The Michigan Daily - SPORTSMonday - March 24, 1997 - 3B
Former Spartans hoops hero reflects on
Michigan-Michigan State rivalry
Sollenberger in Paradise
During his days at Michigan State,
.Shawn Respert was one of the Big
Ten's most accurate shooters and con-
sistently ranked among the league s
top scorers. He led the Spartans to
consecutive 20-win seasons, includ-
ing a 22-6 1994-95 campaign, in
which State finished second in the Big
Respert was named the confer-
ence's Player of the Year that season
and also garnered All-America hon-
Respert is the second-leading scor-
er in Big Ten history with 2,531
points, trailing only former Indiana
star and current Washington Bullet
Respert was taken by the
Milwaukee Bucks in the first round of
the 1995 draft. He was recently traded
to the Toronto Raptors. Daily Sports
Writer Jordan Field recently caught
up with him.
DAILY: Have you been following
the 1997 NCAA basketball tourna-
RESPERT: Oh yeah, but I'm doing
horrible in my pool. Everyone on the
team has been talking about it.
Everyone has been bragging about
their old school or something, but I
haven't had much to brag about. I
guess you could say this has been a
rebuilding year for the Spartans.
D: Have you been back to East
Lansing since graduating?
R: No, I haven't. I still have a lot of
friends there, and my brother was
there the last couple years, but it's
tough to find time with the busy game
schedule we have. We get so few days
off, I try to take full advantage of
them and just chill.
D: You talked about the lifestyle of
the NBA - has your experience in
the league been what you expected?
R: Everything is so tough at this
level. I came to the league so excited
to be a part of it, then I realized that
it's not all that glamorous. Everyone is
so competitive, and it's not like it was
in college. I learned while I was in
Milwaukee that everyone is here to
make a living and to feed their fami-
No one walks around with a silver
spoon in their mouth, and you really
can't take anything for granted.
D: How did you first react to the
league your rookie season when you
were playing against guys you looked
up to as a kid?
R: When I first came up, I was just
so excited to be in the NBA. I was just
in awe. I was enjoying the fact I had
made it this far, and I wasn't able to
compete the way I needed to.
But soon I learned that everyone
.was here to do a job, and everyone
puts their shoes on the same way in
this league. Once I wasn't in awe of
what was around me, I was able to
play my best.
D: As far as competition goes, you
were often at your best against
Michigan. How intense is the
Michigan-Michigan State rivalry?
R: It was the best. Every time we
all competed our hardest. Every game
we had a new opportunity to get the
best out of each other. It was like a
clean slate every time we played, even
if we had lost the last game. Both
teams knew that only the team that
could sweep the year had the bragging
It was so competitive, but it was
always kept classy. I have to say I really
enjoyed those games against Michigan.
D: Have you maintained relation-
ships with your former Michigan
State teammates or even the guys
from past Michigan teams that are
now in the league?
R: Of course. I still talk to guys like
Steve Smith, Eric Snow, Anthony
Miller and Jamie Feick. Even the guys
from Michigan like Chris (Webber)
and Juwan (Howard) I see a lot. I
think we still have the respect for each
other that we had when we were in
college. Juwan has really been playing
great lately, and so has Chris when he
has been healthy. I think Jalen (Rose)
could really make it, too. He just has
to find a team that needs what he
brings to the game. All of us are actu-
ally talking about putting together an
alumni game between old Michigan
and Michigan State players for chari-
ty or something.
D: I know your college graduation
was a very proud moment for you and
your family. What are your thoughts
about so many underclassmen entering
the NBA draft and the new trend of
high school athletes entering the draft?
R: The best decision I ever made
was to stay my senior year at State.
Staying that year allowed me to have a
little better attitude about the game
and allowed me to mature enough to
play at this level.
As far as so many young guys
entering the draft, everybody has their
own situation and their own story to
explain what they do, but I really
think those players are at a disadvan-
tage. I don't doubt that physically they
are ready to play at this level, nor do I
question their ability, but I can't
understand how a high-school kid can
be mentally ready for everything in
this league. It wasn't long ago that I
was in high school, and I would have
never imagined not going to college
for at least a couple years.
D: After spending a year and a half
with the Milwaukee Bucks, you were
traded to the Raptors last month. How
has the transition to Toronto been for
R: God, it's been like night and day.
I really never felt comfortable in
Milwaukee. I always felt like I had to
prove that I belonged in the league -
or even that I belonged on the Bucks.
Now I feel comfortable and feel as
though I may have found a home - or
at least hope that I have.
D: A new trend in the NBA now is
getting a tattoo, and many of your
teammates have them. You are one of
the few guys on the team without one.
Any plans on getting one?
R: If I got a tattoo my mom would
kill me. She's still angry about the
earring I got back in my junior year of
No problem: 'M' sofball
s a batter, there is nothing worse than a two-strike count.
The pitcher gains confidence. Your knees start to shake. You get sweaty
So what do you do?
You choke up on the bat. You protect the plate. You try to put the ball in play.
You deal with it.
In a sense, the women of the Michigan softball team have the same attitude
toward the weather.
They deal with it.
"You just have to adapt and overcome it:' Michigan pitcherinfielder Sara
Griffin said. "You just have to play."
While other Michigan teams use the weather as an excuse, the Wolverines
have adapted, to the tune of four Big Ten titles in five years (including two in a
row) and two straight appearances in the College World Series. Their record over
the past 2 1/2 seasons is 126-34-1.
All of this despite the Ann Arbor weather, which forces Michigan to play its
first 35 games or so away from Alumni Field.
"You can look for reasons for why you can't do something," Michigan coach
Carol Hutchins said. "Or you can find reasons for why you can. We go out and
find ways to do it."
Hutchins has found a way to recruit.
You would think she gets buried in recruiting wars with national powers such
as Arizona and UCLA.
Griffin is proof. The junior from Simi Valley, Calif., is a two-time All-
American. As a senior in high school, she felt the pull of the West Coast school,
but was won over by Michigan's superior mix of athletics and academics.
"I think (going to Michigan) is the best decision I've ever made," Griffin said.
See PARADISE, Page AB
This is a clone. It does the same
summer job as everyone else. It will
never know the adventure of a roadtrip
with friends across the country to work
harder than it has ever worked and
make more money than it has ever made
before. It will endure another summer
of boredom and repetition. It is stuck.
Informational interviews being held Monday, March 24, Tuesday, March 25, and
Wednesday, March 26 at 3 pm and 5 pm in Room 2 of the Michigan League.
Be prompt. Bring a pen and paper. If unable to attend, call Dirk at 973-9985.
Interviews will run 60-80 minutes.
BLILDING LEADERS SINCE 1868
Shawn Respert goes up over Michigan's Maurice Taylor during the 1994-95 sea-
son. Respert led Michigan State to second place in the Big Ten that season.
invite Wakes 'M' women runners
By Chris Farah
Daily Sports Writer
If this weekend's Wake Forest
Invitational was supposed to be a slow
start to the outdoor, season for the
Michigan women's track team, then the
Wolverines should have nothing to
Michigan has been focusing on
strength training for the past two weeks,
the Wolverines would have had a
legitimate excuse if the results of their
first meet of the year weren't stellar.
No excuses are necessary, however,
after a successful weekend at Winston-
Michigan took first in eight of the 18
events at the invitational, in which the
top competition came from teams like
)uke and Western Michigan. The Blue
Devils, Broncos and host Demon
Deacons may have provided the
Wolverines with an occasional chal-
longe, but it was obvious that Michigan
was in a class by itself.
Junior Tania Longe again led the
charge for the Wolverines. Longe placed
first in three separate events - the hep-
tathlon, the 100-meter high hurdles and,
appropriately enough, the long jump.
* Although Longe's performances
ood out most for Michigan, freshman
Maria Brown also got off to a quick start.
Brown placed first in the 100 and 200,
but her respective times of 12.15 and
24.01 were off her usual speed. Besides
the recent focus on conditioning, the
windy conditions at the Wake Forest
track didn't help her times.
"There was a lot of wind, so the times
weren't all that fast," Brown said.
Everybody had trouble. I think I'll
mprove over the next few weeks."
Michigan distance runners also had a
particularly impressive showing.
The Wolverines dominated the 3,000,
sweeping the top four places.
Sophomore Marcy Akard finished first
for Michigan with a time of 10:04.37,
followed by teammates Katy Hollbacher,
Julie Froud and Allison Noe.
Sophomore Katie McGregor and
freshman Lisa Ouellet were quite a duo
in the 800 and 1,500. Ouellet placed
fourth and McGregor fifth in the 800,
and the two reversed positions in the
1,500, with McGregor finishing first and
Ouellet said she was happy with her
personal-best time of 4:33.54 in the
1,500. She wasn't as happy with her per-
formance in the 800 but expects to
improve as she increases her speed work.
"I have nothing to complain about,"
Ouellet said. "I've really upped my
mileage in training the last two weeks, so
I think my speed was hurt -- especially
my start. I wasn't very quick off the
"I know that the half wasn't one of my
better times, but I can't be mad. This is a
starting point for me, so now I know
what I have to work from."
605 E. William St. " Ann Arbor
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