Aug. 6, 2009
Redshirt sophomore Tasha Dickey recently sat down and gave her thoughts about her summer away from Arizona and working toward getting back on the floor after missing the entire 2008-09 season due to injury.
Talk about your summer.
“First, I flew into Utah and spent some time with my family for about a week. Then, we moved and made our transition to Manhattan, Kansas (Tasha’s father, Charlie, is an assistant football coach at Kansas State University). We had a lot of family time. I also went to World of Fun in Kansas City, which was my favorite day of the summer because it has roller coasters and everything. I visited with family all over Kansas. My grandparents came down to our house for a little bit as well. It was a very relaxing summer trying to get ready for this season. I did a lot of rehab. Lots and lots of rehab. I finally started running and that was a big hurdle for me.”
Talk about your injury and why it prevented you from playing last season.
“During my freshman year at one of the 6 a.m. practices, I went up for a layup and kind of had my body taken out from under me. I came down kind of awkward and my right ankle snapped inward. I thought I could get up and walk on it because ankle injuries happen a lot in basketball. I could not walk at all and we found out that all of my ligaments were gone. I didn’t want to have surgery because the team was already shorthanded because of injuries, so everyone wanted me to come back. I fought through it and finished the season, but I was still having really bad problems with it. After Coach Butts got here, I went through practices and played in the Red/Blue game, but because the ligaments weren’t there, it kept clicking with the inside bone and causing a fracture. So, I was either going to be out most of the season and be in and out of the lineup or I could have surgery and get it fixed. I decided I might as well get it done since I had pushed it pretty hard. I think the surgery has worked. It’s been an uphill battle with it because sometimes my body reacts well and sometimes it doesn’t. I try to keep a positive attitude towards it because you have to keep a positive attitude toward injuries.”
What did you learn watching last season that you want to implement back into the team?
“I think we lacked last year was a lot of emotional energy. We were so young last season and we didn’t have a true leader on the court. Hopefully I can bring unity and hard work to the team.” How has it been blending the team together with the returners and new players? “It’s been great so far. There hasn’t been any hostility between any of the players. The thing that it all boils down to is that we all want to win. As long as we get on the court and make things happen and get some wins under our belts, I think everything will be great. The freshmen and the transfers are all really cool people and we all get along really well.”
What are some of your goals for this upcoming season?
“Other than just getting back on the floor, that’s my big goal. My major goal is to beat Arizona State. We have a great rivalry with them and I was a part of it when my Dad coached here. I really want to have a year when we beat them. Not only that, but I want to just win. I want to go out hard and be a scrappy team that really grinds on teams. Hopefully I’ll finish the season healthy, too.”
What do you share with the newer players about the experiences from last season, especially playing in the Pac-10?
“I would tell our team to have an open mind toward every situation we face because you can’t really prepare someone until they have played in a Pac-10 game. Whether you’re coming from high school or a junior college, it’s totally different. I would tell them to keep a positive mindset and when you get in the game and if something happens, look for your teammates first. Hopefully with the five people that are returning, we can help the newer players and be leaders and not make them feel like they are just being thrown into tough situations and get used to how things are going to be.”
It’s January 7, 2010, Arizona is playing Kansas State at the Rose Bowl in the football national championship game…who are you cheering for?
“I might have to trade sides at halftime. In other sports, my loyalty has always been to my Dad, but since I’m at Arizona, I might have to mess with him a little bit. He and I have an agreement that if we ever played Kansas State in basketball, he would have to wear Arizona gear.”