USA World University Games Hopeful: Keisha Hampton

From -- Keisha Hampton is in Colorado Springs, Colorado for the World University Games Team Trials; the Blue Demon junior is one of 35 participants for the trails that run, May 21-25.

Keisha Hampton may not be among the two NCAA Champions on the floor in this evening's first trials session for the 2011 USA Basketball Women's World University Games Team, or one of the two-time USA gold medal winners, but no matter, like all of the 35 participants in this year's trials, the 6-2 forward from DePaul has compiled her own long list of impressive accomplishments.

As a junior in 2010-11, Hampton averaged a team-high 13.8 ppg. to help DePaul to a program-record 29-7 finish, including a perfect 17-0 mark at home, and the 2011 NCAA Sweet Sixteen. Having started in all 102 career games at DePaul, Hampton earned Associated Press and State Farm/WBCA All-America honorable mention in 2011, as well as All-BIG EAST Conference first team and BIG EAST All-Tournament Team.

Also a 2009 USA U19 World Championship Team trials participant, Hampton, who hails from St. Louis, Mo., said not only is she a more confident player than she was the last time she arrived in Colorado Springs, she knows what to expect from the trials process, including how to put her best foot forward.

What do you remember about the 2009 U19 trials?
I remember I was coming off of my freshman year of college, and the experience was great. Just playing against all of the great talent, and I remember there was a lot of scrimmaging.

Does it help to come into trials having participated in a past trials?
I think I've grown a lot as a player. I'm definitely more confident now than I was then, and having done this before does help prepare you.

What did it take for DePaul to put together the most wins in program history with a 29-7 this past season?
Dedication, commitment, just pushing each other every day and wanting to win more than anything. We had great leadership this year, and that was really key in our success.

Can you talk about DePaul's perfect, 17-0 record at home?
Our home crowd is great. We play right on campus and our gym is good size. We fill it up a lot, and we have a great crowd. They were a big part of helping us compile that perfect home record.

Your DePaul head coach has won several gold medals with USA Basketball, including the 2010 FIBA World Championship. Did he give you any advice before trials?

He just told me to go out and compete as hard as I could and to play my best.

Have you set goals for your senior season?
I've set goals. I want to definitely keep the program at it's best. I don't want to settle for anything but a Sweet Sixteen now. I want to become a great leader. I want to lead the young freshman that are coming in. I want to grow as a player and reach the goals I set for myself and for our team.

You earned two All-America honorable mentions. What does it feel like to earn such prestigious honors?
It's definitely a great feeling to be recognized, but to become an All-American is my ultimate goal. So, it's not like I feel like I've accomplished the things I want to yet.

Having played in three NCAA Tournaments in three years, what has that taught you about basketball?
I think the level of competitiveness just steps up so much that it's very different from the rest of the season. People play their hearts out in March. You work all year round to get there, and then all you can do is leave it all on the court. There is not a wasted possession and you just got to keep pushing.

Your father was an NCAA Division II National Champion with Cheyney University in 1978. Is that something he regularly reminds you of?
My dad hasn't really said much about his national championship. He supports me in everything I do, but he's never been in my ear about it. He just tells me to go out there and play my best.

What do you hope to accomplish during trials? What is your goal out there?
My ultimate goal is to make the team. But I just want to go out there and show everyone I'm here to compete, just like everyone else.

Original Post from USA Basketball



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