Oct. 18, 2008
Editor’s Note: University of Iowa freshman Kamille Wahlin (pronounced Kah-MEAL Wah-LEEN) is one of four rookies on the Hawkeye women’s basketball team. UI head coach Lisa Bluder said Wahlin, from Crookston, Minn., is the team’s future point guard. When watching Wahlin, Bluder draws many comparisons to current senior and all-Big Ten performer Kristi Smith. “Kamille will be a great player,” Bluder said. “This will be a wonderful year for her to learn from Kristi.”
hawkeyesports.com caught up withi Wahlin recently and fired at her 10 questions…plus one bonus. Here’s what she had to say.
Question 1: At the preseason media conference, head coach Lisa Bluder said you were the future for the University of Iowa at point guard. Your thoughts? It makes me feel a little more relaxed because I have a senior point guard (Kristi Smith) to look to for help. Kristi is really helpful on just showing me how things get done and how things are run. It helps having a senior in front of me.
Question 2: Twenty of Iowa’s 29 regular-season contests are against teams that made the postseason in 2008. How does a freshman feel being thrown right into the proverbial fire?
You have to learn on the go. I’m going to try to do my best to learn and do my best and add whatever I can to better the team. I know it’s going to be tough and you have to learn a lot and there’s going to be ups and downs, but you just have to do your best to become a better player.
Question 3: What are your personal goals for the 2008-09 season?
I want to improve my all-around game. When you go to the next level, you need to get faster and more consistent. I’m going to try to adjust to the college level.
Question 4: During the recruiting process, what was your major attraction to the University of Iowa?
I built a good relationship with the coaches. I felt the most comfortable with them when we were talking. Then I came on my visit and hanging out with the team was a lot of fun and it was the right feeling for me. It was a great atmosphere of a college town and fans and that’s what I liked.
Question 5: The UI roster includes three players from the state of Minnesota. How familiar were you with the other two Hawkeyes when you were in high school?
I played AAU with (freshman) Hannah (Draxten of Fergus Falls) for a year and she was already committed here, so that helped. I was already friends with her and we lived very close together in our towns. I heard of Cash (sophomore Kachine Alexander of Minneapolis) because she was a year older than I was.
Queston 6: Being from Minnesota, what does playing in the Big Ten Conference mean to you?
You make goals of wanting to play at the highest level and when you get here, you’re very excited. Playing in the Big Ten is really a dream come true and it’s going to be a lot of fun.
“I built a good relationship with the coaches. I felt the most comfortable with them when we were talking. Then I came on my visit and hanging out with the team was a lot of fun and it was the right feeling for me. It was a great atmosphere of a college town and fans and that’s what I liked. ”
Freshman guard Kamille Wahlin
Question 7: What are some of the adjustments for a freshman moving on to Division I campus life?
It helps because I was here this summer taking classes, so I adjusted through that. I do miss my family and home, but you find a second family in your teammates. The coaches also really help you and you get through it that way.
Question 8: How would you describe the Hawkeye team chemistry this season?
Everyone gets along really well. We have five seniors who bring great leadership and they’re very helpful with us four freshmen. We know they’ve been there and had to adjust themselves, so they’ve been very helpful with any questions we have. They show us the ropes.
Question 9: How do you envision your first time on the Carver-Hawkeye Arena court playing out?
I’ve thought about it and Hannah and I have talked about it. There will be butterflies and I’ll be a little nervous, but I’ll be very excited because when you are at the point of achieving a goal of playing in the Big Ten, you’ll be ready for it because you’ve prepared for it forever.
Question 10: What has the UI coaching staff meant to you?
It’s been a lot of fun. They’re very patient with you and they are very good teachers. I know they will make me a completely better player.
Bonus Question: Hawkeye black and gold fits better than Gopher maroon, doesn’t it?