Fish Report recently chatted with Versailles alum and University of Dayton senior basketball player Justine Raterman! Justine is having an outstanding career with the Flyers and was honored back in October by being named to the Wooden Award Preseason Top 30, which is college basketball's most prestigious honor! We asked Justine about her college career, as well as her playing days at Versailles. Check out what she had to say!
J.R. This being my final year at Dayton I am really trying to enjoy moment. Whether it be traveling, playing, or spend time with my teammates, I recognize that this is my last couple months to be a part of something this special. On the court, I have grown every year as a leader and now being a senior I take that role with even more responsibilty. I am working hard to make this the best year of my basketball career.
F.R. What are your plans for life after basketball?
J.R. Basketball has always been a huge part of my life and it always will be. I hope to continue to playing after I graduate from UD and kind of go where the wind takes me. As for a career, I am interesting in coaching, using my math degree, or working in academics at a collegiate level. I am obviously not sure what I want to do yet, but I just hope to find something I love where I am happy and can help others as well.
F.R. Does your older sister Jacki, the coach of the Versailles Lady Tigers basketball team, ever try to tell you what you're doing wrong on the basketball court?
J.R. This question makes me laugh. Anyone that knows my family knows that we are a family full of coaches. I definitly have plenty of people to let me know what I need to improve on after every game. Some might think this would drive me nuts, but I love it. Even those days when I really don't want to hear it, I know that they come from a good place and I remember how blessed I am to have them in my life. Their support means the world to me.
F.R. Speaking of Versailles, take us back to your high school playing days and tell us one of your favorite memories with the Tigers.
J.R. High school basketball was jam-packed full of amazing memories for me. As many would probably guess, one of my favorite memories was winning state my senior year. It is something I will never forget. However, some of the most important memories are the random times I got to spend with teammates. Whether we were playing games that made us laugh until we were crying our eyes out, entertaining ourselves while being trapped in the blizzard of '08, or getting yelled at by Coach for not wearing kneepads, those girls made my high school experience unforgetable and I cannot thank them enough!
F.R. Final question. Can you give the younger basketball players back home some advice on what it takes to succeed and maybe play college basketball someday?
J.R. College basketball is a lot of hard work, and as most have probably heard, that hard work starts early. Many people have probably told young basketball players that they have to put the extra work in during the summer or off season and after practice and that they have to work harder than everyone else and make sacrifices. This is 100% true. One thing I have learned through the years though is to always remember to have fun. Basketball is supposed to be enjoyable; it is a game! So through all of your hard work and extra workouts, remember why you play and why you love the game. Everything will fall into place after that!
Great stuff Justine! Good luck the rest of this season and Go Flyers!