Aug. 22, 2006
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - After IUHOOSIERS.com caught up with Indiana women's basketball assistant coach Cherie Hogg last week, fellow assistant coach Vera Jones took her turn to talk about the upcoming season, herself and her transition to Indiana.
What are you most looking forward to this season?
"Right now, everything is exciting because it's new. If I had to single out one thing, it would be the opportunity to work with Coach Jack. I've known her as a player, but to now be on her staff is really exciting. She is a great motivator. The way she is able to get players into the mindsets of champions is most appealing to me."
What attracted you to the Indiana assistant coaching job?
"The name Hoosiers stands alone when it comes to basketball. I started playing basketball when I was five, and I have known about the Indiana Hoosiers since I was five. Just to be in a place where basketball is so important is exciting. Again, I am thrilled to be coming on board with a coach who is so passionate about the game and has such passion for the kids, which is awesome."
What has stuck out to you about Bloomington and the community?
"I live in the greatest neighborhood. Everyone is so friendly. I don't know if it's the "midwestern mindset' or what, but everyone I have met here is so friendly and compassionate. I have been thrilled with the people I have met here, they have made this a great place for me."
What is something that most fans don't know about you?
"There was a small stint of my career when I was a standup comedian."
What has been your greatest accomplishment?
"My greatest accomplishment has been raising my son. There is a parallel there. There are so many things I have learned from motherhood, especially single motherhood that has taught me how to be a more understanding leader and a coach. The lives I've touched in coaching can be directly attributed to being a mother. Another great accomplishment for me is that I have former players that I have mentored along the way that still contact me and tell me I have had a great impact on their life. That's really meaningful to me."
What are some of your hobbies and interests?
"I love movies, and I love to eat! I like to stay active, and I still love to play basketball. I am a fan of the beach and any opportunity that I have to be near a body of water, I usually jump on."
What aspect of the Big Ten are looking forward to?
"Definitely the competitiveness and to face that some of the best coaches in the country, coaches that I have long admired when I was a broadcaster coach in the Big Ten. About four or five years ago, I was the head color analyst for the Big Ten, so I got to know the great names. They are legendary basketball minds and having the opportunity to compete against those folks is impressive."
How do you see your media background helping you in coaching?
"From an Xs and Os standpoint, it will help me. Analyzing film and getting to know different coaches' style are things I learned while in broadcasting. From a people perspective, being a broadcaster will help me as a recruiter. I am comfortable talking to anybody."
What is your favorite aspect of coaching?
"My favorite part about coaching is the maternal aspect. It's the teaching and mentoring. In coaching, you can see a player struggling in a particular area and you can help instruct them. Then, they get it and it's an amazing feeling. To see a player who can't do something in the beginning and suddenly they can, and that helps you win games. As a coach you develop relationships and a trust. It's a great feeling when you can help a player with something that is going on in their lives. The teaching and mentoring aspects are definitely what I love the most."
What can fans expect from the Hoosiers in 2006-07?
"Fans can expect a team that plays with tremendous passion, and a team that will play with a lot of pride. They can expect coaches who care about the team, the university and the community. If they watch very closely, especially if I have anything to do with it, they are going to see a team that is working hard but having fun. I think that's the best way to play this game."