Evina Westbrook is a redshirt junior for the UConn Women’s basketball team. Westbrook transferred to UConn last season, with the two years prior being spent at Tennessee, where she led her team with 14.9 points and 5.3 assists per game in her sophomore season. As Westbrook prepares for her first official season with the Huskies, the Daily Campus got the opportunity to catch up with the Salem, Oregon native and get to know her.
Hanaisha Lewis: What are you looking forward to the most about this season?
Evina Westbrook: For one, this will be my first year playing, so that gives me excitement in itself. We have six freshmen on the team, so I think just going out and getting to experience our team dynamic and how that’s going to play out against other teams. We have a lot of pressure just having UConn on our jersey, but at the same time we still have to go out and perform regardless of how young our team is.
HL: How has it shaped you into the person that you are today?
EW: First, it’s helped me meet a lot of people and build a lot of relationships that, without basketball, I wouldn’t have. I’ve met certain people and made certain connections, just in terms of what I want to do in the future and what I’m doing now, promoting myself. In terms of me and my personality, I would say, I feel like it’s made me very strong minded having to get through obstacles like playing injured or there’s people who have had deaths in their family and they still have to go out and play a game the next day. Basketball just gives you a lot of different situations that you have to push through at all times, whether it’s practice or personal stuff that’s going on in your life. It’s made me strong physically, mentally and emotionally. You really appreciate the little things in life too, little things that we might take for granted sometimes.
HL: How’d you spend most of your time during the pandemic?
EW: During the pandemic, at the beginning, I was still going through rehabbing my knee and coming back to make sure I got cleared before going home. That took up most of my time. Other than that, working out with my family, watching movies and being with my friends.
HL: What do you miss the most from pre-pandemic life?
EW: I think just having a regular college life because now there’s a lot of rules, we can’t even go to class. For us, we don’t even really see regular people outside of our team and other sports teams, so that’s probably the biggest thing, being able to interact with other people.
HL: When you were younger what did you want to be when you grew up?
EW: Once I started playing basketball I knew that’s what I was going to do. I modeled when I was really, really young and I thought that was going to go somewhere, but there was a little mishap with that, so that didn’t happen. Once I started playing basketball, I knew from there on out, just with how much I was in the gym, around my brothers and other people that I’ve played with, this was going to be a long-term thing.
HL: What age did you start playing?
EW: I started playing when I was in the third grade.
HL: What’s the fun fact that you share when asked?
EW: I love chocolate milk.
HL: Do you have any secret talents?
EW: I feel like I have a good Mickey Mouse impression. That’s my go to.
HL: Do you have any hobbies?
EW: Not unless watching movies and TV count, other than that no.
HL: What’s a day in the life of being you?
EW: A busy day would be: Wake up at about 7:40 a.m.. We have weights at 8:15 a.m., but we have to get there early, make sure we eat breakfast and get treatment done if we need treatment done before. Go to weights for about an hour at 8:15 a.m., then we have practice at 9:15 a.m., so then we’ll practice for about three and a half to four hours. Let’s say we’re done at about 12:30 p.m., when we’re done with practice we have post-practice where we have to get up shots, so that’ll be done at about 1:00 p.m. After you get treatment done and get in the hot tub, cold tub, then you’re done at about 1:30-1:45 p.m. Around 2:00 p.m. we have to get something to eat, and we have study hall for about 2 hours. So, if we go to study hall at about 2:00-2:30 p.m., we’ll be done at about 4:00-4:30 p.m. Then we go home. We have tutors, so let’s say I have a tutor from 5:00-6:00 p.m., once I’m done with my tutor I have to get dinner. Go get dinner and by the time I come back, do my homework. By then it’s about 8:00-9:00 p.m. and then, that’s it, just try to get some sleep for the next day.
HL: If you could switch lives with anyone who would it be?
EW: I’d have to say someone famous for sure, like one of my favorite rappers or one of my favorite artists, just to see how they live on a day to day basis.
HL: What are five things that you can’t live without?
EW: Five things I can’t live without: my family, chocolate milk … good hygiene stuff like soap, deodorant, I feel like that’s all one. Food for sure. I can’t live without movies. I love movies, old movies, new movies.
HL: If you could play another sport what would it be?
EW: I would say soccer, or maybe volleyball. No, track, or maybe an MMA fighter. I don’t know I like a whole bunch of stuff.
HL: What is your major and what do you plan on doing?
EW: I’m a Communication major. When I was at Tennessee it was Communication and Journalism and Broadcasting, but here we don’t have all of that, so I just stuck with Communication with a concentration in Journalism. Hopefully, I plan to work with ESPN and be a sports analyst, sports broadcaster, sideline reporter, or something along those lines.
HL: Who do you look up to?
EW: Definitely my mom. Growing up, a lot of people looked up to their favorite athletes, celebrities, or their favorite artists, or whatever it may be, but I think for me it’s definitely my mom.
HL: How do you want to be remembered?
EW: I feel like just someone who always lit up the room when they walked in. I know someone recently who passed away who had a big impact on their community. He was just so likeable, so I feel like I want to be remembered as someone who’s always in good spirits. You know, Evina was cool with everyone. I feel like that’s a good way to go down not just for playing my sport, I want to be remembered for something that’s bigger than that.