Oct. 30, 2002
The learning began early for the freshmen on Florida State women’s basketball team. Ganiyat Adeduntan, Francine Houston, Holly Johnson and Hannah Linquist all enrolled in FSU’s summer school CARE program. The Florida State University CENTER FOR ACADEMIC RETENTION AND ENHANCEMENT (CARE) provides programs and services targeted to the first-generation college student, and helps to facilitate their preparation, recruitment, adjustment, retention and graduation from college. CARE also implements programs and services for eligible entering freshmen students.
Now two months into the school year and nearly three weeks into basketball practice, the benefits for these freshmen are paying off.
“Academically, it helped a lot,” Adeduntan said. “I had some hard classes and I had to do a lot of writing and studying. Athletically, it gave me a chance to play pick up with the team, start lifting and running. We (the freshmen) had a little bit of a head start I think. It helped big time, probably more academically though.”
“Being here this summer helped me get used to the workload, the schedule and how to manage my time,” Houston said. “It also helped me to get in shape for preseason conditioning. It was good.”
“Being in the summer CARE program was great for me,” Johnson said. “School-wise, coming into the fall semester, the transition was a lot easier. With my schoolwork, I know how to set my schedule as far as doing my homework first and then pacing myself for the rest. Being here this summer really helped a lot. Basketball-wise, I got a taste of what was to come. I relaxed more when I got here in the fall.”
“I met people through the summer school and CARE program and lifting weights helped me to get adjusted to college life and what I need to do,” Linquist said.
No matter how much one prepares for a new adventure, sometimes things don’t go exactly as expected.
“One thing I didn’t expect was having this intensity 24-7,” Houston said. “I knew it was going to be intense, but not all of the time. Our coaches are intense about everything – our schoolwork and basketball.”
“I think the intensity level has just picked up a notch,” Johnson said. “With high school practices, you’ll have like one practice a week that is really tough. Here, every single practice you have to be focused and know what’s going on because every single one is intense. That’s a big difference for me.”
“I expected some of the classes to be a little harder and I was expecting better weather,” Linquist said.
“Athletically, I knew it was going to be a more fast pace style of ball, but when you’re playing, it’s different,” Adeduntan said. “It’s a whole different level. Even though I expected that, it was still a bit of a shock to me.”
Although the players have had a couple of months to adjust to the rigors of their academic lives, they’ve only had 16 practices and are just realizing what Florida State women’s basketball is really about. So are they making the grade?
“I’d give myself a C+ because I feel like I can do better than I am doing now,” Houston said. “I just have to keep working hard and just focus and concentrate more.”
“I’d give myself a B, because I think I have improved from where I started,” Linquist said. C is average and to play at the college level, you have to be better than average to begin with. I still have a lot more improving to do to make a statement.”
“I’d give myself a B- because overall I have my good times and my bad times and I am kind of in the middle,” Adeduntan said. “I think I’m giving effort, but I’m still messing up on little things, but I think with time, I’ll get it all.”
“I’d give myself a B because it’s not all there yet,” Johnson said. “I’m still learning and there’s always improvement with everything. I’m getting the plays down and how everyone interacts, but I still have a lot to learn.”
One thing’s for certain though, the learning curve for this group is enormous and it’s their eagerness to learn and to be successful that is going to take them a long way both on and off the basketball court.
“I’m just excited about the energy and effort that they (the freshmen) give us out on the floor every day,” head coach Sue Semrau said. “They’re a very confident group that comes to Florida State with a lot of acclaim and it’s obvious when they are out on the floor with our veterans that they have a championship mentality. They’re very eager to learn and will make an immediate impact for us.”