Players on CU’s basketball team talk about their season before big PAC-12 tournament

CU Boulder vs Washington State, March 2/ Photo by Franziska Stangl/ KGNU

The University of Colorado’s women’s basketball team has garnered a lot of attention for their incredible performance, especially at the beginning of the season, where they achieved a spot in the top 4. This Saturday, they played their last regular-season game at home. Now, they are preparing to face Oregon in their first game of the PAC-12 tournament on Wednesday.

KGNU intern and CU student Franzi Stangl spoke to Charlotte Whittaker and Quay Miller a few weeks ago about the increased interest in their program, including being part of the student sports pass. That’s a program that gives students access to CU athletic game tickets, usually for men’s teams.

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    02_29_202 mmag Franziska Stangl

Interview Transcript:

Charlotte: I’m Charlotte Whittaker, and I play for the Colorado Women’s Basketball Team. 

Franzi: I wanted to ask something specifically because. I have been a student here since last semester, and last semester, the sports ticket didn’t include the women’s games, and now this is the first semester where we actually have to claim women’s game tickets, So I just wanna know your opinions about this.

Charlotte: Yeah. I think, um, I think it’s great. Honestly, I think, you know. When I first came here a few years ago, we didn’t have a lot of people in the student section at all. And now, you know, we are playing against UCLA and Stanford and the student section is completely full and it’s like spreading into, you know, the other seats, which is absolutely insane and so crazy. Um, but I also think we’ve earned that I think, in a lot of respect because, you know, we work really hard and, we always fight for, you know, our place, of course, I think specifically as females to, have, fans and to be able to be watched and be, I guess, respected too as a female sports team.  We have great students, great student section. yeah. And they just make the game so much fun, honestly. But yeah, I was really shocked when everyone was like, we have to now claim our tickets. I feel it was great to be part of That and part of the continued growth of like women’s sports as well. So yeah.

Franzi: Did you feel upset in the beginning that it wasn’t like that? Like, did you feel like you had to prove yourselves in a way?

Charlotte: Yeah, I think we always have to, I think like that’s just our team though. We are very like underdog mentality and we always have to continue to prove ourselves to a lot of other people. But just knowing that we’re good enough ourselves, I think honestly sometimes is enough. And like to be able to know that now other people are seeing what we have believed since the start is really awesome and amazing. But I think there’s always gonna be, the, the fight for more attention and for more, you know, a better fan base or for more quality I think within women’s sports. But yeah, it’s been, it’s been good that now I feel like we are getting more recognition and the recognition that I feel like we deserve to.

Franzi: And just out of interest, Do you train with the men’s team sometimes, or do you do some co-ed training sometimes? 

Charlotte: So we don’t train with the men’s team, but we have male practice players. So every single day when we practice, they turn up. They’re just such a crucial part of our training, you know, being able to train against. males that are more, you know, athletic stronger and everything really improves us for our games. Um, and we’re very grateful to have such a loyal team, honestly, of practice players.  

Franzi: Um, if you go any further than Utah, do you do any training specifically for that area, like that state? ‘Cause obviously, people have to come here and have to get used to the altitude. Do you guys do anything like that? 

Charlotte: No, not really. Um, I guess ’cause we start at altitude, it’s kind of easier for us to go down to sea, sea level, which helps a lot. But I think the only thing we train for sometimes is if their stadium is gonna be like, extremely loud and we’re not gonna be able to hear, sometimes Coach T will put on like stadium noise and you know, screaming and cheering like the whole practice. So we have to practice with it and we have to over-communicate. And so we can kind of like train for that and adapt.

 

Quay:   I’m Quay. I’m a fifth year here at CU and I’m a forward on the women’s basketball team. 

 Franzi: You were playing really well the last seasons, but this season we can claim tickets for your games. And I just wanted to know your opinions on this because when I came here last semester, I was like, why? Why isn’t the women’s team included in the Sports Pass?  

Quay: What’s the Sports Pass?

Franzi: So the Sports Pass is, you can buy it for like a couple hundred something bucks and you can claim tickets for the men’s football games, men’s basketball games, and get free admission to other sports games.

Quay: I wasn’t aware of that, but I just think that right now we just have a lot of, um, attention on this right now, because of the success we’re having, the success we’ve been having. And we’re just showing that we’re building on success. And it’s not just, I mean, obviously, we’re working hard and putting in the work that we need to be this successful, but I think that understanding that our success also comes from our fan base. People just wanna, you know, help us win because, that’s what Boulder does for, Buffaloes, I guess the fan base really just looks out for us, and I think that with the, with the success of us, they know that that helps. 

Franzi: Do you feel that you’re maybe more under pressure than the men’s team? Do you feel like you have to keep up the good work in order to earn this kind of attention?

Quay: I mean, we’ve definitely earned the attention that we’ve been getting, but I don’t think we’re like, we need to keep being good so that we can have people keep coming to our games. We’re just doing what we know how to do. We’re not really paying attention to, we had this many people at our games, or we’re ranked this team, we’re ranked this number. We’re just all about getting better and just trying to play good basketball.

Franziska Stangl

Franziska Stangl

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