Nov. 3, 2013
TODAY'S SPOTLIGHT: Kim Rosamond
Kim Rosamond has seen games at Memorial Gym from both ends of the floor.
There is no doubt which view she likes better.
During her playing days at Ole Miss from 1995-98, Rosamond and her teammates made annual visits to the historic gym. And from the visiting bench, Rosamond found out that the confines of Memorial weren't so friendly, as she and her teammates were saddled with a defeat each time they visited Nashville.
For the past six seasons, however, Rosamond has been stationed on the other end of the court. Serving as an assistant coach for the Commodores, she sits on the home bench -- and from that vantage point, she has witnessed an enormous amount of victories and has stockpiled a long list of Memorial memories.
Today, Rosamond is in the spotlight as we continue our Countdown to Tipoff.
Rosamond, the recruiting coordinator on Melanie Balcomb's staff, has helped the Vanderbilt program land some of nation's most touted prospects in recent years, and the Commodores' recruiting classes have consistently ranked among the nation's best during Rosamond's tenure.
She recently sat down for an interview with vucommodores.com to talk about her role and a few other topics. Here's what she had to say:
FIVE QUESTIONS WITH KIM
QUESTION: Let's talk about the recruiting aspect of your job. Is it safe to say recruiting is the most exhausting -- but perhaps the most ultimately rewarding -- element of your role?
KIM: There's no doubt that recruiting is a 24-7, year-round job, but it is also a huge passion of mine. I am a people person, and I love connecting with prospects and their families and building those relationships that oftentimes last a lifetime. The fact that I also get to sell a brand - Vanderbilt - that I truly believe in makes my job even better. There are very few places where players can compete at the highest level on the court and compete at the highest level in the classroom, and that's what we offer at Vanderbilt. Being able to look a recruit and their family in the eye and tell them they have a life-changing opportunity in front of them never gets old.
QUESTION: From a coaching perspective, what is it about Memorial Gym that gives the Commodores such a home court advantage?
KIM: Having been on the opposite baseline many times during my playing days at Ole Miss and never winning in Memorial, I think I have a good perspective on Memorial Magic. I always loved coming here and playing because of the exciting atmosphere, the great crowd that appreciated good basketball, and the unique gym. But the thing I remember the most as an opposing player was that I always felt like Vanderbilt teams had such an invincible aura about them at home. From the way they warmed up to how they responded to adversity -- they just knew they weren't going to lose at home, and that mental edge in basketball is huge. I must say it's been a lot more fun to be on the home baseline side and experience a lot of great wins as a Commodore. We have some of the best fans in women's basketball, and it is always an honor for our team to play in front of them.
QUESTION: What's a typical game day like for you? Do you have any left-over traditions from your playing days that you still do before games?
KIM: I usually will try to get some type of cardio workout in on game day. It usually helps make the day go by faster and helps get rid of any nervous energy. As far as traditions carried over from my playing days, the only one I have maintained is I always spend time in prayer before our team takes the court.
QUESTION: Even though the roster changes every year, Vanderbilt has maintained a high level of success, year in and year out. How has the Vanderbilt program been able to keep this level of consistency?
KIM: In any great organization, success starts at the top. We have an administration that is committed to women's basketball and making sure our program and our student-athletes are supported in every way possible. We also have a head coach that is a tremendous leader. Coach Balcomb demands excellence in every area of our players' lives, and that obviously translates to success on the court. She has done nothing but win since she walked on campus but she continues to challenge herself and the people around her every year to grow and be continual learners. The final piece of the puzzle that has allowed this program to be so successful is the players. Even though faces and names change each year, the standard of what type of young woman we have in our program does not. We don't just recruit talent; we recruit character.
QUESTION: Is there an added challenge to the recruiting process because of the academic requirements at Vanderbilt? Or do you feel just the opposite -- like the academics are actually a selling point for the program?
KIM: The academic requirements were a concern when I first took the job because it was something new and unknown to me as a recruiter. Now, it is one of the things I love about Vanderbilt. Vanderbilt isn't for everyone, and it is truly a privilege to be a student here. We are about excellence in all we do, and you don't come to Vanderbilt to be average. You come here to reach for greatness in every area of your life. That doesn't mean everyone who plays for us has to be a valedictorian, but it does mean that they don't settle for just being a great basketball player.