You CAN Go Home Again

All-America candidate Chrissy Givens has not played in her hometown since the beginning of her college career. Wednesday night she will play basketball in Monroe (LA) for the first time in over 4 years. BlueRaiderZone.com interviewed Givens for this historic homecoming. She will become the first female ever to have her jersey retired at Ouachita Parish High School at a ceremony on Tuesday evening.

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It has been four years since No. 18 Middle Tennessee standout Chrissy Givens has played in front of her hometown fans. This Wednesday the Blue Raiders will travel to the University of Louisiana-Monroe to play in their next big conference match up.

"It's a pretty good feeling to be able to go home and play in front of family and friends," Givens said.

"Most of these people haven't seen me play since I was in high school, so I'm very excited." Givens went on, "I'm using all of the girls' (players' comp) tickets. I'm pretty sure I'll have at least 70 people in the stands."

When asked if there is added pressure playing in her hometown, she responded in her normal cool demeanor, "It's a little pressure, but when it comes down to it this is just another conference game-- a game that we have to win to get where we're trying to be."

Givens recounted her recruitment to Middle Tennessee, when asked how Louisiana-Monroe, LSU, and Louisiana Tech let her get away.

"I didn't get a lot of looks from the local teams. In high school at Ouachita my dad called me a 'trash' player. They would move me anywhere on the court. In high school I was the 1, the 2, the 3, the 4, and the 5. They moved me all over, so I never really focused on one spot. Coach (former MT Head Coach and current University of Alabama skipper Stephany) Smith came down and recruited me, and I ended up at Middle Tennessee."

Asked if she or her family ever wished she had stayed in Louisiana for school, Givens quickly responded, "Especially not now, with all the opportunities I've had up here-- especially not now."

"There was a time during my freshman year that I was homesick, but my dad wouldn't let me think of coming home." Givens continued, "My dad told me that I wasn't a quitter, and I am so happy I've stayed at Middle."

She talked about the support of her parents and how important it has been to her throughout her career. Her dad has not missed a game during her four year career, and her mom has only missed a couple.

"They drive up for every game. They don't like to fly so they just drive," she said.

It is a 545 mile drive from the Givens' front doorstep in Monroe to the Murphy Center in Murfreesboro (TN), but on Wednesday night the drive will be significantly shorter.

"They're excited to have me play in Monroe, so that all of our family and friends can come. Most all of their friends from work are coming. There's going to be a lot of folks rooting for me at the game," Givens said.

Givens also remarked on the season so far, and that there is still so much left to do.

"It's easier for me to get to the basket this year. You've got Amber Holt, (Jackie) Pickel, (Brandi) Brown, Chelsia (Lymon), and Johnna (Abney) sitting on the three point line. You're not going to leave a sure three pointer wide-open in order to pick me up in the lane. It gives me a lot more room to drive to the basket."

"There's so much more to do, and there's so much more that I have to focus on." She continued, "I need to hit the 1-footers and 2-footers. I was sat down for missing those shorter shots the other day against South Alabama."

When asked if she is getting complacent after the success that she's had, Givens quickly answered, "Nah, Little Man (MTSU Head Coach Rick Insell) always keeps me in check."

Chrissy Givens and the No. 18 Lady Raiders (21-3, 13-0) put their 18 game winning streak on the line at Louisiana-Monroe (14-9, 4-8) on Wednesday night at 7 P.M.


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