Blogs > Elm City to Eagleville

A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Dolson is healthy and ready to get going

UConn senior center Stefanie Dolson joined her teammates at last night's UConn/Towson football game and at halftime Dolson made it up to the press box so she could meet with WFSB's Joe Zone and The Day of New London's Mike DiMauro about her role on the "Beyond the Beat" show which airs weekly on CPTV Sports.

After they were done laying the groundwork for her in-studio work, I was able to talk to Dolson for a few minutes on a variety of subjects.

First off, Dolson said she has been back on the court for about two months now and is feeling pretty good.

:"I had boot on for most of the summer," Dolson said. "Pretty much when I came back to school and saw Rosemary (Ragle, UConn's athletic trainer), she took the boot off and I was ready to play right then - mid-July so I have been playing for two months.

"You don't realize how much you love playing the game until you can't so once I was stuck in that boot for a while and in the city without an opportunity to play. it definitely made me want to get back."

So what are Dolson's impressions about how the team is looking during offseason workouts and pickup games?

?We've been playing great together," Dolson said. "Pickup has been tough because there is not a lot of us there and in general with just nine people on the team and with summer school it is kind of difficult but we played with people and we have a great chemistry with each other. It is great seeing everybody play and play together."

The lone newcomer is freshman guard Saniya Chong, who was a prolific scorer at Ossining (N.Y.) while handing out a ton of assists. Dolson has liked what she has seen from Chong.

"She is great," Dolson said. "She has a lot of things to get used to, every freshman does, I am excited to play with her because she is fast, she can shoot the ball, she is smart and she knows what to do with the ball. I am excited  to have a chance to get in the game and get a chance to play with her."

Now to the subject that I have been asked about with the most frequency since the end of the season - Dolson said there are walk-on candidates which could be a huge help since it would keep the core players from risking injury by being on the court late in blowout wins.

"We'll have some walk ons," Dolson said. "We need some people to fill in and need people to come and compete against us. I am excited to see the girls who have reached out to us to get that opportunity to play as a walk on."

Dolson is fired up about a schedule featuring games against Stanford, Maryland and Penn State in the first four games.

"Our conference is a lot different this year and to have those out of conference games and have a few of them at the beginning of the year is always a good test of what kind of team we are going to be," Dolson said. "I am excited about what I've seen this summer and how the girls played at USA (Basketball) and see how we play togther and how we compete against all these great teams."

One drawback of Dolson's right ankle and foot issues which hampered her so much during the NCAA tournament is that it forced her to pass on trying out for the World University Games team along with teammates Bria Hartley and Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis.

"At first I thought it was pretty good to get that rest but after missing it, seeing how much fun the girls had and knowing how much fun I would have had, it was hard to realize I wasn't there and I missed that opportunity," Dolson said. "Things happen for a reason. I am not going to look into the past and just look towards the future."

Of course the subject of Dolson and teammate Kiah Stokes giving President Obama "bunny ears" in a group photo at the end of the Huskies' White House visit did happen to come up during our conversation.

"It is what it is," Dolson said. "The White House (visit) was a great experience and we had such a great time and I really enjoyed seeing that environment and seeing all those people and being able to meet President Obama was such an experience. The reaction was pretty much expected. I don't think a lot of people were expecting me and Kiah to give the President 'bunny ears' but he initiated it, I never had an idea (about doing it). I wouldn't take it back and it is a great opportunity and great experience overall."

You would think after dealing with folks like me for the last three years that Dolson would be running away from the media profession but the opposite is true. She did an internship with SNY over the summer and now comes the chance to guest host on the "Beyond the Beat" show.

"They tell me that I am going to guest host and have an opportunity to dabble in the field I am interested in after I am done and I excited," Dolson said.

"It (her SNY internship) was great, they were just great, they helped me a lot and helped me do a lot of different things that I think a lot of people can't experience. I can't say the city (New York) is for me but the job in general is great.

"Everybody has their different length of playing and I am just trying to make sure I have that foundation built for when I am done playing. I am ready to find something else I love and media is something I've been able to enjoy."

Here's some info Mike DiMauro sent out about Stefanie's guest hosting stint on Beyond the Beat

Stef Dolson is hosting Beyond The Beat this upcoming week. It’s our one-year anniversary show. It will air Tuesday at 7 on CPTV Sports, which is on all state cable systems. It’ll be on You Tube the next day.

Instead of us interviewing her, she’ll be peppering us. It’s me, Jake (Jeff Jacobs) and Joe Zone.

 Stef has been instructed to be her goofy self.



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