Nov. 2, 2013
TODAY'S FEATURED PLAYER: Kendall Shaw
So., Center, 6-4
Hometown: Mt. Belvieu, Texas
Kendall Shaw's high school career prepared her well for the college level. The proof could be found in the first and last games of her freshman season -- and many in between.
In her debut at Vanderbilt, she had six points, seven rebounds and four blocked shots during a season-opening win over McNeese State. Roughly four months later, she capped her freshman season with a 12-point effort against No. 3-ranked UConn.
Those two games served as bookends on a strong season for the 6-foot-4 post player, who saw action in 23 games and helped the Commodores post a 21-12 record.
Although she has been slowed by an injury during the preseason, Shaw is eager to follow up on her freshman success and be a key contributor for the young Commodore squad this season.
Today, Shaw 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. Shaw 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:
Q-AND-A WITH KENDALL
QUESTION: You've obviously adjusted well to playing at the college level. But was it a challenge to go from high school, where you were often the tallest person on the floor, to college, where so many other players were close to your height?
KENDALL: I think it was something I was kind of prepared for. ... In practice, my coach would always bring in some of our JV basketball players (from the boys team), people who were my height, to help me practice against. And after high school practices, I would go play one-on-one with my dad, so I got to work with people my height. He's 6-9. And then, in AAU, the majority of the girls were close to my height. So I don't think (college) was that much of a change.
QUESTION: How much do you glean from being around former Vanderbilt stars, in terms of having Ashley Earley on the coaching staff and having somebody like Chantelle Anderson (a former VU standout who played in the WNBA) drop by at practice?
KENDALL: I think it's really cool. I try to listen to Coach Ashley all the time, even when I am doing rehab, because I know if she's helping (the other players), she's going to help me. I have already seen them make improvements in the post position, and so I am really excited to see how much I am going to grow as a player. ... And it was really great to see Chantelle come by. Even when (she wasn't talking about) basketball stuff, she really helped us with some life information, and that was very helpful.
QUESTION: How tough has it been battling an injury during the preseason?
KENDALL: It's definitely really tough; nobody ever wants to get injured. But I am just trying to look at (and know) that it happened for a reason and I just need to build from that. I am just trying to find the positives and (use this time) to get stronger and more physical.
QUESTION: What are a few of your favorite things about Nashville?
KENDALL: One of my favorite things about Nashville, other than the gym (Vanderbilt's Memorial Gym), would definitely be the fall. I love seeing the colors change. That is one of my favorite things; I just love walking outside and seeing all the colors. I also love having all four seasons (in Nashville) because obviously in Texas, you just have hot.
Favorite movie: Something Borrowed or Glory Road
Favorite fast-food place: Chick-fil-A
Favorite athlete (past or present): Larry Bird or Elena Delle Donne
Favorite vacation spot: Isla Mujeres
Favorite celebrity: Bruno Mars
Favorite TV Show: Scandal or Nashville
Favorite band/artist: Rascal Flatts
Favorite thing to do on an off day from practice: Sleep or run errands
Favorite book: Hunger Games series
Favorite song: Wake Me Up (by Avicii) and We Can't Stop (Miley Cyrus)
Most famous person you've ever meet: Wale
Famous person you would most like to meet (past or present): Chandler Parsons
What is your oddest talent: I sit weird, according to my teammates
My ultimate dream job: Being a physical or occupational therapist for kids. (Pretty much anything that helps kids).
Name one thing on your bucket list: To take a safari trip through a jungle or in Africa