Published by the Students of Johns Hopkins since 1896
May 30, 2024

Athlete of the Week: Alex Vassila

By COLIN FRIEDMAN | February 7, 2013

Apart from inscribing her name in the record books, senior women’s basketball star Alex Vassila has got the Blue Jays on a roll. Vassila’s leadership and unselfish play currently has Hopkins sitting in third place in the Centennial Conference standings, primed to make a strong run in the conference tournament. Before the final week of regular season play, Alex Vassila took some time out of her busy schedule to answer a few questions for The News Letter.

The News Letter (N-L) The team has played extremely well in the new year. What did you differently as team leader, if anything?

Alex Vassila (AV) To be honest, I don’t think that I did anything different as a leader in the new year.  If anything, I think that I started demanding more of the girls on my team (the other captains would agree). We kind of had a “no nonsense” attitude and would call each other out when someone didn’t perform how they were expected to, or if they could do better. But mainly as a leader I have just tried to keep the girls together and focused.

(N-L) A big victory this past weekend against the conference leaders. What was the team’s key to success?

(AV)  I think the key to our team’s continued success is staying together. When we play together as a team and have great chemistry, other teams don’t know how to stop us. We don’t look to have one superstar in each game, we just look to be a team.

(N-L) You and freshman Liz Tommasi really took over in OT. What was your mindset going into overtime?

(AV) Going into overtime, everyone was fired up. We had made a huge comeback, and we just kept running with it. We really ran our plays, and just played. We knew we had them the minute that OT tipoff went, and we just played with that confidence and proved it.

(N-L) All the teams are pretty tight in the conference standings. What’s the team’s focus point as you all prepare for the Centennial Conference (CC) tournament?

(AV)  Before we even get to the CC tournament, we have some tough games this week. We’re going to use these games to prepare ourselves and work on what we need to improve on before then. But our focus is to keep decreasing our turnovers, keep working on adjusting our offenses depending on certain defenses, and just taking it one day at a time, one battle at a time. Baby steps.

(N-L) On a more personal level, you recently grabbed your 800th career rebound, one of only six players in Hopkins history to do so. How does it feel to have such a milestone?

(AV) Honestly, I had no idea that I did so. It feels great to accomplish something like that, but I only was able to do so with the help of my team. It feels great, and I am so lucky to have such a great team to back me with such an accomplishment.

(N-L) There are obviously a number of factors that contribute to your current success as a player. What major things do you attribute to the player you have become over the years?

(AV)  Lots of factors can make a player who they are. I think that personally, I have put in countless hours in the gym, the weight room, in leagues, etc. that have helped me, but my coach and my team are the real reason I have been so successful. My coach is like a second mom, she really cares about me and all of us beyond the court, and that kind of support is hard to find. My team… words can’t describe the amazing chemistry and relationship that our players have with one another. Even in previous years, I was lucky enough to work with other successful players that were able to prepare me and help me improve constantly. Without them, I would not be where I am today.

(N-L) Wednesday night is your final regular season game at home. How does it feel to know it’ll be your last game in Goldfarb Gym?

(AV)  It’s definitely sad knowing that Wednesday is our last home game. The years that I have spent on that floor have been amazing, and all I can say is that I will do everything I can to make sure that we keep playing. Post season, here we come!


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