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Schwandt learning off court in D.C.

July 21, 2000|By BOB PARASILITI

Schwandt learning off court in D.C.



WASHINGTON - Stephanie Schwandt has taken a sensory approach to improving her game this summer.

Sweating in the hot summer sun while toiling on playgrounds to work on drop steps and power moves to the basket can be overrated ... especially when you can watch, listen and talk to some of the best players in the world and do all that work in air-conditioned comfort.

During the school season, Schwandt will be the senior center for the Shepherd College women's basketball team. For this summer, she is a public relations intern for the Washington Mystics, working with the likes of WNBA stars Chamique Holdsclaw, Nikki McCray and Vicky Bullett.

"I've been able to learn a lot by watching," Schwandt said, taking a break from her postgame duties after the Mystics' Thursday afternoon matinee. "You start seeing the players doing little things and pick them up. I see all the moves they use and the intensity they play with on this level."

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Schwandt is able to get a lot of her information first hand after the game.

"I have to interview the players and coaches for quotes," Schwandt said. "It's great to have a background in the game so I know what to ask. The first time I did it, I was real nervous, but then I just told myself that I had so many things I wanted to ask when I watched a game. I just got myself to ask what I wanted to know right off."

A stroke of luck put Schwandt in position to get two-fold experience in basketball and in the business world. Shepherd coach Betsy Blose worked with the Mystics during their preseason camp and helped Schwandt get the summer gig.

To add to the stroke of luck, Schwandt has contact with Bullett, who is from Martinsburg, W.Va., and plays the same position.

"I haven't had a chance to talk to her that much, but she used to come down to Shepherd in the summer and played in pickup games with us," Schwandt said. "I told Vicky that during a camp at Shepherd, her niece played on a team that I coached. She was pumped about that."

Schwandt may not physically put many balls through the hoop this summer, but she's confident this experience could score points for Shepherd.

"I'm so excited. This will be my last year and I'd like to go out by winning the conference title like we did two years ago," Schwandt said. "Every year we have so many goals and I'd like to go out winning. Watching this team, you see the great enthusiasm they have to play. I hope I'm able to take that to our team and pass it on."

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