Women's basketball preseason notebook - Edition 3 (10.19.12)

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 Jai Forney (here), Kira Gordon (here) and Ayanna Holmes (here).

Basketball Madness
The annual Basketball Madness event was held last night (Thursday) in Halton Arena, introducing both the women's and men's teams to the student body and general public.
In the team dance segment, Tori Carter, Amanda Dowe, Jai Forney, Jennifer Hailey and Olivia Rankin participated for the women's program dancing to such 90s hits like "Ice, Ice Baby" and "U Can't Touch This".
Four players then were selected for the skills competition, which included making a 3-pointer, layup and riding a tricycle through cones with a teammate from the men's basketball team. Ayanna Holmes and her teammate Colby Lewis won the event, while other women's players to participate included Jai Forney, Ny Hammonds and Shequana Harris.

Fan Day
Tomorrow (Saturday) will be a more family-friendly environment for 49ers basketball fans, as both programs will be on-hand again in Halton Arena for Fan Day. It will be a chance to meet and greet players and coaches in addition to a short intrasquad scrimmage. Fans can get player and coach autographs during their first glimpse at both programs.

Active in the Community
The women's basketball team spent Wednesday afternoon at Garinger High School in Charlotte, serving as mentors for students at the local school. The 49ers are partnering with the school to form a "buddy system" and be a positive role model for youth attending Garinger.

Preseason honor
Charlotte women's basketball was recently included among the Top 10 programs to watch in non-BCS leagues by Full Court. The 49ers were the highest ranked Atlantic 10 school on the list, which included 20 teams in all across the country. For more information, click here.

Individual recognition
Senior Jennifer Hailey was tabbed a Preseason All-Atlantic 10 First Team pick by College Sports Madness. She was the only Niner among the 10 players chosen either first or second team by the online news source. More information on the preseason selections can be found here.

Photo Day
Wednesday was the annual team photo day for the 49ers women's basketball team. University photographer Wade Bruton snapped the squad in its white uniforms on the main Halton Arena floor in addition to a few other photos.

Q&A with Assistant Coach Sabrina Gregory
1. Being the youngest member of the staff, what do advantages does that give you?
The good thing is, I'm not too far removed from (my playing days). For instance, if we ever need help in practice, I can jump in. I can probably relate in some ways to not only the players but also recruits. I'm familiar with a lot of the music and TV shows they may watch. I watch some of them.

2. You're an alumnae. What does it mean to be working for your alma mater, in a role tied to the sport in which you played?
It's huge. A lot of people ask 'when are you leaving Charlotte?' But for me, this is a great situation because I did play here and I am familiar with a lot of things about the school and this program itself. A lot of people that are here have been here for years and I'm very familiar with that. To be honest, it would take something really special to get me out of here. I love it here.

3. How has this program grown since you first stepped foot on campus?
There are so many changes since I first got here. The campus itself looks totally different. A lot of the buildings, especially around the arena, were not here. Not only has the view of it changed, but also all of our sports in the athletic department have grown. Each one has been successful. It's great to be a part of that. I just think football is going to be great for all of us.

4. What's your favorite part about road trips other than the games?
This is going to be a big shock to everybody, but the food! I do like to eat. (Director of Operations) Eric (McCombs) and (head coach) Cara Consuegra do a great job picking places for us to eat on the road that have good choices for the players.
Another thing is being able to have the opportunity to see different places. If it wasn't for basketball, I probably wouldn't have had the chance to be at half the places at which I've been. The experience of going to Thailand and some other exotic places, I never would have had the chance to do that if it wasn't for basketball.

5. How often do you want to get back on the floor and play?
Pretty often. There's always that itch. Sometimes I may dread it, but I like to practice with the girls. Other times, you want to be a coach. But the itch is always there because we are competitive and you always think to yourself 'I wish I could get back out there.' It happens pretty often, though.

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.