Senior guard Katie Meador recently sat down with the Charlotte 49ers athletic media relations office and talked about her summer and the upcoming season. Meador, who missed the final month of last season with a knee injury, recently graduated from Charlotte after only being here three years. She received her diploma this past May. Last season, she recorded career high totals in points, rebounds and assists.
How did you play basketball and graduate from college in three years?
It was a lot of hard work. I went to summer school every yea. I was always hitting the book. I had a lot of people help me along the way. Lisa Hibbs, our athletic academic advisor, was a big help. She kept me on track. It was hard but now I am in Grad school.
What was your degree in?
What is your plan after playing basketball this year?
It will take me about a year to two to complete my Master's degree. Then, hopefully I'll find a job involving basketball. I would love to be a coach.
What graduate degree are you working?
Are you taking any classes this summer?
I took this summer off and I needed it. I needed a summer off for the first time in my college career. I have been focusing mainly on rehabbing my knee and getting back in shape.
How is your rehab going?
Rehab is going great. I am starting to run again and should be released to do everything at the end of July so I'm almost back.
You've been a part of two great teams here at Charlotte (2009 A-10 Tournament title team, 2011 WNIT Final Four team). How did last year differ from the 2009 team you were on?
I think my freshman year in 2009; it was more of the upperclassmen that led the entire team. However, last year, it was the underclassmen that really helped us. They stepped up and had some key plays for us and it was definitely a huge factor in our success last year.
As a freshman you didn't play much, but even with the injury last year, you contributed a lot to last year's team, your thoughts on that?
I was finally excited that I got to contribute to the team as much as I could because that's all I have ever wanted to do.
You are one of three seniors on the team, where do you see your role on the team?
Right now, since Pip (Epiphany Woodson) and I are both out with injuries, we have been working on getting healthy. Our role right now is being a voice. Honestly, it is almost like being a coach, we sit there, and aren't able to physically do anything, but we are able to encourage the freshmen and give a different perspective on things for them. We are just helping where we can and basically being a coach.
You are entering your senior year, does it seem like your time here has gone by really fast?
Oh my gosh, I can't believe how fast it's gone. Especially stuff on campus, you think it's so tough, hard, you don't think you can go on, but once you get into the season, everything just flies by and it goes by so fast. It goes by so quick, I'm a senior and I can't believe it.
What are your thoughts on the new coaching staff?
I'm so excited. We have a great coaching staff now, but everything is a new experience. As someone who wants to go into coaching, you have learn other coaching styles, so I think this is going to be a learning curve for me. We'll see what Coach Consuegra has to bring to the table because I'm excited. She is upbeat, energetic, and I think we're going to be a great team this year.
I know you were gone a little bit this summer visiting family, but what all have you done this summer?
I only went home once this whole summer. The rest of the time I have been in Charlotte rehabbing my knee.
How is the team coming together this summer?
I think a lot better now that the freshmen are here. With players getting hurt and seniors graduating, I think we only had seven players in the spring. We could only play 3 on 3 or 4 on 4, you didn't really have the full team together and people weren't able to push each other as much. Now that we have the freshmen in, we can play 5 on 5. Having the freshmen, being an upperclassmen, it definitely pushes you. While you love the freshmen and you want them to succeed, you also don't want to get beat out for your spot.
In talking with the new coaching staff, it sounds like we are going to be playing a similar style to last season, is that the impression you are getting?
Definitely, I think we're going to be a fast paced team and play hard-nosed defense.
You being a senior leader, what do we need to do to win another A-10 Championship?
Getting into workouts and having a more positive attitude because honestly, training now is what's going to give us the championship later. Summer is the key because that is when you build chemistry, you build work ethic. Work ethic doesn't happen overnight. You work at it. You do it when you're hurt or tired. There are times when I don't want to be here, I want to go home and lay out by the pool like a normal person, but, you love the game, you love what you do, you work here to get to a championship. We're here to get to the NCAA Tournament. We want the record that we had last year, we don't want to be the team that does well one year, and then slacks off the next. We want to build off of what we did last year.
What are the team's goals for this upcoming season and what are your personal goals for the year?
As a team we want to win the A-10 Championship and get past the first round of the NCAA tournament. Personally, I would like to win most improved in the A-10, I think that would be an amazing award, also getting voted onto the A-10 All-Academic all team. Those are my main goals.
How do you think your career at Charlotte has gone so far?
I've had some amazing experiences that not everyone has had. Not every can say they have an A-10 Championship ring, not everyone can say they went to the NCAA tournament as a freshman, there are only a select few that can say that. Also, going to the WNIT Final Four, I didn't play because of injury, but I was a part of that team. Every team I've been on here has had a winning record. My career so far has been beyond great.
How do you think this year is going to be balancing grad school and basketball?
I think I've been prepared after being in school this long. I took 17 hours last semester which prepared me and help me with time management. On the road, I'll be in the books and writing papers right next to Pip because we will be taking a lot of the same graduate classes.