Junior middle blocker Brandy Magee has taken on more this season than just being one of the Longhorns' leaders in blocks and kills. The California native has taken her calm, cool and collected personality and become a counselor to her younger teammates, giving them the knowledge and confidence to help lead UT toward the 2005 NCAA tournament.
She recently took a time to talk about following in her parents' footsteps in sports, sharing lessons learned with the rookies on the team, her close relationship with her iPod and what's like being an upperclassman.
Q: Your mother and father both played basketball at the collegiate level, so why didn't you follow the basketball path?
BM: "I can't really say that I was really ever interested, but I always get asked `Do you play basketball?'."
Q: Well I could see why, you have the height (Magee is 6-foot-2).
BM: "Yeah, but I have to always answer with a, `No, I don't play.' That's just something that's always happened even though I never pursued the sport."
Q: Can you play, even just a little?
BM: "I honestly don't think I am very good at it. Basketball is more of a physical game and you have to be really aggressive and mean and I am not really like that. Contact sports aren't really my thing."
Q: How do you feel kind of following in your parents' foot steps?
BM: "I think it is great because I've had them to look to for advice and encouragement as I've grown up. They both went through what I'm going through now and just being able to have parents who can relate to the same things I face has been helpful for me in my everyday life."
Q: Having grown and matured since your freshman year, are you more confident stepping on the court then you were two years ago?
BM: "I think so - just from having two more years of solid experience. Playing the college game, you gain more confidence each year you go through the program. Being here for two years already, I've become an upperclassman, and with that mindset comes confidence."
Q: Since you're an upperclassman, how does that help with such a young team this year?
BM: "I try to use it as a positive. Even though we do have such a young team we try not to think of ourselves as young. I try to show my other teammates that we should take (our relative youth) and see it as a positive. We should look at ourselves as a team with more energy. I try to help them adjust to the game since they are not accustomed to playing at this level.
Q: When you step out on the court how do you block out the emotion or nerves - or whatever else you may be feeling - in order to get focused for the game?
BM: "Well, I am an even-keeled kind of person anyway. I don't try to get to emotional on the court or off the court. I think because I'm laid-back off the court, I'm able to carry that on the court to ensure that no outside things distract me from doing my best."
Q: Do you give any advice to your younger teammates about not being nervous when they get on the court?
BM: "I just tell them to think of it as a game. I tell them that they shouldn't be thinking about the crowd or what's going on outside the court; that it's just about focusing on their game and doing everything they can to help out the team."
Q: What has been the best road trip so far this season?
BM: "I would say I really enjoyed the Texas A&M match. I know it wasn't really a road trip because we were only there half a day, but I think the fact that we pulled together and got a big win for our program was a huge benefit for the team. It really brought us closer together and gave us a lot of confidence."
Q: Do you have any funny stories from the road?
BM: (laughing) "Ummm...I know there are, but you are kind of putting me on the spot here. I might have to get back to you on that one."
Q: What do you usually do while traveling on the road?
BM: "I'm known as the `team sleeper' so I usually fall asleep listening to my music. No matter where we are, on a plain or a bus, I am usually the one that falls asleep first."
Q: Do you listen to your music on an iPod?
BM: "I do."
Q: Are you a full fledged iPod snob?
BM: (laughing) "Yeah, I love music in general and even before I had my iPod, I would always have my headphones on, whether it be in the locker room, walking to class or wherever, but now that I have the iPod, I have it with me all the time."
Q: What kind of music do you have on it?
BM: "There is definitely a mixture including hip-hop, R&B, rock and alternative. I don't have country, not a real country fan and I always have *NSYNC."
Q: What's your favorite *NSYNC song?
BM: (laughing) "'It's Going Be Me'. The coaches actually played that for my visit here which I really liked."