9 Youthful Questions for Rosie Tarnowski

ROSIE TARNOWSKI doesn't have any trouble living out the advice she gives to young basketball players. Above all else, she says, have fun out on the court no matter what level you're playing. This Philadelphia native plays, and interviews, that exact way. She laughs a lot, is very upbeat about her Washington State coaches and teammates, and loves to play hoops.

She will be a junior this season and already has started nearly 50 college games. But improvement is what it's all about and Rosie has some definite goals for herself as well as one huge one for the Cougar women's team this year.

A few weeks ago this Pac-10 All-Academic selection took time to answer several questions from me -- a cub reporter -- as part of a periodic column aimed at asking WSU players and coaches the questions adults don't always think of asking.

Tell me how a star player from Philadelphia wound up in Pullman? Had you ever heard of the town Pullman before?

Rosie: I had never heard of Pullman before, but the coaches saw me in a tournament in Chicago and started recruiting me and my dad talked me into going those 3,000 miles away. I'm happy I did.

What do you like best about WSU and Pullman?
Rosie: I like the community environment. I like the fact that everyone supports each other … Players from all the different sports go to each others' games. I think that's awesome.

What advice do you have young kids who want to get really good at basketball?
Rosie: Number one is to just have fun. Always come to the gym with a positive attitude. Work hard and keep that smile on your face even when the going might get tough.

What do Wilt Chamberlain and Rosie Tarnowski have in common?
Rosie: (Big laugh) We're both from Philadelphia (laugh). I don't really think there's much of a comparison other than that, (laugh) but we did both receive the same award in high school. (Editor's note: In 2008 Rosie received the Markward Memorial Award, becoming the first female to be honored in the 62-year history of the award as the city of Philadelphia's outstanding senior player. Wilt Chamberlain won the same award in 1955.)

Which victory would be sweeter, a Super Bowl for the Eagles, a World Series for the Phillies, or the NBA title for the 76ers?
Rosie: A World Series for the Phillies for sure. I'm a really big Phillies fan.

A 6-1 guard/forward from Philadelphia. As a senior she led Archbishop Wood High School to a 23-3 record and was named Associated Press third-team all-state. Her dad played professional basketball overseas.
She has been a mainstay for the Cougars the last two seasons, starting 46 games over that span and averaging more than 25 minutes per contest. Collected 138 rebounds, 121 points, 21 steals and 10 blocks as a sophomore last season. Pursuing a degree in communications.

Can you find a good Philly Cheesesteak in Pullman?
Rosie: Nope! (laugh) There's only one place to find a good Philly Cheesesteak and that's in Philly.

What other schools offered you scholarships and why did you choose WSU?
Rosie: Back home there were a number of schools from that area, plus New Mexico, Northern Arizona and others. I chose WSU because I loved the community and I really love the coaches. And I believe in what we're trying to do here and that's build a championship team.

If everyone is healthy, the Cougars will have a lot of post players this season. Are there enough minutes to keep everyone happy?
Rosie: I think so. I think we have a lot of players who are very versatile and can play a number of positions, plus we play an aggressive, fast, full-court style and you need a lot of players so no one will get too tired.

What's your personal goal for the upcoming season? And what's the team goal?
Rosie: My personal goal is to be more of a contributor on offense and to get more rebounds per game. Our team goal is to win the Pac-10 championship. I think we'll really compete this year.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Alexandra Witter is an eighth-grade honor student in Seattle who plays soccer and basketball..

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