User ID: Password:

October 12, 2009

Under the boards with Kerri Gardin

By: Matt Kovatch

Kerri Gardin
While looking ahead to the new basketball season in this issue, a visit by a former women’s great in late September gave us reason to look back. Kerri Gardin (2002-06) was recently in Blacksburg visiting with the coaching staff and was gracious enough to sit down and catch us up on her professional basketball career. A member of four consecutive NCAA tournament teams while a Hokie, Gardin recently completed her second season with the WNBA’s Connecticut Sun. One of the greatest rebounders in school history and a member of the 1,000-point club, Gardin is the only former Hokie to have played in a WNBA game.

Q: What brings you back to town?

A: I haven’t been back here since I left in 2006, so I thought I’d come visit for a little bit before I head overseas because I don’t know when I’m going to get another chance for some time off.

Q: What do you think of the new practice facility?

A: Man, it’s amazing. It’s very, very nice. I wish we could’ve had it when I was here! I think it’s good for the school, good for the campus and good for recruiting.

Q: Are you going overseas to play?

A: Yes, this will be my fourth year overseas. I played in Portugal my first year. In my second year, I played in both Portugal and Turkey. Last year, I was in Croatia, so this year, I’m going to hit up Spain. I’m talking like I’m going on vacation or something, but it’s nice.

Q: Do you have teammates whom you know overseas or are you all on your own?

A: You have at least one other American on your team so you get to know them. But yeah, I have a couple of teammates who are going to be in Spain, as well as some people whom I’ve played against in the league [WNBA]. I’ll have some kind of familiarity around me. Some of them have played in Spain before, so they know their way around if I need some help.

Q: You saved your best game for last in Connecticut, scoring a career-high 23 points in the season finale. Were you happy with your second WNBA season?

A: Yes and no. You always want to make it to the playoffs and we weren’t able to accomplish that this year. Overall, it was an OK year. We had our ups and downs. Even though our last game didn’t mean anything, you still want to play hard because you never know who is watching or what the coach is looking for. It’s a job and you’re still fighting for a spot, whether it be for now or next year, so you want to leave it all on the court.

Q: So you are not guaranteed a spot from season to season?

A: No, you’re not. Not at all, so you’ve always got to be playing and working hard. Especially last year because the roster sizes dropped from 12 or 13 players to 11, so jobs are really hard to come by. Some people got left out. It’s not a given on any night.

Q: How do you like living in Connecticut?

A: It’s nice. We don’t play in a big city, but there are things to do and places to get to that aren’t that far away. There’s also the casino that we play at [the arena is a part of the Mohegan Sun Resort and Casino], which is crazy. It’s amazing, especially if you gamble, but I don’t. The fan support that the team gets there is really incredible.