Aug. 22, 2011
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- World-traveled Lady Vols Glory Johnson and Shekinna Stricklen returned to Knoxville Monday night, bringing home the gold from the 2011 World University Games, held in Shenzhen, China. The United States team topped Taiwan 101-66 in the gold medal game Sunday.
The World University Games win for Johnson and Stricklen adds another pair of USA golds for the Lady Vols. Earlier this summer, freshmen Ariel Massengale and Cierra Burdick earned gold for the US at the FIBA U19 World Championship in Puerto Montt, Chile.
Before returning to Rocky Top, the seniors shared their thoughts on the World University Games experience, the legacy that is USA Basketball and how this experience will help Tennessee in the 2011-12 campaign.
On the feeling of having World University Gold around your neck: It's incredible. The whole experience was awesome and finally having a gold medal - I have never had one before and I've never played for the USA before.
On being one of a long line of Lady Vols to win gold with the USA: It is awesome to represent the US for one and then represent Tennessee on a team like this of all-stars. You have to play your game and just focus on the gold.
On the World University Games' impact on the upcoming 2011-12 Lady Vol season:
The confidence level for sure is going up, and playing on a team where they bring different things. Just talking and being able to take that back to our team and share everything we learned out here with our team.
On what she will take away from the experience: Never take anything for granted. Focus on the task at hand and take it one day at a time, one game at a time, one practice at a time.
On the feeling of having World University Gold around your neck: It feels great. I am excited coming into this game so it feels great to have this medal around your neck.
On feeling pressure due to USA Basketball's long history of winning gold: I feel like when you are on a USA team, you are expected to win the gold medal and I feel like the last three or four weeks we have worked hard and Coach has been on us about finishing. I think we finished.
On lessons learned from the coaching staff: They were great - all of them. I enjoyed it. Coach Fennelly - he's a great coach. He didn't just coach us about basketball, he taught us about life. All of his examples are about life and what we can do in life and that really helps us out.
On the impact this experience will have on the Lady Vols in 2011-12: I think it will help us out a lot. Hopefully the younger group has learned a lot; we have learned a lot here. Encouraging, playing together, and communicating a lot - I think we can take that back to our team.