Senior Jenna Smith
Chat with Wooden Award Candidate and career rebounds record holder Jenna Smith about the 2009-10 season and her tenure with Illinois women's basketball.
Moderator: Hello Illini fans! Jenna is here and is ready to start answering questions. Keep them coming!
Jenna Smith: Hello Illini Fans! I'm ready for your questions :)!

Bette (Champaign): I often see you in the stands at other Illinois sporting events. I think you deserve an award for supporting your fellow athletes the way you do! What sport is your favorite to watch?
Jenna Smith: I love supporting other athletes and watching sports. This is a great community where you get the chance to be able to watch other teams play. It doesn't really matter to me which sport I watch actually, I am friends with a lot of other athletes here so I just like to go support them. My roommate here is a soccer player and I use to play so if I had to pick, I guess I would pick soccer as my favorite.

Illinifan200910: Who is your favorite manager for the team?
Jenna Smith: hahaha all of our managers are great! They do so much for us behind the scenes. And our practice players too, they make us better on the court and they all are really funny so they make us loosen up a bit! Over the years I have gotten close to all of them so I can't really choose one!

Laura (Minneapolis): What players did you look up to when you were a kid?
Jenna Smith: Someone that I looked up to growing up is Kevin Garnett. The reason I picked him is because his passion and drive for the game makes him stand out. I love watching his footwork and drive to win every game. It makes me want to play like that each and every game. I met him once when he played for Minnesota and he was really nice.

James Chicago: Do you still feel that the team can make it to the NCAA tournament. How has this season been diffferent than last year.
Jenna Smith: I defnintely think we can still make the NCAA tournament but I think we need to start playing for a full 40 minute game and have a sense of urgency. It has been a goal for us seniors to make it there so we're defintelty movitated to turn things around. This season we have a lot more depth and talent so I think it's our best chance to make it. Hopefully we can take advantage of it.

Ruby: Do u usually spend a lot of time to practicing shooting three-pointers during training?
Jenna Smith: Over my career I have worked on my outside shot so I could be more of a threat for my team. It helps the offense more because we can have someone else on the inside posting and free up the outside more. It brings the post out on other teams because they have to guard me.

Ardith (Danville): Hi Jenna, What plans do you have for the future once you graduate? Is it safe to assume basketball is in your plans?
Jenna Smith: After my career here, I hope to keep playing either here in the WNBA or overseas. I would like to keep playing as long as I can.

Pat (Champaign): how often do you talk to former players that recently graduated? do they come back and practice with you at all?
Jenna Smith: I talk to almost all of them. Some on the phone or text or through facebook but I keep in touch with them. Some even comeback and play pick up with us or even come to games. This year Angelina Williams and Bec Harris came back and played with us and Stephanie Chellen just came back to watch us play Minnesota.

Emilly: Who's the toughest post player you've ever gone up against?
Jenna Smith: I'll start with my own team. Playing against my former teammates Audery Tabon and Danyel Crutcher was always tough. They knew my moves and they were just as strong as me so it was always competitive when we played against each other. They always made me better. As far as other teams, the toughest would be Courtney Paris. Also going up against Jessica Davenport my freshman was difficult and Lindsey Wisdom-Hilton was always a tough match up as well.

Pam (Urbana): what is the toughest drill coach Law has you do in practice?
Jenna Smith: The toughest drill that coach law has ever put us through is probably this drill called Russian Lay ups. We have to continous rebound and lay up the ball while running the length of the court each time. One time we had to do it for 30 minutes straight with out making any mistakes. It seemed like the longest 30 minutes! A lot of our practices are tough but we know it will make us better as a team. When practices are tough the games seem a lot easier.

Don (Champaign): What's your favorite Illini memory so far?
Jenna Smith: My favorite memory was our run in the big 10 tournament my sophomore year. Also another one of my favorite memories was Senior night that year also because it was good to see the Audrey, Bec and Stephanie shine that day. Hopefully my last year here we can make new memories!

Matt (Chicago): JJ- How does it feel to be one of the best, if not THE best player in Illinois Women's Basketball history? What an amazing 4 years!
Jenna Smith: After my career here it will be great to look back at all my individual accomplishments, but I am not focused on those right now. I just want to win. I want to finish my career on a high note!

Marisa: How is your knee? Will you be able to play again Minnesota this weekend?
Jenna Smith: I have been in treatment a lot and getting it taken care of. Our trainer and I have become best friends :)! I'm getting better each and every day and hopefully will be back to 100% soon. I always love going back and playing at home in Minnesota so I'm looking forward to that. I love how my friends and family come out and support me.

Roberta, Iowa: Your very tall, you must come from a tall family??
Jenna Smith: hahah Hi Aunt Berta! Well of course as you know my father and mother are very tall so it just runs in both sides of the family. I guess I was blessed with height!

Grace Mpls: Your an insperation to younger old were you when you started playing basketball?
Jenna Smith: When I was younger I was a big soccer player and then when I started playing basketball in 6th grade, I fell in love with it. My advice to young girls getting involved in sports is to love what you are doing and most importantly have fun in what you are doing!!!!!!

Joy, Danville: How did you get ur #13?
Jenna Smith: The number 13 is usually seen as being unlucky. I like to be different so I wanted to pick a number that others didn't have. Plus my mother and I are very close and her birthday is on the 13th so I decided to use her birthdate as my number.

Minneapolis: Can you say singer? I'm so CITED to chat with
Jenna Smith: hahahah is this who I think it is?? Yes mom I can say singer!!!! I am looking forward to seeing you!

Shiny Champaign: Would you encourage your teammates to shoot at critical moments? Sometimes I saw others afraid to shoot at last minute and they alwasys pass the ball to you even you were double-teamed.
Jenna Smith: I always have confidence in my teammates. I know that defenses always focus on me but I know my teammates will step up. This year we have had 2 freshman step up and hit game winning shots and I know that anyone on the team is capable of doing the same thing because I see it every day in practice.
Jenna Smith: Thanks for all the great questions but I have to get going now. Hope to see you at our next home game tomorrow night against Michigan! GO ILLINI!
Moderator: Thanks to everyone who sent in questions! Be sure to check out who our chat guest is each week HERE.