Former Lady Panthers Metra Walthour and LaQuananisha Adams are set to lead the 19th ranked ACC Georgia Tech women’s basketball team as they open the 2009-10 season.
The Atlanta team is ranked 19th in the ACC by the Associated Press and coach MaChelle Joseph said she expects big things from several of her upcoming sophomores, including Walthour and Adams.
Both players said they spent the summer preparing and had a special experience when they toured Europe and Africa.
It was Walthour’s first trip abroad.
"It was a life-changing experience, being in both Africa and Europe," she said. "In Africa we got to visit with people who are less fortunate than we are and it made me not take things that we have for granted. I learned that everything is not going to be just
They said the trip also allowed them to bond with teammates.
"We were not allowed to have any cell phones, so we were able to learn about each other more and get on the same page, Walthour said.
Adams comes from a military family and said it was not her first time overseas.
"We got the opportunity to learn about our teammates," she said, "things about them you didn’t know and spend more time with them, time that you would not have normally spent with them here in Atlanta. It was a good trip. It makes me thankful for all that I have."
Adams and Walthour said their experience as freshmen last season helped them know what to expect from themselves and what the coach expected of them. Both said they have a better understanding of the Yellow Jacket system.
"Last season’s experience gave us a better idea of what we had to do to prepare for this season, both in the weight room and on the court," Walthour said. "This summer I attended a point guard camp which helped me out a lot."
"What I’ve been doing is trying to help the new freshmen coming in and tell them what is expected of them and what they need to do," Adams added. "In high school nobody was my height so I was dominating the floor easily. But when I came out here everyone was my height, stronger than me or nearly the same and it’s helped me all around with my game. I still have my quickness but I need to work on my strength because a lot of post players in this league are a lot stronger than me. Coach wants me to gain weight and get stronger."
Walthour started in seven games and played in 25 last season, but after adding 10-pounds of muscle and attending guard camp over the summer the coach said she is among the most improved on the squad.
The Lady Jackets opened pre-season play on Friday with a home game against Winthrop and won 63-30. They lost their second pre-season game against Oklahoma State 70-64 and will host Florida Gulf Coast on Saturday at home.
Walthour started the first two games. Adams also played both games and contributed 10 points in the victory against Winthrop.
"The strength training program they have here is great and she told me I had to transform my body a little in order to be successful and that is what I did," Walthour said. "I drank shakes and hit the weight room all summer. I can feel the difference because it’s a more physical game and pretty much any time you get in the lane you are going to get hit. So it’s helped me in finishing the plays and being strong on the ball."
Both said they are thankful for the support they receive from friends and family from the Hinesville community.
"You will be seeing us on TV in March," Walthour said.