Sept. 20, 2012
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- Tennessee freshman basketball player Bashaara Graves is ready to don the Orange and White.
As one of five newcomers on the Lady Vol squad, the Clarksville, Tenn., native has adjusted to the collegiate athlete lifestyle and schedule.
"Getting in the gym is fun in itself," Graves said. "Just getting the workouts in and getting better each day. The transition from high school to here has been hard, but I've been doing well with it."
With only one returning post player in Izzy Harrison, 6-foot-2 Graves will be looked to for her height and help in the front court. Rebounding is one of her passions.
"I'm ready to step up to the plate," Graves said. "I know it's a great opportunity for me coming in, maybe getting a position to start and get playing time. I'm ready for the challenge, so I'm going to do whatever I have to do."
Ranked No. 5 on HoopGurlz Class of 2012 ESPNU 100 Rankings, Graves brings ample experience to the Lady Vol squad. Graves helped the USA U18 team to a gold medal at the 2012 FIBA Americas Championship for Women in Gurabo, Puerto Rico this past summer, averaging 7.4 points, 6.8 rebounds and 19.4 minutes in five contests. Graves also was a member of USA U17 and U16 squads that won gold medals.
Graves joins another product from her hometown, as she now is a teammate with senior Kamiko Williams, who went to Graves' rival school, Northeast High.
Graves, the reigning Gatorade Tennessee Girls Basketball Player of the Year, also competed in the 2012 WBCA All-American Game, joining UT teammate Jasmine Jones on the victorious White squad.
"I'm ready for real practices after workouts just to see everything come together," Graves said.