Jan. 22, 2009
Since moving to Tallahassee from Sandusky, Ohio, a lot has been expected of Florida State true freshman center Cierra Bravard. After all, when you are named Ohio Player of the Year as a senior in high school, pressure to perform at the next level is commonplace.
At FSU, Bravard has taken the expectations and the pressure that comes with them in stride and the results have shown on the basketball court. The 6-foot-4 post player entered the showdown with No. 3 Texas A&M as the Seminoles’ third leading scorer with 10.5 points per game while averaging a team second-best 5.0 rebounds per contest. She has also started 14 of Florida State’s 15 games this year.
Has playing college basketball been what you expected?
Bravard: “It’s been pretty much what I expected so far. I knew playing basketball in college was going to be a lot different than playing in high school. I knew it was going to be very tough and be something that you really have to work hard for and put a lot of time and dedication into. And I knew it was something that you would have to put a lot of heart into to be successful. All of that has been true since I got here.”
As a highly-touted high school player with scholarship offers from a plethora of colleges, what made you choose Florida State?
Bravard: “I wasn’t necessarily interested in going to school close to home and I wanted to be somewhere where I felt like I truly fit in. I also wanted to go to a school that was family-oriented since I was probably going to be far away from home. FSU has all of those things and I just felt the most comfortable here. I knew that I would be able to get the most out of college basketball by coming to play here.”
You have played a lot this year and the coaches have expected a lot out of you when you are on the court. Did you know you would be playing this much when you signed with the Seminoles?
Bravard: “I knew that was the kind of player the coaches wanted me to be and that’s what I wanted to be for the coaches. So I have had no problem with coming in and being expected to play a lot.”
What has it been like adjusting to life as a student-athlete?
Bravard: “It’s hard sometimes. It gets frustrating at times because there are so many things that you have to do. But getting everything done is definitely worth it both in school and with the team.”
Entering the 16th game of your collegiate career, how different are you now as a player than you were entering game No. 1?
Bravard: “I think that my conditioning has improved and I am starting to get more and more comfortable on the court. I have started to realize what I can do and I am not as nervous to go out there and do what is expected of me.”