The Daily Trojan sat down with senior center Kari LaPlante to discuss her experiences with the team and her plans for after graduation.
Daily Trojan: How does the USC women’s basketball team work out in the off-season?
Kari LaPlante: We just started up post-season individual workouts. There’s lots of skill-based workouts that we have stations for like shooting, dribbling and post touches. We do some conditioning as well. During the summer, the coaches can’t make us do any individual workouts, but they give us packets with skill sets to work on. Also, the players usually get together to play five on five pickup games twice a week.
DT: What changes has USC coach Michael Cooper made to the offseason workout program since taking over before the 2009-2010 season?
LaPlante: Well, under the old coaching staff, we didn’t have postseason workouts at all. [But] last year, right after spring break, six days after our last loss, we came back and started working out. We were all like, “What?” But I think it helped us a lot.
DT: Can you reflect on your four years on the team?
LaPlante: It’s been a great four years. I love all the girls — they’re like family to me. I’m going to miss them, especially all the little inside jokes that go on behind closed doors. I’ve been blessed to be able to play at USC, even with the coaching changes. I’ve been able to experience different things each year.
DT: What was different about this year?
LaPlante: I was a team captain this year, so I played a bigger role for the team. As a captain, you want to push your teammates like a coach does. I tried to lead by example and become more of a vocal leader. I don’t know if that was because I was a captain or because I was a senior, but there was definitely a change in my mentality and how I approached everything.
DT: Do you have any regrets from your time on the team?
LaPlante: No, not at all. My first three years, I didn’t get to participate in the postseason workouts because of injuries. But those injuries helped me become stronger, mentally and physically. All the ups and downs have helped me grow as a person.
DT: What’s the most memorable game from your time at USC?
LaPlante: The WNIT championship [this season]. It was an amazing experience. There was so much energy and excitement, it was unbelievable. It would’ve been nice to win it, but not many people get to experience a championship game. I didn’t get to once in high school. I’ve been very blessed that I was able to play in a championship game.
DT: What do you plan to do after graduation?
LaPlante: I’ve hired an agent, so I’m going to try and play basketball overseas somewhere in Europe.