Natasha Howard captured All-ACC First Team honors in 2012-13 and already has 26 career double-doubles. The Toledo, Ohio, native will be a senior leader on the Seminoles this season and should contend for All-America honors. Seminoles.com recently sat down with the FSU forward and learned a lot of things - but mostly all she wants to do is win.
Talk about heading into your senior year. What are you hoping to accomplish?
"I'm hoping to accomplish an ACC Championship this year and just taking my team as far as we can go in the (NCAA Tournament) this upcoming season and being the best team we can be this year...pretty much just having fun my senior year and leaving everything on the court."
You've had some fun opportunities this summer, such as competing at the USA Basketball World University Games Tryouts. What has your experiences been like this summer?
"I was testing myself really hard. I was going against good players that I know who came in with me. That was a good experience - working with good coaches and learning from other good players too at the USA Tryouts."
What are some other fun things you've done off the court this summer?
"I've hung out with our new freshmen and new players who came from different schools. It was fun hanging out with them and trying to get to know them and helping them on the basketball court, as well. I have tried to help them if they needed help with anything. I'm just trying to be a good leader."
You have 26 career double-doubles and are within striking distance of the school record (31). What would breaking that school record mean to you?
"It means a lot to me and also to my teammates because without them I wouldn't be able to put up double-doubles nearly every game. I just try to do what I have to do for the team, and for us to win."
What part of your game have you been working on this summer?
"I've been working on my handles a lot and being consistent at the free throw line, jump shot, and the short corners...being consistent every day when I come in the gym working on my jump shot and ball handling skills."
What's the feeling like when you rip down a huge rebound in a game?
"It feels good. It feels good to get a rebound especially in a important game. That's the main focus of what I need to do more, is getting rebounds. Just getting rebounds for the team and hopefully we get a good basket at the other end."
How will you and fellow senior Yashira "Cheetah" Delgado step up this year?
"Both of us know that we have to step up from last year and we've got younger players on the team. We're the only veterans on the team now so we have to make sure we step up to the plate. Whatever the coaches tell us to do we have to do it and set a good example for the rest of the team."
Are you excited to play with sophomore transfer Morgan Jones? What was she like playing on the scout team last year?
"Yes, I'm excited to play with Morgan because she's a great player. I don't know if anyone will be able to stop her because the way she shoots the ball. She was hard to stop last year on the scout team."
What did redshirt junior Lauren Coleman stepping up last season mean to the team? What can she bring to the team this year?
"It meant to the team big because after Chasity (Clayton) went down with that ankle injury, we wondered who li else is going to step up to the plate? She was great. We'll definitely need her this year."
What have you seen from fellow post player, freshman Kai James?
"She's developing a lot. I've never seen that out of a freshman coming in. She's working hard every day, getting extra work in. She's going to be a good player for us. She's solid. I don't know who is going to be able to stop her in post."