By: Maxine Goynes '11
SANTA CLARA, Calif.- SantaClaraBroncos.com (SCB) spoke with Tyler Woods, a freshman on the women's basketball team as she discusses how having a parent for a coach put a twist on her high school basketball career, how her brother has inspired her and what she hopes to accomplish her first season as a Bronco!
SCB: You were a four-year varsity starter and a 2011 McDonald's All-America nominee in high school, playing for your father, Martin, who was your coach. In what ways was it beneficial to have a parent as a coach?
TW: It was beneficial because you get to spend all that time with them, and learn about each other on a different level. Plus, you know at least one person will fight to the end with and for you. It also makes you better because you know you have to work that much harder than everyone else; be mentally and physically strong, and ultimately be better than everyone else.
SCB: You averaged 16.4 points per game and over six assists last season. What do you feel is the strongest aspect of your game?
TW: I believe the strongest aspect of my game is the ability to lead a team. I am able to lead by example first, then by my words. Growing up I was told I am a natural leader. Although I didn't want to be one, I knew it was a gift and I needed to accept it and use it to my best ability.
SCB: You will obviously have team goals this season, but have you set any specific individual goals for yourself?
TW: Ultimately my goal is play a big role in my team's success. My individual goals are to start at some point as a freshman and play well enough to make the league's all-freshman team.
SCB: You are from Corona, Calif., did you grow up there?
TW: When I was five I moved to Moreno Valley, Calif. where I spent most of my childhood until I was twelve, and then moved back. For the most part I love Corona. It is a great place, everyone is kind and caring. It is the type of place where I would raise my own kids one day.
SCB: Why did you choose Santa Clara University?
TW: I chose Santa Clara University because ultimately I felt like home. The coaching staff is awesome and has a great background with basketball. The team,or shall I say my sisters,were welcoming. It is a program that is rising to the top and I wanted to play a role in the upcoming success. Also the academics are incredible. I knew I would be getting the best education. Everyone here is kind and welcomes you with open arms. Overall I felt wanted and that is the best feeling in the world.
SCB: You are close with your brother, Daveon, and cite him as an inspiration. How has he influenced your life?
TW: My brother is probably my biggest inspiration. If it wasn't for him, I would not be where I am today or who I am today. Growing up he was the one I would watch, and learn from. My brother didn't have the same opportunities as I did, so he struggled and had to work harder than me. His high school coach didn't really support him how mine did. In college, my brother gave basketball up and decided to coach on my high school girls' basketball team's staff. After he coached me and watched me grow, ultimately inspired him to go back to basketball. This past year my brother played for La Sierra University in Riverside, Calif. and was the MVP of his conference. Watching him grow into this powerful man just inspires me everyday to work harder because I cant let him down. I love my big brother so much.
SCB: How was it spending your summer with the your teammates here at SCU?
TW: Spending the summer with the team was by far the best experience I've had in my life. They are not teammates but are my sisters. They have taught me so much, and made me learn a lot about myself that I did not know. They are by far the best group of young women to be
around and I love them all.
SCB: Do you feel the extra time you have spent with the team will be beneficial to your season?
TW: We have all talked about it and we know it is. This is a start to something great. We have all bonded and learned so much about each other, and I know this will definitely transfer over to the court.
SCB: Do you have any pregame routines or rituals that you like to do before a game?
TW: My pregame ritual is to take my private time and get my mind right, and then after dance, sing, and yell to get happy and my team hyped up for the battle ahead.
SCB: What is your favorite memory from a basketball game?
TW: My favorite memory from a game was in a championship game that we needed just two points to tie the game with four seconds left. I had the ball in my hands and I had the confidence in myself to shoot a three-pointer off a screen and roll, and I made it and we won. It was
the best memory still today. I have never felt so happy.