Michelle Strawberry has started all 10 games for the Aztecs this season.
Jan. 3, 2005
Michelle Strawberry is in her third year as a member of the Aztec women's basketball team. After sitting out the 2002-03 campaign, she played in all but one of the team's games a year ago, averaging 5.4 points and 2.2 rebounds. This year, Strawberry has been in a starter in all 10 contests and has recorded double-figures in points on two occasions. A vocal player, who has a strong on-court presence, she is one of the team's best all-around athletes.
Q: How is your year going so far in terms of basketball?
A: "I think my year is going pretty well, but I have a lot of things to improve on in order to help the team be more successful."
Q: You're ranked fifth in the conference in free-throw shooting (78.6 percent) right now, is that an area you worked on over the summer after making only 64.5 percent last year?
A: "(Free-throw shooting) is something that I've always prided myself on ever since high school. I went to line a lot, because I used to get fouled all the time, so I always prided myself on knocking them down. I just hope that I can keep it up over the course of the season."
Q: What other areas of your game did you work on over the summer?
A: "I worked on shooting a lot, in particular, and ball-handling. Shooting is not going quite as well as I had planned so far this year, but I hope to improve."
Q: Do you like playing offense or defense better?
A: "I like offense the best, but since coach (Fentriss) Winn got here, I've become a better defender. I'm learning to enjoy defense more and I know defense wins games, so I should like it more. Offense is just more of my thing."
Q: What's the story behind your jersey number?
A: "I always liked all numbers in the 20-range - either 20, 21, 22 or 23. So 20 was just the logical number I thought to get, even though it was taken when I first got here. I had to switch numbers from No. 5 to No. 20, but I've been able to keep it ever since my second season.
Q: So you share an apartment with your teammate Veronica (Roni) Shaw, how is that going so far?
A: "We have a lot of fun. Our apartment is a blast and I enjoy it. Roni is funny - she's a character."
Q: So who does all the chores around the house?
A: "We split them up, but it just depends. We clean up on the weekends or whenever we don't have basketball. It works out pretty well."
Q: How was your Christmas break?
A: "It was great - I got a lot of presents. I got a CD player, a lot of clothes, money, jewelry and perfume. On Christmas day, I go my mom's, then my dad's and finally my aunt's house. I normally go to all three houses on Christmas and I eat everywhere I go. It works out pretty well and we have a good time."
Q: You have a lot of nicknames, what are some of them and how did you get them?
A: "Strawberry, I got in high school, because everyone just remembers me for that. Strawberry's just so catchy. Strizzleberry is the nickname I got from my teammates. I don't know where it came from. Coach (Dustin) Finley calls me "Striz" and so does Nicki (Rodriguez) our (student) manager. I've also got "berry", just regular "straw" and coach (Jim) Tomey calls me "shell" sometimes - no Michelle, just shell. There's so many that I just can't remember them all, but I do have a lot. Then of course there's my regular name, Michelle.
Q: As someone with so many nicknames, which one do you prefer?
A: "I really don't have a favorite, just Straw or Strawberry is fine."
2004-05 Aztec Women's Basketball Player Features
Nov. 3 - Lindsey Casey
Dec. 13 - Ashley Cheesman