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Q&A with Markisha Wright

Jan 11, 2013, 8:36 AM EDT

Joseph Weiser / Notre Dame Media Relations Joseph Weiser / Notre Dame Media Relations

Markisha “Keesh” Wright, a center on the women’s basketball team, is a sophomore from Des Moines, Iowa, currently living in Ryan Hall with many of her teammates. Having already played in the NCAA Championship as a freshman, Wright has valuable experience against high caliber teams that will help her as she takes on a larger role in 2013. I had the chance to talk to her a couple weeks ago and ask her a few questions.

Q: Why did you choose Notre Dame?

I chose Notre Dame because when I came here I loved the girls, and tradition was a big thing at my high school, so this was a big standout to me, especially how much they value tradition and family here.

Q: What other colleges were you considering?

My other top school was Iowa—it was mainly between there and [Notre Dame].

Q: Could you explain the nickname “Mom” from high school?

I guess I was always on top of people, making sure they were okay, making sure they had their shoes, making sure they had their ankle braces, making sure they cleaned their lockers when it was time to clean their lockers.

Q: What was your high school basketball career like?

My junior year, we made it to the state championship and lost by three to Linn-Mar, who had Kiah Stokes, who’s now on UConn. My senior year, we won state. We beat, actually I don’t remember who we beat, but we won, and we were undefeated.

Q: Is there any story behind your number (34)?

Shaq. When I was younger, I liked the Lakers, and I think 34 was my number when I first moved to Iowa, which was in sixth grade, so I’ve had it since then.

Q: Are you still a Lakers fan?

Yes, I am still a Lakers fan.

Q: Do you like Steve Nash?

I love Steve Nash. My cousin actually used to play for the [Phoenix] Suns, so I liked Steve Nash before [he came to LA].

Q: And you’re related to Darryl Strawberry?

Yeah.

Q: And your cousin is his son?

Yeah.

Q: Do you ever see Darryl Strawberry?

They’re both named Darryl Strawberry. Which one?

Q: The baseball player.

I actually haven’t seen him in a long time—I don’t really talk to him. He’s my first cousin, but my older brother and my mom talk to him a lot. They’re pretty close to that side of the family.

Q: Is there a professional basketball player who you like to watch or whose style you appreciate?

I like how Dwight Howard plays, but I would have to say Devereaux Peters, who used to play here. I like her energy and her craftiness.

Q: Is there a particular game this season that you’re looking forward to?

All of them.

Q: Are you looking forward to the tournament in the spring?

Yes.

Q: Are you guys going to win it?

I hope so. I hope we can get back to the championship game and finish it off the right way, but that takes hard work, and you have to start by doing it in practice everyday.

Q: Do you have a pregame ritual that you typically go through?

After I eat, I always go to the bathroom at Gate 6. I don’t use the locker room, I use Gate 6.

Q: Is there team dinner before your games?

Yes, we have pregame lunch and dinner.

Q: What’s your favorite shot to use in HORSE?

I usually go with the backwards free throw or the backwards three.

Q: Do you look back, or do you just shoot it blindly?

I actually shoot it like a free throw (as opposed to flinging it underhand).

Q: I’ve asked a couple of the other players this, but if Skylar–

Skylar would win.

Q: Would Manti score?

Yeah I think it’d be 12-5.

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