Towel Talk – Michelle Clark-Heard: “Bigger, Faster, Stronger”

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WTRT: WKU was voted preseason #2, Chastity Gooch was voted preseason Player of the Year in the conference, again with WKU having never played a C-USA basketball game. Did that come as a surprise to you?
MCH: I don’t know if I would say a surprise, especially for Chastity, because her numbers and the things that she’s done the past two years, and looking at the returning players in Conference USA, I felt like she is one of the top players in the conference coming in. As coaches, I think you look at the players are returning, what those teams did, and again I think it says a lot what the players this past year – over the past few years – have done helped us get picked where we did preseason.

WTRT: At Louisville, you coached a couple of now WNBA All-Stars in Angel McCoughtry and Schoni Schimmel. Do you see a little bit of Chastity and Alexis Govan in those two players?
MCH: I talk to them all the time. The biggest thing I can say is every player has their own personality. I think Chastity and Alexis are the same way – they have their own personalities – but I think the biggest thing about them is you can’t teach what those to have. They’re so driven. They want to win very bad, they’ll do anything it takes to help their team win. I’m so excited for them in their senior year, and what could happen, and just the opportunity to be able to compete at the highest level and keep playing. I think they both definitely have the ability to play at the next level, but I think right now their main focus and goal is to be the best they can be and leave WKU with a bang.

WTRT: I was just about to ask – should I be saving my money this next year to hopefully buy an Alexis Govan or Chastity Gooch WNBA jersey come the draft?
MCH: I don’t know. I think, especially because of Western Kentucky and where we’re at – in Conference USA – I think the exposure we’ll get will be good for them, but we’re going to have a great season, they’re going to have to have a great season. I don’t think they’re looking ahead. I think if and when the time comes, I know that myself and this staff will have prepared them to get ready for that moment.

WTRT: Have you had a conversation with either of the two about it?
MCH: Oh yes. We definitely have talked before, and I think if they have the chance, they’d both love to have the opportunity. But I think the biggest thing, right now, is they’re focused on their senior year. They started out their freshman year with not so well of a season, and these past two years have done really well, so I think they’re wanting to top that off, to be able to say they went out their senior year a certain way.

Next: A WKU Big-3?