by HALEY BURNSIDE, Senior Writer
The three freshman on the women’s basketball team have more than just a love of their sport and team in common. They are all MAAC Rookie of the Week award recipients.
D’Yona “Dee Dee” Davis, Kania Pollock and Sydney Watkins made a name for themselves on the court quickly with their impressive stats and high-scoring tendencies. They have scored 289 points between the three of them in their short time on the team. The MAAC has certainly taken notice, and thus honored each of them with the Rookie of the Week title.
The Quadrangle sat down with the “Three Stooges” (as Pollock referred to the trio) in order to get their reactions to the awards. In Draddy Gymnasium, Pollock, obviously the mischievous one, bounced with giddy energy beside her teammate Davis, who held herself with a quiet sense of humility despite her incredible talent. To Davis’ right sat Watkins, who beamed in the company of her teammates.
On the court, their young age is difficult to detect under their seemingly-effortless ability, instincts and power. Off of the court, the three displayed such an earnest gratitude at the recognition for their work that is surprising from such a skilled group.
Q: How did you find out you won the award?
WATKINS: I found out about mine when we were in the locker room after film and Coach B was like ‘can you guys keep a secret?’ We all said ‘yeah, yeah what is it?’ She said ‘Sydney Watkins just got Rookie of the Week,’ and everyone cheered and started yelling. I was very nice that she announced it in front of the whole team. It was exciting.
Q: And how did you react?
WATKINS: For me, since I was the last one out of the three of us to get it, it felt good. I wasn’t pressuring myself too much to get it. I was just playing and doing my best and it happened. I was very excited.
Q: You were the first to win the award. How did you find out?
DAVIS: Mine was the cut-to-the-point one. It was announced at the end of practice when we were in a big huddle. Coach said ‘every individual award is a team award,’ and she told everyone I got Rookie of the Week. It was the first time for our program this year, so it felt good but I just knew that these two [Watkins and Pollock] would definitely get it right after me. It made me just want to push them that much harder.
Q: As the second recipient, how did you find out?
POLLOCK: Mine happened after a very pivotal practice. We were upstairs in the locker room watching film and one of our managers came upstairs. He acted as if the coaches were mad at us and they were coming upstairs right behind him. We were shook. Normally, I’m the one to do something so I was nervous. But then the coaches came and told everyone I got Rookie of the Week. It felt great, but I was relieved like, “I didn’t do nothing bad this time!”
Watkins laughed while Davis shook her head with the type of affection that only teammates could have for each other.
POLLOCK: But really, I believe that we all can and will get it again. I was happy that we all got this.
Q: How did your teammates react?
WATKINS: The team reacts in the most amazing way. It’s like they’re even more happy than you are to get the award. They all jump around and give you high fives. They’re just so happy and so genuine that it makes you even happier to get an award.
POLLOCK: For me, they acted in relief because we all thought we were about to get in trouble. But, you know, our team has a lot of talent, so when we see each other get those awards we know that talent is showing. With talent comes … come back to me, I forgot the quote.
Watkins smacked her hand on the table in laughter while Davis went on to answer.
DAVIS: When coach says that thing to us about every individual award being a team award, I really get it. I mean, we can’t go out on the court and just do everything ourselves, so we need our teammates and their talent to boost us and push us so we can win awards like this.
POLLOCK: With talent comes great responsibility. There we go. THAT is the quote.
Q: Considering the fact that you are all so young, how do you feel about the future of the team?
All three inhaled deeply and shook their heads, indicating that this question has crossed their minds before.
DAVIS: This is something scary. I don’t know of any other team where all of the freshman get Rookie of the Week back to back to back. I mean, we have-
WATKINS: We have amazing sophomores
DAVIS: Yeah, our sophomores are all so talented. This is something you hope for and the pieces are definitely going to fall into place. We just have to keep our pace.
WATKINS: Yeah, we have to build more chemistry and continue to learn each other and learn from the different coaching styles.
POLLOCK: We’re so young compared to some of the teams we’ve played, and we’re holding our own. We have to just keep building.
WATKINS: When the experience catches up to us, we’ll be great.
POLLOCK: We’re trying to be amazing, astonishing…
DAVIS: Our coaches remind us not to worry about how we’ll be in the future, but to stay focused now so we can keep developing. Then we’ll be good in the future.
The three all agreed that honors like the Rookie of the Week awards serve as a great indicator that their hard work is pushing them in the direction that they aim to be, and that they will continue to grow their skills on the court.