CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The fifth and final week of Charlotte women’s basketball preseason practice has come to a close, and with it, is the latest edition of the notebook leading up to the exhibition opener Saturday against Johnson C. Smith.
Each week of the preseason notebook, we featured activities surrounding the program, interviews with members of the support staff and video interviews with players, chosen at random. This week’s players interviews include freshman Ciara Gregory (here) and senior Ny Hammonds (here).
Exhibition contest Saturday
Charlotte will step onto the court for the first time against a different opponent Saturday when it plays host to cross-town foe Johnson C. Smith inside Halton Arena at 2 p.m. It marks the second-straight season in which the two schools meet in exhibition action. If you are unable to attend, tune into Charlotte49ers.com for the free, live broadcast with Josh Feldman handling the play-by-play.
The 49ers men’s team will also be in action Saturday, as it welcomes Wingate to the court in the second game of the doubleheader. Likewise, that game can be heard and watched live on Charlotte49ers.com with Feldman also doing play-by-play duties for it.
Junior and senior members of the program plus all other student-athletes of those two scholastic designations attended a Career Night life skills workshop Monday night. The event is designed to enhance each student-athlete’s knowledge and understanding of the work force and give them an opportunity to ask questions of the speaker.
Locker room renovations
The Charlotte women’s basketball locker room underwent extensive renovations recently, which included upgrades to wall graphics, signage throughout the facility, new carpets and other amenities to further create a welcoming environment for the players. Charlotte49ers.com was able to sneak into the locker room during practice one day and snap some photos, which can be found in a gallery here.
As mentioned earlier, Saturday’s exhibition can be heard and viewed live for free on Charlotte49ers.com. However, if you want to tune in during the regular season, there is a minimal cost involved. All home and away games will be available with audio and home contests add the video element, all located on Charlotte49ers.com. Josh Feldman returns to the broadcast and features include pregame interviews with head coach Cara Consuegra and an assistant coach and postgame interviews with a player and Consuegra again. Tune in now to catch all the exciting Charlotte women’s basketball action!
While the media guide is not available for purchase to the general public, it can be found here on Charlotte49ers.com. This year’s guide includes all the highlights from last year’s 26-6 run to the WNIT Sweet 16 and records of the program’s history, as the 49ers will compete in their 39th season in 2013-14. Player bios, statistics, opponent information and more are found in this year’s book.
Senior tribute video
Megan Allman with Charlotte49ers.com put together a short video on the career of Jessica Johnson, talking about her time in a 49ers uniform. The video can be viewed here.
This week’s support staff interview is with administrative assistant Brittany Kicklighter. Kicklighter, a Huntersville, N.C., native is in her second year working with the women’s basketball program and fifth overall in different capacities of the Charlotte athletics department.
1. What is your background prior to coming to Charlotte?
I grew up in Charlotte, Huntersville really, and attended North Mecklenburg High School. I went to South Carolina and got my degree in Sports Management.
2. When you first came here, you worked in different departments. What were those experiences like?
I first worked for marketing. Nick (Konawalik) hired me as an intern in 2008 right after I graduated from South Carolina. I was an intern for ’08-09 and was fortunately asked to do another intern year in ’09-10. I started a full-time position in the ticket office in the summer of 2010. Working in the ticket office was a great opportunity for me. Marketing and ticketing work so closely at Charlotte that I had established relationships with JG (John George) and Jesse (Garber) while working for marketing. The mindset and work environment was very similar. The big change was learning the ticketing system and learning the business and financial side of our operation. I found that I really enjoyed this aspect and some of the skills I learned are incredibly useful to me now and I hope I will be able to build on them in the future.
3. What do you take from those jobs that you apply with your current position?
The biggest take away from my previous position to my job now was the relationships I had already established with the women's basketball and volleyball staffs and knowing women's basketball and volleyball operations. With the ticket office, I was the game manager for both sports. I worked with the staffs constantly throughout the season. It is really helpful now to have that background and understanding for what they do, how they think, how game days operate, etc. It definitely made my transition easier. Also, working in the ticket office, I got to meet a lot of our fans, work with them during their ticket purchases and saw them at our other sporting events. Now working closely with the Fast Break Club for women's basketball, I already know the names and faces and enjoy getting to see them and getting to know those folks better.
4. What are some of your main responsibilities with your current position?
5. You’re also a fairly new mom. What advice have you given to Cara?
Very simply my job is to support the women's basketball and volleyball staffs with whatever they need. It is a fast-paced environment around here; there is always something going on and it never hurts to have an extra pair of hands. I obviously don't have any coaching experience so I'm not helping out with scouts or practice or anything like that. But I do work with Eric (McCombs) a lot to help make sure the operations side of things runs smoothly. The team's main focus is to train and prepare for games and pick up Ws. My job is to make sure they don't have to worry about the administrative stuff and can maintain that focus.
The advice I got when I was pregnant was to be wary of advice, trust your gut and figure out what works best for you and your family. I thought it was pretty great, so I try not to put my two cents in unless it's asked for. Cara and JP seem to have figured things out great with their little boy, Jayden. We do trade lots of 'how long did your kid sleep?' stories and definitely look out for extra diaper or formula coupons! Working in a family atmosphere is invaluable to me and it's what I love most about my job.