003 WNBA Select Team that played in FIBA World Cup (2nd)   Tennessee Highlights: Guided Tennessee to a 126-17 overall and 54-2 SEC record Led Lady Vols to four straight SEC Tournament and regular season titles Made 2000, 2002 and 2003 NCAA Final Four appearances Ranks sixth all-time in scoring (1,950) Four-time All-SEC First Team (2000-03) Two-time Naismith Player of the Year finalist (2002-03) Two-time U.S. Basketball Writers of America All-America honoree (2002-03) 2003 Kodak All-America 2003 Associated Press Second Team All-America 2003 Arthur Ashe Jr. Female Student-Athlete of the Year 2003 CoSIDA/Verizon First Team Academic All-America selection 2002 Associated Press Third Team All-America 2001 Associated Press Honorable Mention All-America 2001 CoSIDA/Verizon Academic All-District honoree 2000 Women's Basketball Journal Freshman All-America and SEC All-Freshman Team See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Hey Everyone: we appreciate you joiningus in the Huddle, I'm your host fifteen year, tfl quarterback Gasfrot,alongside my longtime friend and cohost Tave Hager, where we talk to guestsabout how sports shape their life be sure to check us out on our websitehowdl up with Guscom, where you can listen to more episodes. Just like this.Now, let's join the huddle wellcm e ent to the sport circus. I'myour hose today, Gus Frott on cuddle up with Gust. You can find us at RADIOCOMor wherever you listen to your favorite podcast, and we want to thank everyonefor listening on Youtube and facebook. Also, we want to thank our listeners onKios. Ninety seven point: Nine in Las Vegas, public radio, KC AA and also thepeople on Sixteen thirty one digital news. Today, our guest is none otherthan Carolason the Duke Women's basketball, coach, new, Duke Women'sbasketball, Coacho. You may know her from the WNBA playing at the Universityof Tennessee and all of heur other accolades. She has a gold medal aroundher neck as well, so Kara. Thank you for joining me on huddle up with Guss.How are you I'm doing great it's exciting time forus down here, Duke our students are back on campus. We started o workoutwith our clayers this week and you just kind of got that, beginning of the year,all those exciting feelings, Amon, O staff and Amonts of players aboutgetting started. I'm sure I'm sure everybody's excitedto get back and get working because we've been in such a downturn withCovid, but let's get back to when you were a kid and really how you fell inlove with sports talk to me about growing up in Alexandra Virginia, Imean I knew that place well from playing with the redskins. My wife wasa nurse at Fairfax Hospital. You know, I knew that area really well, but tellme about growing up and why you fell in love with Sports Eli got into sports at an early age. MyDad was an active thad in terms of puttingus into sports teams, and we had a rule in our house that you had to playusffor every season didn't matter what it was you could. You could pick what itwas, but every season fall winter, an ind spring. You had to be in a sport,and so I tried them all. I tried everything I played a little. FootballPlayed Baseball, play, basketball, rand track. Playe tennis just really triedeverything and wanted to see what spoke to me. You know what I really enjoyedthe most and that was basket otball. So once I got in the fifth or sixth grade,I realized that basketball was my favorite. I still play soccer up untilhigh school, but really knew that basketball was where I wanted to play.What I wanted to play in college and at that time, when I was in elementaryschool, there wasn't a w NBA. So my dream is a Pyn Mba, because therewasn't a league yet for four women and then, when I got into high school thethe Ba started, and that gave me an even clearer path. I knew I wanted toplay college but then half dreams of being a professional athlete as a young woman, and so that waspretty special just like it is for a lot of players to get drafted and get achance to fulfil a childhood dream of of being a professional athlete, but itall started for me back home, the DC area. I still have a home and AlexanderVirginia and still very close to a lot of my childhood friends, my high schoolfriends, I'm actually going back there this weekend, so I'm there a lot. Mymom is there and I have a sister that lives there as well. So it's very muchhome for me. Yes, so you know you say you triedeverything right. I think that's really good for kids today. So tell me how youfeel about kids playing multiple sports, because I think it gives kids such anunderstanding of all the different aspects of what the game really is,because if you just play one sport, you don't really get to expand your skillsets. How do you feel about that? I mean, I can only say, Wal work for meand to be involved in different types...

...of sports, really help my overallgrowth and development, not just physically, because you're utilizingdifferent muscles and mutilizing different types of endurance, differenttypes of cardio, but I didn't know all that stuff back then I just enjoyedthat. It was something new for me to have to figure out and and instufflewhen Youre, a basketball player, what you have to figure out and how you haveto try and to attack the game it's different than when you're playingstockern is different than when you're playing football and it's differentthan when you're playing tennis or running track, and all those thingsreally are challenging you to think quickly, challenging you to think clearand then teaching yourself to transfer now those thoughts into a specificaction. First Fort. So for me, it was invaluable to be able to play all thosedifferent sports. It also exposes you to different teammates and differentways that you interact with your teammates on the field were in tracks.Maybe I was out there by myself and tennis. I was out there by myself whenI was in soccer, I'm out there at the same time, with ten other playerswheret's in basketball. It's only four players, whereas in football it's tenother players, but some of them, I don't play with. On the other side ofthe ball, I mean there's so many things that you learn as a young person that Imean deeper than like the howdow in how to lose right. Like course, you learnhow to win ot lose, but even deeper than that is how to interact with withpeople in a competitive setting, and when you're constantly changing thatsetting. I think it makes you just a better all better overall, completeathlete in person. So how many times would you go to where there wasn't acoach, a parent or anybody around? Where you go to the court? You meangrowing up for me, that's what we did all the time we went to the field ofcourt. It was just me and my buddies, or you know other kids from otherneighborhoods and we really learn how to like you're talking about deal withsituations that there was no coach there handling that stuff right. Youhad O handle it as kids and it taught you a lot about right and wrong and allthe situations how to deal with them now. Did you have a court or a favoriteplace in the area? Where you would you go play? I was really lucky. I had. I had a fewof them, so my next door neighbor s still my best friend to this day, hisname's Johnny, and he had a cord in his driveway so and we weren't able to hehad a flatter driveway. My driveway was more slanted, so we could, you knowyou'd, be shooting at nine feet at the top on the Leven feet at the bottom, sowe didn't put a hoop in my driveway but his drive plan. He had a hoop, and sothat's where we played every day one on one different games. You Know HorseTwenty one, whatever it was, and then we were also fortunate our neighbormenthad to park, and if we wanted to play with more kids, we could go up to thepark and play five UN five or three on three half cord a lot, a lot of gamesthere in the summer- and you know we Johnny An D. I live Bos close enough tothe park that we could hear our mom's calling us if it was time for Munodinner and then of course, thought the neighborhood rule for most householdswas come home when street lights come on, O you're, not in the house. Shecome on Youryourin, big time trauvel. So right at that's, where we playedgrowing up was just those you know, those two courts, and that was where Ispent most of my time in the summers. Obviously, when it was wininher time-and it was the structure of basketball- I played in Elementary School Gims orwherever my league was playing, but most of the hour spent playing was wason those two courts. Now did you have a natural shot or did did you? Did?Somebody teach you like because for me it was just learning we just went outand played, and you kind of figured out you shot how you liked theb. How wasthat for you? Did you? Have somebody teach you like hey, you got to haveyour elbow and you know all the all the correct ways to shoot a basketball. Butfor me it was man. I just learned so much just going out and playing yeah. I mean. I definitely had someonehelp me with my shot. When I started I shop dranny style with a kickball, because Icouldn't I wasn't strong EG enough to...

...make it reach, not the ten foot room.When I was like three four years old and then once I got enough strength to get thekickball up there, then I graduated to regular basketball, but I was stillheavier, and so once I got enough strength to do that, then I was able to graduate to like tohand push when I'm like six seven, eight years old. You know I'm trying topush it up there with all my might to get up there and I got party good shootto handed and I woas say I was around Fifth Grade Sixth grade that I switchedto the one hand that you're talking about where you're shooting like that,and that was a hard summer. That was a hart transition to do that, because Ihad gotten pretty good with my aim and with my distance to shoot to hand, andI could shoot farther and now I'm having the to change the one hand andhurt my efficiency there in the beginning. But you know know it was thebest long term to learn to shoot like that. So I just kind of slowly went up.You know back when I was growing up there weren't a ton of rims that youcould lower. You know now they own they play yeah friends Ar Ower, so kids canhave the propef techniques from right away, and you know I didn't have that.So what we did was you just yo figured out,and so when I was three and four, I could only make it up there with akickbalb or any style. So that's how it shot. And then, when I got strong OgerI could graduate to different things. Yeah. I know that's amazing. I thinkit's that's incredible that that you know a lot of kids would have especially how far you've gone a lot ofkids go through those transitions like you talked about, it's very difficultfor them and they say I'm not doing this anymore. They give up too easy.But what gave you that dry did you have an idol or somebody that you know?Besides your dad? I Know Your Dad is probably pushing you, but did you havean idol like in the NBA? I know the MBA was when you were young and then wnbadein start later, but di Javen somebody you really looked up to when you wereyoung, I mean most people. My generations isMJ right. I mean its Michael Jordan growing up in the s being able to watchhim, and s watched him Com of age in Chicago and then Wen all thosechampionships for sure o did you stick your tongue out when you were shooting a lot, I mean more when I was jumpingthan when I was shooting and yeah just a it's a a fun time to bea a young player that loves basketball. We watching him play. That's why I waswas really cool to watch the last dance thes spring. I think for a lot ofsports fans, because it takes your back to how old were you when Jordan wasdoing these things and what you remember, and so definitely definitelya Michael Jordan Fan. When I was a kid now, the WNBA is coming into fold,where they're starting a whole league for women, which is an amazing thingwhich it feels like it was. It was overdue. You're in high school, now you're playing the game you're comingto your own you're feeling, like you, love this game, you want to be reallygood. Who did you look up to in the WNBA because you know it's grownrapidly, but when it first started, probably wasn't on TV as much, youprobably didn't get to catch everything. So how did you find like? Did you watchit a lot? What was your kind of mindset of following somebody in the WNBA? It started the year in between mysophomore and junior year of high school. I can't say that I followed it closely. I knew it was there the first year and I watched some gameson TV, but I was busy with my own games and a ous during the summer, and that'sthat's when you have a heavy dose of Aau, so I can't say that I watch toomany games, but the following summer, which was a summer in between my juniorn senior years of high school Washington, got a team and soWashington had a team, the mystics in the WBA and so that summer I did go toquite a few games because I could go and watch them in my in my own homedown, go downtown to is now called...

...capital. One arena itwas called MCIcenter when it first when it first started, and so so that gave me a teamto root for a team to cheer for and chance to watch in person, some of thegreatest female basketball players in the world. So I would say more more sothat second summer was when I got into watching it a little bit. SO THAT'S AWESOME! So then Y you're,coming into your own you're, going to be a senior you're getting recruited.What was the recruiting process for you and then how did you pick Tennessee? All the recruiting process waschallenging because it's a great place to be in thatthere's, so many schools that want you to play there at theire at their school,but it's challenging because they're all good options and it'sreally hard to pick just one for me. I wanted to play for Pat Summit, had agreat connection with her. I loved how competitive she was. I lovehow she challenged her players and I loved just everything about her. I wanted to becoached by the best coach in the country and and going t the Universityof Tennessee felt like the best place for me on a side note, I wanted to be acoach, that's what I want. I knew I wanted to do when I was done playing,so it felt like pretty good logic to me. If you want to be a coach to play forthe best coach, Wutd Wull probably help you out in that area, and so that's that's. How I chose to go toUniversity of Tennessee. Wasn't too far about eight hours from home in DC, so aday's drive away, so my family was still Hav o come watch me play some ofthe time, but far enough away that you kind of get that independence. That Ithink is important when you're a young person going away to college right- and you talked about shechallenged, you did she challenge you on and off the court in the classroom.How what was she like? I mean we've all seen her competitive drive during games.I mean she is intense. She gets her players to play hard. What is she whatwas pat like when you were going to class and and if you weren't pullingthe weight? What did she say to you guys? Well, you got to look first, usuallyand that' on Nyou aren't watching her, but yeah I mean we had standard that wewere held to I mean we had to go to every class on your schedule and youhad to sit in the first three rows of that class and they would send peoplearound the check to make sure we were in class and that we were sitting inthe first three rows, how you treated people you know looking at them in the eye,speaking to them, clearly respecting everybody that you come across oncampus. All of those were nonnegotiables for being a part of theladyball Programis, just what it was built on foundation of being a greatmember of the community being a great member of the university, and so thatwas something that you know she taught us on and off the court. Yeah I mean onthe court, there's an expectation every day of how you come to work and how youcome to compete. My practices were competitive and there's a winner andthere's loser and drills and everything was charted, and so you knewexactly where you were at the end of practice. How good a day you had, youdidn't have to ask a coach or ask anybody that you go over to themanagers and they have who won and who lost today in all the drills and theyhave the shots as you took, and how many did you make and how many did youmiss, and so it just makes you accountable for every time that you'reout there every time that you're out there in practice. You know that thatthat it's going to be recorded and you've got to put your best footforward and then off the courd. She was really good at honting in on what thestrengths and weetknesses were were for you as a person and how she could helpyou grow in your weaknesses. So she challenge you off the court as well. Itcould be something T as s basic as...

...discipline, making sure that you'redisciplined enough to be where you're supposed to be when you're supposed tobe there. For me, it was becoming a bettercommunicator off the court and becoming more confident in that communication,and so there's a lot of a lot of ways that she helped me grow as a person asa player, and that's exactly why I went there because I knew that by the time Iwas done, I'd be totally different in terms of how I looked at lives. How Iapproached lifes and how prepared I was for life after playing playing for herin college. Well, I mean you played on the biggeststage in college, and then you also, while you were in college, am I rightabout this? You went on and play in some World Games as well. Is that right? And so what was that,like? I mean you're playing an college against the best now you're going to goand play against the best in the world. So what was that was that, were youpretty nervous for that or did Dod Really Cood Somand? Get you ready forall those experiences? Yeah I've been lucky in my life. I'vealways felt prepared for for anything that that's been put in front of me.That doesn't mean that I' e won everything right. I mean right, youname you lose games, but I've always gone into games. Feeling like I wasprepared- and I think that's a testament to my parents- is testamentsof the coaches- that I've had I've always felt prepared so going playingUSA, basketball. When I was in college, you know I was fortunate enough to playUSA, basketball and when I was in high school as well. So when I got to theWorldl University Games in college, I kind of had some experience with anevent that big and then, of course, playing at tensen great understandingof what it compete so felt pretty comfortable going over there to China,and we were fortunate enough to win when gold at the world unversity gamesin two thousand and one great great memory for us and a great opportunityfor me to continue to grow as a player, and that came out a critical time forme, because I was transitioning from being a sophomore to a junor thatsummer and we had o graduated some really good leaders, some captains onour team that had a great impact on our group, and I was now making thattransition that a lot of players make when you become go from Bhengunderclassmen to an upper classman. Now you got more ownership for team. Nowyour voice is more powerful. You have to be prepared to step into that andand own it and being a captain on that World University Games. Team kind ofgave me a little practice kind of gave me a little confidence outside of mynormal bubble and and having to do that with withsome new players, and I think that really helped me going into my junioryear embrace the challenge of being a leader and being somebody that a teamwas going to count on every night. So when you played on that team, did you know a lot of the other players?Hor did not know an of them, because that that is a different challenge aswell. Like your teammates, you've known for quite a few years, you live withthem in and out every day, but now you're on a youre going to play with alot of people. You may know, but you don't really know and so to be theleader you have to get to understand them really well. Just like I had tounderstand the ten other people in the huddle with me and you have tounderstand their profiles or personalities and how to deal with allthat. So I'm sure that gave you a crash course on how to do that. Yeah I mean the good thing about thebasketball family is it feels big, but it's pretty small, so the players Iplayed with and Onlty USA teams I'd been playing agains since I was younger,Mor played against them in college or play again or teammates with them onearlier. USA teams, Yo all kind of know, one another being at that level, and soit's not like from scratch having to learn somebody new. They are some. They are people that youdon't generally play with every day. So on international teams, it's reallyimportant to quickly learn your teammates, not just personality wise,but from a skillset standpoint like...

...what do they do well? Where do they struggle so that you can?You can put them in the best position to succeed, especially being a pointguard right. I mean that is your job on the offensive en is getting everyonewhere they need to be and making sure that they're able to have success.Coring the ball so yeah that that definitely helped mehelped me a lot to have to do that that summer. So when you're playing in these Games,I'm sure coach, Som, it was hard on every part of the you know whether itwas offense or defense transition. All these things, when you're, when you'reover there is it more like hey we're going to score points, or is it we'regoing to play just like coach Som, it said we're going to play everythingsuper hard. You know, because you know when you watch some of these games,that people are more into scoring. They want to put a lot of points on theboard. What was that like for you did? Was it more about like hey we're goingto play this whole thing, the whole game or we're going to do we're goingto try and push the ball score? A lot of points yeah. I think we were coached by Debbe Ryan, who wasa coach at Uva. So while you bring some of the competitive threads with youfrom Tennessee, what we were trying to achieve wasbasically her offense and her defense and just making sure that, as a pointguard that that's being executed when you're out on the court getting achance to look at different styles and play a different style. I think thatwas valuable for me, as well as a college player, and so when youplay in those international teams, that's what it comes down to is justtrying to figure out how you can best use the talent you have to win yeah. No, we want to thank everyone forlistening to us on sport, circus and all of the people. Listening on Youtubeand facebook were joined by Carolofson will be right. Back, hey listeners thanks for joining Dave,and I in the huddle we invite you to join our excusive huddle throughPatreon, where you can get access to content made just for VIPs, likeyourself, head to our website, huddle up with Guscom and hit support ourpodcast on the popup ad. Once again, that's Huddl up with guscom. Now, let'sget back in the huddle, Tey Welome back to the sport, serciceO' your host Gusferot, you can find me at huddle up with guscom on radio COMor wherever do you listen to your favorite podcast? We want to thank ourlisteners on Youtube and facebook and also on sixteen thirty one digital news.We want to thank our listeners on kiof. Ninety seven point: Nine Las VegasPublic Radio, KCAA, W DJY and KSI X, we're talkng with Karakara. We wentthrough your college career and all those transitions you're making nowyou're getting ready to make another transition, which is huge, which I'vebeen there now you're getting drafted by Detroit. But you have an amazingstory you get drafted by Detroit and five days later, you're traded. Did youknow all this was happening? I didn't know that was happening on thefront end of the draft, but when, after I got drafted, I got in the back and you get a call from Bill Im beer who was the GM in thecoach of Detroit who had just drafted me and he basically told me I wasgetting traded. It was going to happen soon, but he didn't tell me where. So that was my welcome to the WBAmoment. YSUPOSETO yeah, the team is, you know, supposedto be saying on the phone, or are you thinking your head they're going to besaying, we're so happy to have you? We can't wait. We think you're going to bea great player here and Billin Beers like hey we're, not keeping youportrayeding, you so you'll be hearing from your new teamsoon, and so that was a few days later. Ididn't know who it was, and then I ended up getting traded to Sacramentoand going to Sacramento was a great fit. For me. It was a veteran team, a teamthat was ready to contend right away...

...and got a chance to play with some greatplayers out there and God chanced to really grow as a young player andunderstand what what it means to win in the Leagueat an early age- and you know some players, all of us as players initially can'tcontrol our path. Sometimes you see, young players go theteams that are losing teams and it's tough for them to really understand what it means andwhat it takes to win that league and some of them pick up bad habits thatthey never shake. I went to a team where it was a winningteam and in order to play as a rookie, I had to play the right way. I had toearn minutes the right way, and so that taught me a lot in the expectation of what ittakes to win and what it means to win in the playoffs. I was getting thosetypes of experiences my first year second year, thirty or fourth year inthe league kind of just sent the tone for me and I think prioritize the right thingsas a professional athlete, wisout winning and the team ore. The numberone thing and knowing how to win and knowing how to do that. I think is waswas a great lesson and I'm thankful that that trade happened and I went toSacramento Yeh. So do you feel like when you, whenyou went to the professional ranks? It was more about your teammates. Now.Coaches are invaluable to kind of organizing preparing the game plans allthose types of things, but do you feel it was like the teammates, the lockroom that made teams great like for you, especially like you get there? who wasthat leader was that that leader for you like running the whole team? Youknow the coaches are wonderful, but those leaders in the locker room, therones that push you to be better and make those teams great. Did you seethat kind of happening W T AT SACRAMENTO? To be honest? Not really not. When Ifirst got there, it was a lot of veterans, but I wouldn't say they were super investedin the young players. I think they kind of had their eyes on job, I'm trying towin yeah. So you know it's kind of get in where youfit ind, depending on the team and I'm cool with that. I mean I've alwaysbeen placed in situations where I was competitive and you had to earn therespect, and so that's what I focused on was just earning respect of theplayers that I played with on the court and practice every day and en gainsituations. And then, when you do that, they're going to embrace what you bringand they're going to value what you bring and feel like that that they needthey need you as a part of the success of the team. So that's what I focusedon when I became a veteran. I tried to do that with younger players, but Ican't sit here and say that that was done for me when I was a young player,but I do think that if a young players fortunate enough to be in a situationwhere they have a veteran that does that take advantage of it and make surethat you, you exhaust all the knowledge that they have, because theaccumulation and knowledge that Betterans have in their respectivesports so valuable and is something that can really help you on player yeah. I think it's so hard to isprofessional sports, because there's no next step right in college there'sanother step. If I'm good enough, I can go play professional on high school andgo to college and there's different levels, but when you're at theprofessional level, you know those veterans can be there ten twelve years,just like you played that long, and you know they know you're coming into tryand take their spots. So there's a really tough way to look at it. Assaying I'm going to give my knowledge to this young person a and hopefullythey help our team win and they're great, but then, if they're too goodthat it might take my job and and then I'll be watching from the sideline,send. How did you feel going through your career with those kind of thingswhere you want ID always kind of gave it up to the young players coming in...

...yeah? I think to me. I never really felt threatenedby by young players. I always felt like that they were talented enough thatthey could help help our team and it's it would help me to and Basketballis a little different,obviously than the football, and that you can play the same position and playand rasktball right. So we have two guards aon the court. Youknow you on't have two quarterbacks Nowe. Have we have two forwards out onthe court? So just because someone, and then whath, that said too, the backuppoint guard always plays every game right, because Realy Starteng can playgame you on play the whole game typically. So so I feel like from apositional standpoint. While there is some of that that youspoke of going on th thit's, not as much inbasketball, because we all still get to play now, if you're a backuppoint guard,do you want to start shirt? You know if you're youw starting point guard, doyou want to maintain that position and not let the backup take your dop Sirt,but you both still play and you're both really important to the team and bothwork together to try and put the team in the best position. So I never reallyfelt that I knew that in part of that goes backto you know, like my dad and coach summit every day in practice was a competition, an that was how I was raised, and thatwas how I was talking college. So I'm going to battle you everyday anyway,regardless righ. That's that's the way you approach, I'm not scared of that.I'm not going to hide from that going to embrace that, and I think, if youjust go in with that myset of just competing every day, then it's going tobe something. That's that's really good! Well, yeah, I kind of had that infootball a little bit. You know where I had other quarterbacks that wouldn'twant to give you any oftheir knowledge and for me it was always like. I cangive you all my knowledge. You should have to go out and do it on the field.It doesn't matter so and if you're good, then we're all be better becausethere's times that you're going to have to come in and play and then or inpractice, it means so much to get better every day. And so, but there are,everybody has a different mentality right and I think your mentality isgreat. Like Hey, I don't doesn't matter how much you know. You still have tocome on his court and beat me out or or compete with me and I'm going tocompete it at a high level, and I think that's what all the great players havedone, and definitely that's what you have done so you're going through yourNBA career now, you've gone through. All these amazing transitions tell usabout now going to the Olympics. What was that like for you I going to the Olympics? Was a dream?Come true for me a chance to represent the US. As we talked about earlier ihadplayed for Ousa, basketball and high school team, I had played for collegeteam and now geting a chance to represent United States on a nationalteam. It's what you aspire to be it's thehighest level you can get to as a basketball player higher than the WBAhigher than college higher than anything else and to be able to go onthat stage and when a gold medal. I was just a great validation. For me, an mycareer represent my country, my family, the DC area, all those things kind ofall into one. So it was a great moment for me and for my family yeah now it seems like it would be, andI think that talk a little bit about the first game right. You go over thereyou're with your team. You re you're practicing, but it's. This is the firstgame and you're representing your comf country and you're standing on thesidelines you're getting ready to play. You gotto have some butterflies, because this is different than any game. You've everplayed in right once you start playing, it all comes out and it's natural, butI think at first tell us about like...

...what was going through your mind,representing your country before that first game, when you're standing on thesideline with your teammates e. just excitement excitement ready togo prepared, felt like we've been preparing for a long time, because wehad, we have been preparing for a few years leading up to the Olympics. TheOlympics is obviously a different deal than anything else, because it's onceevery four years, like you, don't get that chance. R, not like play nextSunday and Ol. We get like fifteen more Sundays. After that, like this is likea one shot thing and yeah you can feel excitement. You can feel the pressureyou can can feel the nerves and going into that first game, justreally wanting to make sure that I had the game playne down and that I wasprepared to execute my role F for the team, and I think that's something Iwas really proud of in my experience with Olympics. Obviously, I'm proud ofthe gold medal, but what I'm most proud of was that I executed my role like Idid what was asking me and in that role I gave a team. You know great great value and whatthey needed, and I think that's you know that's in a in a short way. That'sexactly what you should do as a team as a teammate right is worryd about doing your job, worryingabout executing your role and do that to the best of your ability- and I feellike I did- that in the Beijing Olympics and that's probably what Ifeel the most proud of more than more than the gold metal mean the gold memetals, a symbol of that. But knowing that when your team needed you, youcame through and you executed on the biggest fostible stage. That's that'ssomething that's very fulfilling as a athlete Kara we're going through yourtime. Ind The NBA going to the Olympics now you're, also still playing in theAbe now you're getting into broadcasting like it's crazy. How muchyou're doing now did also. I want to talk a little bit about broadcasting,but we interviewed Renadea Montgomery not too long ago, and she was talkingabout how she used to go overseas and play a lot in the offseason. Did you dothat as well? I never played overseas. My first yearout of college. I got a phone call from ESPN asking me. If I had woan interview fora position for an analysts position to call a couple games it wasn't it wasn'ta job offer per se. It was like hey. We need some help, calling a couple games.We need an analyst to call a couple. Women's College Games would would youcome up interview and at the very least I thought wow, it's a free trip toBristol. Maybe I'll get a chance to meet seward Scott. It might be pretty cool, so I went upthere. I majored in finance, Ing College. I didn't have a background incommunications, nor really a desire, quite frankly, to be in broadcasting,but I figured it would give me a chance to at least have a have, a tape ofmyself calling the game for posterity, and so I went up. Thereended up getting the position and then worked there. Sixteen years workedthere sixteen years, so it evolved into a couple games to a full time, and sothat's that's, basically how my broadcasting career got start.Yet No, I was wondering how that came about because you know for them just tocall you out of nowhere. It seems to me, like somebody had to say, like hey,Careis, a great interview, she does an amazing job with this was a coachsummit. You know who that was that said, tody s pan. You should call care toreally come up and help you out at ESPN. No, I'm not really sure I mean atTennessee were high profile program and we weregetting interviewed all the time you know before our games after our gamesand press conferences- and I think someone at Espn just told me that theyhad seen me get interviewed on the...

...court post game when I was playingthere and thought maybe thats something that that would translate to being agood announcer, and so that's that's kind of how it happened. So do you have a I mean when you're anannouncer when you're on ESPN and you're a broadcast, you have to have avast knowledge of the game right, the history of it. Currently, what's goingon so d? Do you follow it that closely that you really understand all thelittle nuances that are going on the game? Past end present yeah, I mean you have to be preparedfor anything when you're a broadcaster, so you have to know the teamsintimately. You have to know the the Xas, an nos you have to know theirjourney where they're coming from their history, the coaches, where their program is right. Now allof those things are important and when you look at when you look at doing a game, you can't script it. It's not scripted.That's why we all love sports as fans as spectators. Is You never know?What's going to happen and as a prodcaster, you have to be prepared forthat. You never know what direction the game is going to go in. Maybe the starplayer gets hurt in the first two minutes of the game and you had plannedon talking about him or her for a big Chunky, your broadcast and all of asudden, that's out the window. Maybe the coach gets thrown out and youwhad plan to talk about something about that coach and they get thrown out ofthe game. They get teat up so I' love that Ilove not knowing and just beingable to react to what's going on and if you're prepared, you know, you're justready to sit back and enjoy the ride. Now. What did you like, better being onESPN and being kind of doing that, where you're in front ofthe cameras telling the story of what happened or being a broadcaster whereyou'r actually color commentating on? What's going on in the game? Which onedid you prefer there's nothing like being ut the lifeat the live event, because you get to experience all thosethings that we experience as athletes right, you get to feel the crowd youget to talk to the players, talk to thecoaches so and from a broadcasting sense, it's the closest to the gamewhen you're calling a live event. But when you do that, you are really onlylocked into your event Andso. Well, I prefer that, and- and I prefer to be atthe event- there is something cool about seeing all the games and being astudion and seeing everything that's happening that day, because maybe yourgame is' done, I mean you, have them they're, not obreaking, you're, Gein,elive event, and someone else has this amazing game and you miss it all, atleast in real time, and so some of my great greatest memories broadcastingwas doing the NTA tournament and sitting there and seeing all the TVsand getting a chance to watch all all of the drama and fold in front of you,whereas when you're at that game, that's that's all you see and that'sall you know about. What's going on right, so you became the first woman toever really announce N NBA game in two thousand and seventell me about that. Experience for you, yeah that experience was being at theright place at the right time. I was in Oklahoma City, getting ready to call agame or GE rite to be sideline reporter fora game and the analyst that was supposed to call the game had travelissues getting there and about two. In the afternoon I found out. I was goingto be calling the game that night and ended up, because I was prepared being fine being ready to go andbecause I followed the League at the time I was also working for thesacramental kings, doing their games doing their studio, pregame half timepost game shows nighted an night out an the NBA. So I had a good grass fom theleague. I had a good grasp Bo. You know...

...the strategies, N and the players, soit's pretty pretty seinless fit for me and certainly a great opportunity, so you retired, I think in two thousandand thirteen- is that correct, fifty two thousand and fifteen, so youretired from the WNBA which most of us when we retire from ourprofessional sport, we're like okay. What are we going to do next? Youalready know what you're going to do: Nextsay, where you're you're inbroadcasting you've already built that background for yourself. Now you stayin that for a little while and then how do you get from that to where youbecome an assistant coach with the Celtics that that amazes me that thathappened, because I trye to do that in the NFL, where I went on to go back andbe a coach and it didn't happen for me. Well, as I shared with you earlier, Ialways wanted to be a coach, so that was always in the back of my mind and wasn't something I could pursueuntil I was done playing once I've finished playing. I had that career of a broadcasting, sothat was very helpful because I didn't have to look for a job. I had one and I was able to make that transition in my free time,because remember I'd been used to working two jobs, all the time riht. Ionly have one job, so I had a lot of free time and in that free time Istarted to pursue coaching. I started with High School Players, coaching withUSA, basketball, three on three started: working with young women high schoolplayers the next year I started working with young men and young women and thenalso working with some Geli players and working with some WBA players. So I wasworking, maybe not publicly too much, but behind the scenes to become abetter coach and to coutinue to grow in that area. I wasn't out there looking for jobs, I didn't apply for any. I wasjust I. I was groving myself in that area and I didn't have pressure to lookbecause I had a great media acareer, so I didn't have to go and jump somewhereright and then NBA team started to call me. I mean similar to the SPN thing, for whatever reason I was fortunate. Inthat way, an b a team started calling me inquiring about me working for themand when Boston, speltics called Brad Stevens the head coach. There had agreat conversation with him N. I had a great conversation with Danny Age anddefinitely felt like it would be a good fit for me to start my traditional coaching career,even though I've been coaching for three years internationally and that'show the the I got to the Boston Celtics and has had a great experience there. Ilove those guys. I love working with Bras, Stevens and Danny Age, andcertainly Rooti for Rootin hard for forthe forthe Celtic in this year's NBAplayoffs. So when you're there and you're playingin such a historic when you're coaching in such a historic place, tell me aboutthat like there's so much history that have gone on in at Basketball Court.You know when you're on that parquet floor and you're, seeing that it's justamazing and I couldn't imagine being a coach you put on the you- know the theuniform and that so many great players wore- and I knew you were a fan of theAnbay since you've been a little girl. So tell me about that. Experience foryou, yeah there's! No doubt every time youwalk out in the garden before game, and you seeall those banners. Seventeen of them, you see all those jerseys and feel youfeel t you feel the energy there's, never a down game in the garden. Youknow and we go to a lot of arenos across the league, and you know the crowd. The crowds aredifferent in each arena in Boston, like...

...the juice is always there, the Juwcea nalways there, and you come out two hours before thegame and they're ready to go. They love the sheltics and the love for theCeltics Reaches Back Generations. For these people. You know theirgrandparents, their great grandparents people that an Boston fans for years.So you feel that and they embrace you when you're one of their own- and Ilove my time in Boston- I'm always going to be a celtics fan and alwaysgoing to cheer for those guys, because that fan base and that city, just theylove basketball, and I was fortunate enough to be a part of it for a season.Yeah, that's awesome, and so duke calls you I'm sure it's the same process,ther ere, probably Aher a million colleges calling you and and sayingwe'd love to have you tell us. We had a couple minutes left here. Tell us allabout Duke why you chose it and you know what you expect of your girls andthe season the upcoming season. Pachose, Duke because it's a specialplace, I mean everybody knows Duke you wear you wear a duke shirt, you'regoing to get a rereaction, sometimes a good one, sometimes, and I'm not sogood one, but you're definitely going to get a reaction, and that's becausethe brand itself stands for excellence. People understand that it stands forexcellence and college basketball, so to have an opportunity to coach at thesame school as Mike. Chashefsty was one of the great legends, not just inBasketball Wen in American sports history. When you really think about it,have the opportunity to coach at this great institutions, one of the bestacademic schools in the country. I couldn't turn that down. This is agreat place to be able to help old young women to be leaders. Leaders insociety, the young women that we have coming through duke are brought some ofthe brightest minds in the world and so as a coach to get a chance to help themduring this time in their life is something that is very special well. I am sure that every woman thatis going to come through and play for you is going to be extremely excited,Duke, couldn't have picked a better person to run their program and I'msure the cameron crazies are going to be out for you this year and I lookforward to you going all the way and giving those the girls an opportunityto whin the championship so Kara. Thank you. So much do you have a facebookanywhere people can follow you and find you on Social Media Yeah Mo I'm on twitter, instagram andfacebook at Caro, lossion, twenty or twenty care loss in some version ofthat, but them on all the Prito stay interactiv with the fans for sure. Well, we really appreciate you ofjoining us on a sport, circus and huddle up with Gusa Kara.Congratulations on getting the new job. I wish you all the best and good luckthis year being the new Duke Women's head, basketball, coach, everyone.Thank you for listening to huddle up with Gus. We appreciate you listeningto us on facebook and on Youtube. You can find me at huddle up with Guscomand you culd find us on Sixeeeen thirty, one digital news and RADIOCOM orwherever you listen to your favorite podcast. We also appreciate everyonelistening KIO EF. Ninety seven point: Nine Lost Vegas public radio. Everyonehave a great day Kara. Thank you! So much, and you know please join us next time onHowdo olp with Gus. Thank you for joining Dave and I in thehuddle. We hope you enjoyed our podcast if you' like to hear more podcast, justlike this go to huddle up with Guscom, where you can find our social channelssubscribe to hear more by our merchandise and join our excusivehuddle through patreon. Please do in US next week when we talk to more guestsabout how sports shaped their life.

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