Dec. 3, 2004
BERKELEY, Calif. - Point guard Sarah Pool has started the first four games for the California women's basketball team after missing last season with a back injury. The redshirt sophomore is second in the Pac-10 in assists, averaging 7.3 per game. CalBears.com recently caught up with Pool to discuss her injury and her excitement being back with the Bears this season.
What was the toughest part about missing last season?
"When you're injured, you aren't as connected with the team. I wasn't allowed to participate in certain team bonding activities. My doctors wouldn't allow me to do the things that we did. I was sitting on the sidelines. It was hard not feeling apart of things, and then having surgery and being away from the team was the absolute hardest."
How long was the rehabilitation process after your surgery?
"After surgery last November, I was in bed for two months straight. I couldn't do anything. They limited me to five-minute walks. For the first month, I couldn't even go to the bathroom by myself. After two months, I could start walking. My professors worked with me. They let me make stuff up. I took my finals when I got back (from Oregon). I had to write essays while I was in bed."
Did you ever question whether you would return to playing basketball?
"You have doubts because of the pain because you don't know when it's going to go away. Ultimately, I knew I was going to come back. Little doubts creep into your mind, but I knew I was coming back."
How do you evaluate your game currently?
"I feel like I'm a better player now than when I was a freshman. That's weird to say because I literally didn't play basketball for over a year. Being out, gave me a totally different perspective. I could watch the game. I could see it. I learned the game. It's hard sometimes when you're in the game to know it and understand it. I could watch the games and take the things I learned my freshman year and recognize situations on the floor better. I learned so much my freshman year."
What do you attribute your improved assist numbers to this season?
"The people I'm passing to can score, and they're putting themselves in a position to score. When they do that, it makes it easy to get them the ball and put it in the hoop. Leigh (Gregory, 63.5 FG%), Jess (Lawson, 50.0 FG%) and K.I. (Iwanaga, 65.2 FG%) can score any time (to name a few). Whenever they get the ball, they're going to score. I know that. When I can get the ball to them when they're open, it makes it easier for them. But, they're the ones making it."
How have you become known for no-look passes and other somewhat flashier moves on the court?
"It just happens. I never set out to be a flashy player. Making a no-look pass might be a better pass than looking right at a player. You can set people up well sometimes with passes that seem flashy. I don't think about it. It's the creative side I have. I have good peripheral vision, but I also can read the plays before they happen."
What can Cal fans hope to see this weekend at the inaugural Contra Costa Times Classic? "We're going to bounce back. We expected to win the three games we played in Hawaii. We felt like we competed really well with TCU. We could have been the victors. We're carrying that into this weekend. Both of these home games we believe we can win. We've made changes at practice this week. If we carry out the game plans, it should be some good basketball."
What are your interests off the court?
"I love to read. It's my passion. I love to write. I write whatever comes to my mind during the day -any thoughts or if I read something or learn something I write it down. I love music and family."