The Daily Cardinal takes its game to the hardwood to chill with LaTonya Sims.
The Daily Cardinal: With last year being a season in which the team possibly did not live up to expectations, how important was it to win the WNIT?
LaTonya Sims: I think it was very important. It gave us a lot of confidence coming into this season. I think it made us really know that we do not want to be back in the WNIT this year.
DC: How tough was it to overcome the suspensions at the end of last year?
LS: It was not really that tough. We had several players that could play in the game against Michigan State. We went out there to win and we came back and won the whole thing.
DC: You won the state high school championship as a senior. How do your accomplishments at Racine Washington Park High School compare to your success here at Wisconsin?
LS: I do not think that anything has measured up to that state championship. I had the best times in high school. I still keep in contact with my old teammates. My high school coach was great. I do not think anything has compared yet.
DC: Growing up in Wisconsin, did you always envision yourself becoming a Badger?
LS: Actually, no. I never really followed Wisconsin sports at all. I never thought I would end up coming here. I ended up coming here because I wanted to stay close to my family.
DC: You were highly recruited coming out of high school. Was there pressure to make a choice?
LS: Yes there was, there was some pressure. I did not take all of my visits. But I decided to come here the summer of my senior year.
DC: How involved are your parents in your life?
LS: My parents are very involved in my life. They are part of the reason I have succeeded the way I have so. They are hard working people.
DC: What type of music do you listen to?
LS: I listen to everything, actually. Soft rock, rap, R and B and heavy metal believe it or not. I listen to everything except country, but I have a wide variety of music tastes.
DC: Why do you wear No. 25?
LS: Actually, I was No. 22 in high school and my brother was No. 22 in college. No. 22 was taken when I first got here and No. 25 was the closest number.
DC: Favorite food?
DC: What do you do for recreation?
LS: I do Tae-bo, kick boxing and I like to play racquetball.
DC: Are you often recognized walking around campus?
LS: Yes and no. A lot of people think I am Sherisa Livingston and she is me, but some people recognize me if I have my red sweats on.
DC: Do you have any aspirations to play professionally?
LS: Maybe ... it depends how I feel after this year. I've been playing basketball a long time, and hopefully I will not be too burned out by the time this season is over.
DC: We've heard through the grapevine that you can dunk. Is there any truth to that?
LS: Maybe four years ago, but I'm a little older now. I probably could if I really tried. I have dunked before, but it was just a one-time thing.
DC: How much of an advantage is it to be both an inside and outside player?
LS: I think it is a big advantage. I came here wanting to play outside, but for three years I played inside because our post player got hurt. This is my first year playing outside, so I am not as familiar with playing outside as much. But once I get both games figured out I think it will be a really big advantage.
DC: How important are individual goals to you?
LS: They are important, but I have so many other things that are important to me. I'm such a well-rounded person that my life does not revolve around this one thing.
DC: What are the team's goals for the rest of the season?
LS: Definitely to finish in the top three in the Big Ten, if not No. 1. I want to be in the NCAA tournament. That's basically it. We just want to be playing in April.
DC: You play both Illinois and first-place Purdue in the next couple days. Is either game more important?
LS: They are both really big games. We have not won at either Illinois or Purdue in a long time so they are both equally important for us.
DC: The team is on a three-game winning streak. How long can it continue?
LS: I think it can continue for a long time, even until the end of the season.