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Issue Date: March 2006 Issue


Semeka Randall

Michigan State University assistant basketball coach and Trinity High School hoop legend.

Apparently, the old adage doesn't work anymore: Those that can, teach too. ?The girls really respect me because I just finished playing," says 28-year-old Semeka Randall, assistant basketball coach at Michigan State University. And if anyone deserves respect, it's Randall: two-time state champ at Trinity, national champ at Tennessee and six years in pro basketball, two of them overseas. ?Do I love helping these kids? Sure. Do I miss playing? Of course."

Is your coaching style ?Do as I did, not as I say?"
I like to show them how to do things. They're all pretty much like, ?Wow, that girl can move."

Your thoughts on the NCAA Women's Final Four next year in Cleveland (which also will host women's regional games March 26 and 28 this year).
I think it's going to be great for the city. It'll be a chance to see what women's college basketball is all about. I'm planning to be here. Hopefully, not as a fan, though.

Were you always good?
I started playing when I was 6. We'd play games like ?around-the-world" and ?booty."

Booty?
It was a game that if you lost, you got the ball whipped at your butt.
Sounds like you don't ever want to lose that game.
Absolutely not.

Life lessons learned from basketball.
Oh, so many: discipline, time management, even about telling the truth.

Biggest person you ever played against.
Margo Dydek. She's 7-foot-2. She was a teammate from Poland. It was brutal to shoot against her in practice.

Most memorable game.
Other than winning the National Championship in '98, there was a game at [the University of Connecticut] where their crowd booed me all night. I hit a shot at the buzzer to beat them. Then I saluted the fans.

So you're kind of a hot dog.
Maybe a little.

What was it like playing overseas?
I left after 9-11. I was scared as heck. I really learned to grow up over there.

Tell me about cutting down the net after winning the National Championship at Tennessee.
Everybody got a turn to cut a little bit, so I waited to be the last one because then I knew I'd be in the paper the next day. And I was.

Hot dog.
Maybe a little.

How would you hold up against LeBron?
Trust me, I'd figure out a way to beat him.

And then you'd throw the ball at his butt, right?
Probably not.


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