The Wolfpacker

January 2013

The Wolfpacker: An Independent Magazine Covering NC State Sports

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tracking the PACK Getting To Know: Kody Burke ■ Women's Basketball After two seasons as "the other inside scorer" for NC State's women's basketball team, behind 2012 graduate Bonae Holston, forward Kody Burke is leading the Wolfpack's much-improved offense with some career-best numbers. The 6-2 junior, whose previous best season scoring average was 10.5 points a game in 2011-12, has improved that by nearly 50 percent through 10 games this year. Through the Pack's 88-73 win over Elon Dec. 9, Burke was leading the team in scoring (15.3 points a game), rebounding (8.1 per game) and minutes played (30.4 per game). She was also the only player in the Atlantic Coast Conference ranked in the top 10 in scoring (fifth), rebounding (eighth) and blocked shots (fifth, averaging 1.9 a game). Burke opened the season with an MVP-winning performance — she averaged 22.5 points, 9.0 rebounds and 2.5 blocks — in leading NC State to the championship of its own Sheraton Raleigh Wolfpack Invitational, and she was also named to the all-tournament team at the Las Vegas South Point Thanksgiving Shootout. The Northridge, Calif., native took time following her 12-point, seven-rebound, three-block and three-assist effort against Elon to catch up with The Wolfpacker. To what do you attribute the huge increase in your scoring average this year? "I think a lot of it is our style of play — we're a lot more up-tempo, which is more in my favor because I like to run. And it's our point guards, Myisha [GoodwinColeman] and Len'Nique [Brown] pushing the ball and Quick Questions Who do you room with? This year, Lakeesa Daniel and Len'Nique Brown. If you weren't playing basketball … I would have tried out for volleyball. Favorite pastime? Going to movies — or sleeping, whenever I get the chance. Favorite actor/actress? Will Smith. Favorite movie? I have a couple — "Remember the Titans," "Love and Basketball," "Glory Road," "The Lion King" and "Madea." Favorite TV show? "Basketball Wives" and "America's Top Model" — probably because I'm from near Hollywood. Favorite food? Anything Italian … fettuccini alfredo. Do you have a favorite junk food? When I was younger, flaming hot Cheetos, but nothing nowadays — unless you count Chick-fil-A as junk food. Biggest influence on your career? My dad … but Coach [Kellie] Harper has been a big influence, too. Burke is NC State's leading scorer and rebounder through the first 10 games of the 2012-13 season, and she is the only ACC player ranked in the top 10 in points, rebounds and blocked shots. photo by ken martin finding me when I run. And Markeisha Gatling — just her presence in the post has taken some pressure off of me." Do you feel you're more aggressive, more confident in getting the ball and getting shots where you want? "I think that comes with experience and knowing you have to be aggressive for me to be at my best. And watching upperclassmen in the ACC, the way they play with confidence — I'm not saying I'm trying to imitate that, but I know that it's helped me, watching them." Did you have a role model or favorite team you followed growing up? "As far as an athlete, it was Shaquille O'Neal because I knew I was going to be a post player, and since I'm from L.A., I always rooted for the Lakers. "But I also had Kobe Bryant as a favorite because he was a force with them during their three-peat. Kobe was one of my nicknames in high school." If you hadn't gone to NC State, where would you have likely gone to college? "I was also recruited by Notre Dame, Boston College, Arizona State, UCLA, Colorado — but I wanted to go to USC. They never looked at me, though." What do you feel is the strongest part of your game? "Rebounding — but I have to focus more on boxing out here. In high school, I could outjump most people we played." What part of your game would you like to improve? "The consistency of my jump shot and my jump shot off the dribble." Has the experience here at NC State equaled the expectations when you came here? "I was expecting to play more three [small forward], because four [power forward] wasn't my natural position. And I was surprised how physical the ACC was; in high school if you touched someone, it was a foul. But I'm learning to be more physical." What would people be surprised to find out about you? "I have a deep fear of rodents — rats, mice, gerbils, hamsters, even squirrels and opossums. I'm afraid to stay in a house if there's a pet rat in it. I just don't like their features — I'd rather have a snake in the house than a mouse." Why Number 44? "It's always been my favorite — I've worn it since I started playing organized basketball. And I met [NC State All-American] Chasity Melvin [whose No. 44 jersey hangs in the rafters at Reynolds Coliseum]. I want to make her proud since I'm wearing her number." What are your goals after college? "Well, I finally declared finance as my major, so eventually maybe becoming a financial advisor to athletes. But right now, just enjoying the ride, enjoying the present and allowing God to direct me." — Brian Rapp January 2013  ■  11 10-12,14,16,18.Wolfpack News.indd 11 12/11/12 2:39 PM

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