VandyMania Interview: Liz Sherwood

Former Connecticut Huskie Liz Sherwood has landed at Vanderbilt. It took the 6-4 Colorado native a little longer than some to make it, but she joined the team this summer and looks to make a huge impact upon becoming eligible the season after next. In this lengthy interview, Sherwood talks about her growing-up years and the circuitous route that led her to Vanderbilt.

VandyMania: First, how tall are you - really?

Liz Sherwood: I'm 6-4.

VM: Is that in sock feet?

Liz: Bare feet? Yeah. I think I'm 6-4. They think I'm like 6-5.

VM: Basketball shoes add a good inch, don't they?

Liz: Yeah. But I'm sticking with my 6-4.

VM: That's your story and you're sticking to it?

Liz: Yep.

VM: Tell me a little about yourself and your family?

Liz: I'm an only child. I live in Colorado. I was born in California and moved there when I was about three months old.

VM: Were either of your parents basketball players or athletes?

Liz: They're both very athletic people, or at least were back when they were younger.

VM: Was either one specifically a basketball player?

Liz: My mom played basketball in high school. That was a long time ago. She's not going to to appreciate that, but... (laughs) She wore a skirt, so I don't know if you call that basketball.

VM: Where was that?

Liz: Southern California. She went to a private girls school. There were only like six people. She was telling me about the rules. It was pretty funny.

VM: They played half-court?

Liz: There were "rovers", or something, that could go full court, but two people stayed on defense, two stayed on offense, and two people could run the whole court, or something like that.

VM: What about pets?

Liz: I have two dogs, two bassets. Cute.

VM: What are their names?

Liz: Emma Sue and Bailey.

VM: Girl and boy?

Liz: Yeah.

VM: How old are they?

Liz: Bailey's two now, and Emma Sue's four.

VM: Are you very much a dog family?

Liz: Oh yeah. We got them from basset rescue after our other two bassets died of old age. They're very different looking. One's white with brown spots and one's black with brown and white.

VM: Tell me a little about your basketball history, when you started playing, and take it from there.

Liz: I started playing in third grade for the YMCA. Did that for a while, then there's this Gold Crown in Colorado, where you play on a high school feeder team, and you play against other teams.

VM: "Gold Crown"? Is that a club?

Liz: It's called "Gold Crown Basketball" in Colorado. It's just like a feeder team or league where you play with the name of the high school where you're going to go to. I played for high schools I didn't go to, but - The teams are put together privately, but with the idea of preparing the girls for the high school.

So I did that for a couple of years. Played AAU for the rest of my life, pretty much.

VM: You played for...

Liz: The Colorado Hoopsters.

VM: A team that's gotten some unfavorable publicity recently in the past year or so.

Liz: (Laughs) No comment! (Laughs.)

VM: Anyhow, you played AAU -

Liz: From seventh grade on up.

VM: And you played in high school-

Liz: I went to high school, my first two years at Douglas County High School, then I transferred to Highlands Ranch High School.

VM: In Colorado, it's...

Liz: Open enrollment.

VM: So there's no big deal in transferring.

Liz: They're trying to make it a big deal now, but it wasn't when I did it.

VM: Partly because of...

Liz: Partly because of me, Ann Strother, Susie Powers, because we all went to the same high school, and none of us lived there.

VM: Did you know each other before?

Liz: Yeah, we all played on the same AAU team.

VM: Was that one of the reasons you all went there?

Liz: I wanted to go to Douglas County, and I tried that, but it didn't work. There were a lot of problems. Highlands Ranch is the next closest school to my house, give or take a couple of minutes, so I might as well go to the team that's best in the state.

VM: When did you first start thinking about the possibility of a college scholarship?

Liz: Hmmm... I don't know, maybe when you start getting letters? It doesn't really hit you until all the mail comes in, like around September 1 of your junior year. Then all of a sudden, you're like, "Whoaaaaa," because before, it's like form letters. Then all of a sudden it just hits you, and then they start calling you, and you're like, "Oh dear.

VM: Ann had gone through this the year bfore you.

Liz: Yeah, I kinda knew everything about it. My AAU team has been pretty highly recruited through the years, so you see what they go through, so I knew what to expect.

VM: When you were being recruited, Vanderbilt was one of the schools you looked at very seriously before deciding on UConn. You had an official visit here. What was your impression of Vanderbilt then?

Liz: Of the campus? The school?

VM: The campus, school, program, team, whatever. What do you remember about your visit?

Liz: Everybody was really nice. I really liked it.

VM: Who hosted you?

Liz: Jenni, kind of, but I stayed with Venessa, two of the nicest girls. I had a good time. The fire alarm went off at like three in the morning, and we got kicked out of our room. That was fun.

VM: Not long after that you went to Connecticut.

Liz: Two weeks later.

VM: The rumors were that Vanderbilt was in the running until the end.

Liz: They were. Yep.

VM: So you went to UConn, had a year there, then decided to transfer here. When you were thinking of coming back here, did you have any misgivings, or were you wondering what it would be like after you'd decided against coming here earlier?

Liz: Yeah. I was nervous that they wouldn't be as nice to me or something because I didn't come here the first time. But it didn't turn out that way. They've been nothing but nice.

VM: Since you've been here, what's struck you about Vanderbilt?

Liz: Southern hospitality. (Laughs.)

VM: Seriously. How about the heat?

Liz: Oh, the humidity. It's horrible. Coming from Colorado where there's zero humidity, I died the first week I was here.

VM: What else?

Liz: The accents. I've heard a few Boston accents, but nothing compared to the deep southern accents. I have to ask people to repeat things. I don't feel like I live in America sometimes. (Laughs.) But it's cute, now that I understand it.

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