In an exclusive interview, UCONN's highly anticipated incoming freshman point guard, KK Arnold, opens up about her experiences in the first summer session and her expectations for the upcoming season. An All-American in high school, Arnold discusses her most significant takeaways, role on the team, pressures to perform, and valuable advice for incoming college players.
Reflecting on the First Summer Session
Reflecting on your experiences in the first summer session, what would you say was your most significant takeaway?
"I consider my most significant takeaway from my first summer session to be consistency, must be prepared to practice how you want to play every day! The transition from HS to college thus far, I am thankful to have had the summer session to get a sense of balancing my classes and studying with basketball."
At this point, what role do you envision for yourself on the team, and how do you believe your unique skills and attributes will contribute to the team's success?
"At this point, I consider my role on the team to be whatever it needs to be for us to be successful and win games! My ability to push pace, facilitate, and defend very well, I believe, will contribute to our team's success."
The Dynamic Practice Environment
Could you describe the overall atmosphere and dynamics of the practice environment?
"The practice environment is very demanding, and you must adapt to the fast game-like pace quickly. When you make a mistake, you can't get down on yourself about it; you must learn from it and already be thinking about the next play."
Identifying Areas of Improvement
What specific areas of improvement did you identify for yourself immediately upon entering college?
"Adapting to the consistent pace of practice without breaks, such as in high school, and maintaining the same level of energy (not tired) is one area that I had to challenge my mind/body to overcome."
Managing Pressure as a UCONN Player
Considering UCONN's reputation as a powerhouse school, do you feel any additional pressure to perform at a consistently high level every game?
"I am not sure that I would say I feel pressure, but I understand the responsibility that comes with playing for the powerhouse program such as UCONN. My responsibility is to bring my high energy and competitive attitude every day in practice to help us be the best we can be!"
Advice for Incoming College Players
If you were to offer advice to an incoming college player for their upcoming season, what valuable insights or preparations would you suggest?
"I would tell incoming players to be ready to adapt and understand what is expected of you. The pace and accountability at the college level are very different; it is not high school, and you should consider this through the recruiting process."
Recognizing College Sleepers
Apart from yourself, is there another talented player in the country whom you believe deserves more recognition or attention than they currently receive?