Terra Stapleton was the final signee of Michigan's five-member freshman class, coming to U-M from Proctorville, Ohio. As a senior at Fairland, Stapleton averaged 15.8 points, 8.7 rebounds and 3.3 blocks per game. She was named to the All-Ohio Division III first team and one of three Players of the Year for the division following the 2012-13 season.
In this final Summer Session, Stapleton talks about her transition to U-M both on and off the court. She reveals that working with special needs children as an eighth grader convinced her that working with young children is what she wants to do after she is done playing basketball. Stapleton also reflects on the summer spent in Ann Arbor, while looking forward to a few weeks at home before starting the fall semester in September.
On spending the summer on campus ... "It was a great experience. It was a lot more intense than high school basketball. I think, for me, the most important thing was figuring out time management. It is important to know when to eat, when to leave for class and how much time it takes to do things. Coming early was really important because it helped me realize what type of shape I need to be in for basketball. It really helped to get a head start with getting in shape for the season and also how to be ready for the academics."
On adjusting to the college academics ... "It was challenging at first. I had to learn to adjust to the curriculum and the different teaching styles. I have been learning when to ask questions of the professors. As the summer went on, I got a lot better at it and feel a lot more confident about school than I did when it started. It makes me feel better going into the fall. I am so glad that I was able to come early."
On the biggest change from high school to college basketball ... "On the court, conditioning. High school basketball is like a warmup for college ball. I am not in the best shape yet, but working with (strength and conditioning) Coach Bo (Sandoval) so far, I am really excited to see where I am going to be in the fall. The game is much more intense. You are talking all the time when you are playing; there is no quiet on the court. You are going as hard as you can all the time and the coaches are always talking to you because they care about you. They want you to be the best you can be."
On head coach Kim Barnes Arico ... "Coach Arico is very intense but she cares so much about everyone. She might get into you for something, but it is only because she knows you can do better. I really like that about her. She pushes you to the point she knows you can do something, even if you don't think you can."
On the coaching staff ... "Coach Joy (McCorvey) has a ton of energy. I am with her the most. She won't let you slack off. But when you have a problem, she is always there for you. She is happy to help you. I love talking to her. Coach Mel (Moore) always has a smile on her face, no matter what time it is. She always tries to get us pumped up before practice. Coach (Megan) Duffy is always calling me T-Money and always cracking jokes around me. She is really nice."
On deciding to come to Michigan ... "When I came here, I saw in that practice how intense Coach Arico was and how much she got out of her players. It shows that her approach pays off. Michigan is a great place to be right now. It feels like a family. The community is great and supportive of athletics here. I just really liked everything about Michigan."
On what she wants to study ... "I want to go into early childhood development for either kindergarten or special education. I have always wanted to do that. When I was in eighth grade, my volleyball team went to a community school to teach volleyball to a group of special needs children. I knew how to be patient and how to make it fun for those kids. I really enjoyed that and want to do more of that."
On what she plans to do at home during this upcoming two-week break ... "I can't wait to see my little baby cousin, Maddox. That little boy means the world to me. I plan on seeing him the first day I come home. I can't wait to see my family and my best friend. I will still work on training while I am at home too. I have worked so hard this summer so far to lose weight and get into shape; I definitely want to continue that when I get home."
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