Women's basketball preseason notebook - Edition 2 (10.12.12)

Each Friday the Charlotte women's basketball team will be featured in a notebook detailing news and notes surrounding the program leading into the 2012-13 season. Each notebook will feature a series of highlights, a short Q&A with a member of the coaching staff and videos with the 49ers players.

In-depth information on the program can also be found on the Charlotte women's basketball program's official twitter feed @CharlotteWBB. Be sure to watch this week's videos with Jessica Johnson (here), and Gabby Tyler (here).

Fall Break
With the University observing a two-day Fall Break this past Monday and Tuesday, the Charlotte 49ers women's basketball program used the opportunity to allow everyone some time off. Players and coaches went their separate ways, focusing on rest and relaxation before coming back for a Tuesday night practice with a renewed energy.

Uptown Tip Off
The annual Basketball Tip Off was Wednesday in Uptown Charlotte and again the Charlotte 49ers women's basketball program had a large presence. Each member of the coaching staff was on hand, as were players Tori Carter, Kira Gordon, Shequana Harris and Olivia Rankin to meet and greet with fans and the local business community. Schedules were distributed and tickets were purchased.

Video Day
Thursday prior to practice was spent shooting videos with the athletic department's media production staff, AJ Mead and Sean Crawford. Each player and coach did a short video which will be included in the media guide later and then players also recorded intros for Basketball Madness next week and the video board during games. Keep an eye out for the various videos throughout the season.

If you haven't already, be sure to follow the various Twitter feeds of the athletic department and women's basketball program.
The official athletic department Twitter account is @Charlotte49ers, while you can also follow @49erGameDay for in-game updates and notes once the season starts.
Specifically to the program, @CharlotteWBB is the primary women's basketball feed. Head coach Cara Consuegra can also be followed by checking @cconsuegra.

Q&A with Assistant Coach Joanne Aluka-White
1. Being the newest member of the staff, what do you feel you can contribute to continue the program's rise?
Being a loyal assistant by helping Cara in whatever capacity she needs right now. I'm working with the post players right now, really concentrating on developing that part of the game. I want our post players to be more aggressive. I am also a new and different voice for the team.

2. You played in the 2004 Summer Olympics. What about that experience do you take with you daily?
Really, it was just the opportunity to be around some of the great athletes, both in the States or around the world. I was able to witness some of the special moments in the Olympics. Both of my parents are Nigerian and they came here and being honored with the opportunity to play with that team. We made history as the first African nation to win a game in the Olympics (Nigeria defeated South Korea).

3. When did you first decide you wanted to be a coach?
Probably around my junior or senior year at Middle Tennessee. I really enjoyed my experience as a Blue Raider. My head coach, associate head coach and other assistant coaches really gave me the opportunity to learn and grow as a player. Everything wasn't great but I definitely grew as a person. I learned a lot about myself and being able to persevere. To have the opportunity to give that same experience to young women is what I mostly enjoy. It's not just about Xs and Os, but it's about developing young people and getting them prepared for life after college.

4. What about Charlotte interested you in coming here?
It's a growing city. The University is a beautiful campus. When I came on my interview, I felt like this was the hidden gem of the South. As a youngster, I had always heard of Charlotte and I have family here. But, I never really had the opportunity to visit and see the campus. The facilities are great, the people are very welcoming. It's a family environment and it's close to my home, Augusta, Ga. It was a win-win and great on all fronts.

5. Where do you see this program in five years?
At the rate at which it's moving, with bringing in football and with what we have done with women's basketball, we intend to continue the winning tradition. We want to bring more experiences of the NCAA Tournament and be very competitive. I think we can be one of the very top mid-major programs, possibly moving up from there. It will take a lot of work but I definitely think the right people are in place, from our athletic director to our head coach and overall coaches. Cara has a great vision for this program and with our staff, I think we can definitely, with our work ethic and the kids we are looking to bring in, we can be a top contender in the NCAA Tournament.

Charlotte women's basketball will open the 2012-13 campaign with an exhibition against Johnson C. Smith November 3 at 7 p.m. in Halton Arena. A week later, November 10, the 49ers begin the regular season with a 6 p.m. tip against North Carolina Central.

Season tickets are on-sale now starting at $30 and are available by calling 704-687-4949 or visiting the "Tickets" menu option at Charlotte49ers.com.