Oct. 29, 2013
TODAY'S FEATURED PLAYER: Heather Bowe
Soph., Forward, 6-0
Hometown: Eau Claire, Wis.
During her outstanding high school career, Heather Bowe collected a mountain of awards and honors, including being named a Parade All-American and the Wisconsin Player of the Year.
Last season, in her first year at Vanderbilt, she simply continued the tradition.
Quickly adapting to the pace and physicality of the college game, Bowe emerged as one of the conference's rising stars and earned a spot on the SEC All-Freshmen team. While seeing action in all 32 games, including 13 starting assignments, she averaged 6.2 points and 4.3 rebounds per game.
Despite those impressive numbers, however, Bowe says she came away from last season feeling mostly dissatisfied. She said that she and her teammates are more hungry than ever to make this coming season a memorable one for the program.
Today, Bowe is our featured player as we continue our Countdown to Tipoff -- a two-week preview package that will spotlight a different player or coach each day. Bowe recently sat down for an interview with vucommodores.com to talk about the coming season and a few other topics. Here's what she had to say:
FIVE QUESTIONS WITH HEATHER
QUESTION: When last season ended, and you had a little time to reflect, how satisfying was it to look back and see what you accomplished in terms of playing such a key role on the team and making the All-Freshman team?
HEATHER: To be honest, I really was not satisfied even after receiving Freshman All-SEC. It really didn't feel like we accomplished that much as a team. ... Team (results) matters more than personal achievements and we hadn't gone anywhere near where we wanted to go last year. (Making the All-Freshman team) was just a motivator and a confidence booster that I can do this and that leading into this year, we're going to be a much better team and get ready to knock out team accomplishments.
QUESTION: Which do you think will be more difficult - making an impact as a freshman or sustaining that success this season as a sophomore?
HEATHER: I think freshman year is the most challenging. Our class jokes about that: If you can get through freshman year, you can get through anything. I was really blessed that Coach Balcomb gave me a great opportunity to get that many minutes last year. Just showing that working hard and putting in the time on the court will allow you to get on the court more. But also that this year is going to be a bigger role and I understand my role for this year and even though, it's going to require more, I'm ready for whatever challenges.
QUESTION: During basketball season, the holidays probably all run together. But is there a holiday that you especially enjoy? And why?
HEATHER: I definitely look forward to Christmas because we get to go home for a few days. And it's a nice little break to get to see the family. I'm from Wisconsin so there's always snow in Wisconsin. Over here (in Nashville) there might not be a White Christmas but for sure (at home, there is). ... I'll have Christmas on the 23rd with my immediate family, the 24th with my mom's family, the 25th with my dad's. So it's constant Christmas and constant family togetherness.
QUESTION: What is one thing about this year's team that might surprise some people?
HEATHER: I don't really like getting caught up in expectations. Last year we were predicted to be 13th (in the nation). I just don't even read them to be honest. People were always saying stuff. Last year, we were supposed to do so great and we definitely fell short of those expectations. You can get so caught up in the hype but really it's what we do. We're going to show up every game and give our best and do great as one unit out there. I think we can surprise some people but it really doesn't matter how we surprise them, we just want to do well ourselves and at the end of the day, that's all that matters.
QUESTION: Coach Balcomb is very vocal about her belief that the women's game has become too physical in terms of the referees allowing too much contact. What's your take?
HEATHER: I've only been in the SEC one year so ... I don't know what it was like before. (But) I'm going to agree with Coach Balcomb and what she thinks about the aggressiveness. I know last year, I was getting held a lot, and my jersey was held and I wasn't able to move and set a screen.
Favorite movie: Avatar
Favorite fast-food place: Culvers
Favorite athlete (past or present): Candace Parker
Favorite vacation spot: Isla Mujeres, Mexico
Favorite celebrity: Elena Delle Donne
Favorite TV Show: Pretty Little Liars and Criminal Minds
Favorite band/artist: Drake
Favorite thing to do on an off day from practice: Eat and sleep
Favorite book: 50 Shades of Grey
Favorite song: Roar (by Katy Perry)
Most famous person you've ever meet: Dick Vitale
Famous person you would most like to meet (past or present): Trey Burke
What is your oddest talent: I can make my tongue into a three-leaf clover and can touch my tongue to my nose
My ultimate dream job: WNBA player
Name one thing on your bucket list: Win a championship