Catching up with Danielle Viglione
Dec. 3, 2012
Danielle Viglione is one of the most prolific scoring guards in Texas Women's Basketball history. During her UT career from 1993-97, Viglione scored 1,658 total points and averaged 15.8 points per game. Against Houston in 1994, Viglione scored 48 points and sank 11 3-pointers -- marks that still stand as the best single-game totals in UT history.
Upon graduation in 1997, Viglione played in the inaugural season of the WNBA with the Sacramento Monarchs before playing nine seasons of professional basketball in Europe.
After retirement from basketball in 2007, she came back to her home town of Sacramento, Calif., and began working for a new skills academy through 24-Hour Fitness. Through promotion and achievements, Viglione was able to acquire the program and renamed it Sacramento Skills Academy, where she is now the co-owner and one of five trainers.
Viglione recently sat down to catch up with TexasSports.com.
What was your reaction to former Texas Women's Basketball coach Jody Conradt being honored with a statue at Frank Erwin Center? If any woman is deserving of a statue on the campus, it is Jody Conradt. She is the biggest reason I went to the University of Texas because of her dedication and sacrifice to women's basketball and to women's sports in general. Her passions for sports and women are just amazing.
What separated Jody Conradt and Texas from other programs around the country? What separated Jody Conradt from other coaches was her honesty and integrity when she was recruiting me, and I felt like she didn't tell me when I came in that I was the top player. She was so honest with me, I felt like I could go in and work my butt off and see what happens. Everything Texas had to offer and the feelings that I got from the administration and assistant coaches were completely genuine.
What has new Texas Women's Basketball head coach Karen Aston brought to the program? In the past few months since the hire of Coach Aston, I feel a part of the family again. I feel a part of the Texas alumni and the Texas tradition. When I played at Texas, every time I put on a Texas uniform, it was pride for me. I was proud to play at The University of Texas. She is bringing back that pride right now by engaging the alumni and engaging the fans. She is a special person for that program right now because she cares about bringing Texas to a point they were before. The coaches know the tradition, so when they put on that burnt orange, it's pride to them too.
What got you into coaching and training young athletes? When I retired from basketball six years ago, I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. Every time I came home from overseas, I would train kids, whether it be high school, eight years old or professional, and I loved the training aspect of it. I was a gym rat when I was at Texas and I loved always being in the gym. It's all about helping people out and making an impact and difference in people's lives.
How has your training camp in Sacramento grown over the last few years? I started with about 100-200 clients and now we're over 3,000 clients. It's grown a lot in six years. The awesome opportunity about my job is you see kids when they're eight, nine, 10 years old grow up and you get to see them become mature adults. You teach them life skills. Even if they don't play past high school, they're still learning skills when they come to training. You're teaching them about hard work, patience, and the idea that you're going to get in return whatever you put into something and they see that in life.
How has college basketball changed since you graduated in 1996? I go back to the Texas campus now and I'm a little jealous. They have their own practice facility, their own weight room, and they've given a lot more to the sport I think. I thought back when I played that we had everything. They keep adding more and more to get these college athletes better. The game continues to change with more skills and athleticism of players. Just the overall knowledge has increased. Strength and conditioning coaches have more knowledge and have better techniques and trainers. I tell my clients that I wish I had a trainer when I was young.