Wednesday, January 25, 2017

CSO Q & A- DePaul senior point guard Jessica January

                                                            Photo Credit: DePaul Athletics

Welcome to the inaugural edition of CSO's Q & A, where I chat with athletes and media personalities about life on and off the playing surface.

The first feature focuses on DePaul senior guard Jessica January.

GG: Out of the players, coaches and athletes you have met or played against in the last four years, which person left the biggest impact on you?

JJ: I would say coach [Doug] Bruno because he has been a part of the basketball culture for so long and has so much knowledge to share. He really continues to grow his players and make them better as individuals. Over the years, I have grown into a player I would have never imagined, because of Bruno.

GG: You made the adjustment of moving in Richfield, MN, to Chicago four years ago. What has it been like to grow as a person without friends and family being there all the time?

JJ: It was definitely hard to adjust initially in my freshman year because I was homesick all the time and it was hard to not be around my family all the time given their support. It has gotten easier for me over the years because of their ability to come to more games frequently. My sophomore year helped me grow up real fast because I got more comfortable with being in the city, making decisions and having ups and downs with no family around. I began to rely on my coaches and players more and they helped me grow up real fast.

GG: There have been some men’s games at DePaul I have covered this season where I have seen you on Radio DePaul Sports as an analyst, how did the opportunity happen?

JJ: I am majoring in public relations and advertising and communications and media, so I already had a lot of communications and media classes, so public relations and advertising went hand in hand with that, but I wanted to go into broadcasting. I talked to my advisor in my junior year and still did not know where I wanted to go, so I finally took some radio classes that year and was when my professor talked about Radio DePaul and it dawned on me why I didn’t get any experience because it would be something really cool to do. The professor wanted to know if I had any interest in doing any games, so I contacted him and knew then it was a very good opportunity.

GG: If a professional basketball career doesn’t pan out, do you see yourself as a college basketball analyst on television?

JJ: I hope so. After doing these games, I love doing it because it is a lot of fun. It would be cool for that to be my job and study/watch basketball.

GG: How different is it to view the game from an analyst’s perspective courtside compared to being on the floor as the primary ballhandler for DePaul?

JJ: It’s really different, but the same at the same time. As a point guard, you see everything, you see the floor and have to know every position out there to be able to help your teammates out in different situations. That has given me an upper hand when it comes to broadcasting because of the train of thought from playing. Also, being able to articulate things so that other people can understand it.  It is such an emotional and physical game and to be on the other side to be talking and using words make things worth it in broadcasting games.

GG: A lot of teams tend to have a go-to song to keep things loose in the locker room, do you guys have one in particular?

JJ: I know I am a really big Beyonce’ fan and there are a lot of fans on our team and when we are lifting, we usually listen to Beyonce’s station— anything ranging from 2005 to her recent Lemonade album.

GG: What do you want your fans to remember you for as a Blue Demon once you graduate?

JJ: I hope that people remember me as a competitor. I really pride myself in competing on the offensive end, the defensive end, off the court and life in general. I really hope it was translated through the games I played and in the practices. Part of the growth being at [DePaul] has been the ability to open up and be more social. Obviously, when you come in as a freshman, you are more quiet and in my case, I was. I have opened up in time to be more social and have reached out to more people and make everyone feel welcome.

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