Chat with Mistie Williams
Williams is a two-time all-ACC third-team selection as well as a 2005-06 Wooden Award nominee. This season, Williams is second on the team in scoring (11.5 ppg) and leads the team in field-goal percentage (64.5%). She is also the daughter of legendary musician Chubby Checker.
Duke is currently ranked No. 2 in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches' Poll with a 17-0 record. They'll have an opportunity to take the top spot when they face No. 1 Tennessee on Monday, Jan. 23 (ESPN2, 7:30 p.m. ET).
Send your questions for Mistie now, then check back on Friday at 12:15 p.m. ET to see her answers.
The ShowGirl (12:13 PM)
Welcome to The Show, folks. Mistie will be here shortly, send in your questions for her now.
Mistie Williams (12:15 PM)
Hello everyone, thanks for logging on to the ESPN chat with me today.
She's the enemy on Monday, but was Pat Summitt someone you looked up to or admired growing up as a basketball player?
Mistie Williams (12:17 PM)
Oh definitely. Tennessee and just having Pat as a coach was always a big thing for me when I was younger. It was definitely the first goal of mine -- wanting to go to Tennessee. It was during their times of consecutive championships and I think every little girl wanted to go there. Of course, we all look up to her. She has just done tremendous things for women's basketball, in general.
Who is your defensive assignment for Tennessee?- BA
Mistie Williams (12:18 PM)
We haven't actually gone through that yet, we'll probably to that today in practice, or tomorrow.
David Huang (Atlanta, GA)
Did you guys get a tour of Banknorth Garden (2006 Women's Final Four site) while you were in Boston this past week? I hope to see you guys there in April!
Mistie Williams (12:20 PM)
No, we didn't get a chance to go up and see the Boston sight. We did get to see it last year, and my freshman year in Atlanta and Indiana, but not this year, we didn't make it to the Garden.
David Huang (Atlanta, GA)
Could you talk about the differences between last year's and this year's team? Specifically, has it been difficult for the team to adjust to the addition of a star-studded freshman class, transfer Emily Waner, and Lindsey Harding all at the same time?
Mistie Williams (12:22 PM)
Last year, I'd say, we really had to bear down on the basics, we only had eight people, our final game only seven, so we were very tough because we knew that was all we had. Plus, we lost Alana and Icisis last year. We worked so hard so that there wasn't a let down after having that great year and great team. This year, we have every element, things that we have never had in the past. We have many different combinations and when the starters come off the bench or when the second string comes in, there is the same amount of talent on the court. Having Lindsey back ... well ... that's all that really needs to be said. (laughs) That was our missing piece last year.
Mistie You are playing extremely well and we like your tough sytle of play. You and your team must know that you can beat TN Monday night. You have all the weapons. Everyone must come to play and enjoy their moment in the spotlight. Also, what does Lindsey Harding mean to the Duke Team as well as how important is she to you and your play when she is in the game?
Mistie Williams (12:25 PM)
First of all, thank you for the compliment. As far as Lindsey's role, you can see it when she steps on the court, she is a natural born leader and, in my opinion, she is the best point guard in the nation right now. She can shoot, she can break up a press, she can do it all. The special thing about Lindsey is, she's not looking to be a star, but she is. She runs the plays, when you are on the court and the ball is in her hands, you know everything is going to be OK. And when you are out of the game you just watch her. Things are different this year, not having Lindsey last year was, well, that was really our downfall.
Mistie Williams (12:26 PM)
For me, Lindsey and I have a tremendous relationship. We came in here together in 2002, she is one of my best friends. We have grown together as people and players. Lindsey makes things a lot easier for me on the court. We just have so much fun out there, playing on a team with a best friend.
Abby Waner says she had always worn the No. 1, but you had it for Duke. Did you ever talk about a trade? Maybe get her to do some chores all season?
Mistie Williams (12:28 PM)
Nooo. Number 1 is my number, as far as I'm concerned. She used to be number one. I asked her if she was going to take it when I left, but I don't think she is going to now. I think once you start with a number you have to stick with it.
What's up Mistie. Nice to see you're representing J-Ville well. Any plans for the WNBA next year? Good luck the rest of the year, hope to see ya around sometime during the offseason.
Mistie Williams (12:29 PM)
Thank you, Nate. I'm hoping to go to the WNBA. It's one of my biggest dreams. It's a strong possibility, I'm just working as hard as I can to make sure I get on a roster.
Beth Ann, Durham
Great game last night! Is your hand okay? You looked like you were in pain...
Mistie Williams (12:30 PM)
Yeah, thanks. I'm getting X-rays today. I kind of jammed my pinky, they are making sure that I didn't break anything or tear anything. We'll find out soon. Thanks for the concern.
Brian (Madison, WI)
What is the biggest thing that coach Klawitter taught you at Parker that you still value today?
Mistie Williams (12:33 PM)
Aww. My high school coach. He really taught me my work ethic. THough I was the star player, he never allowed me to believe that. He taught me how to be humble and how not to take advantage of my ability. He always made me work hard for what I got. I wasn't even a captain until my junior year. He didn't want me to get anything too soon, without working for it first. He helped me learn that everything isn't going to be easy. That really helped me when I got to college and I wasn't the star player and I wasn't a huge contributor right away. He prepared me for my future and I'm much more mature today that I would have been if I didn't have him as my coach.
Hi Mistie, what kind of music you listen to?
Mistie Williams (12:34 PM)
I listen to anything but country.
Mistie Williams (12:34 PM)
Sorry if I offend you down in Knoxville!
Hey Mistie, totally unrelated to basketball, what made you decide to join Zeta Phi Beta? Are your sorors supportive of you at the games?
Mistie Williams (12:36 PM)
I was first attracted to them my freshman year, it's a great sisterhood. It's principles pretty describe what I'm about -- scholarship, service, sisterly love and finer womanhood. That's just the things that I like to stress in my life. It's not just a college sorority, it's something that lasts a lifetime.
Mistie Williams (12:38 PM)
Being a part of a big Division I school, like Duke, the sorority is a great way to bring a new light to the organization and anybody who recognizes that is happy to have someone like that as a part of them. So, my sorority is very supportive of me and my busy basketball schedule because I am still serving in the Zeta light. And, it's always nice to have my sisters at my games cheering me on for something I love to do.
David Huang (Atlanta, GA)
What is it like being a married student-athlete?
Mistie Williams (12:39 PM)
I love it. If I looked back and could do it all over again, I'd do it twice! I feel like I have more stability. When you are a college student, you have SO much happening. ... Parties ... homework. I'm the type of person who likes to be settled and I pick and choose my times to go socialize. I've find it very comforting to have this very stable thing in my life. I'm still very busy and I've got my school work and basketball and my friends, but at the end of the day I love coming home to that companionship.
R.Keane (Old Southington,CT)
Hi Mistie, Being from CT, it's hard to say this, but I'm looking forward to seeing Duke beat Tenessee on Monday. I have a question for you on the Cameron Crazies. Are they really intimidating to the other teams? Have you ever felt that the Crazies "helped" win the game for you? Thanks and good luck on the unbeaten streak!
Mistie Williams (12:42 PM)
Thanks R. Yes, the Crazies are very intimidating especially when you have a lot of them. They are so close to the court -- so close that they can touch the players when they are out of bounds. Coach K says that they are the sixth man. They definitely take pride in that statement and make sure that they do anything and EVERYTHING legal to intimidate opponents. They find out information on opponents before they get there so they can chant stuff out to them during the game. They definitely take their job seriously!!
Mistie Williams (12:42 PM)
As far as how the Crazies help us, I think they give us an edge because when you know you've got people out there who are really rooting for you to win, you do anything you can to please them. It brings a new intensity that you wouldn't see if they were not there.
Do people still know you s being the daughter of Chubby Checker? Do you ever get asked about that?
Mistie Williams (12:44 PM)
I don't get asked that too much anymore. It was more dominant in my freshman year. Now that I've been here, I've been kind of making a name for myself. I'm proud of that. I mean, I love my dad, but it's good that it has kind of tapered off.
Talk about your relationship with Coach Gail Goestenkors and the impact she has had on your game.
Mistie Williams (12:46 PM)
G is a great coach. She has the most passion than any coach that I have ever seen. She reminds me of a player, in a way, in that, she so bad wants to win. I've never been a coach before but I see that toughness and desire that you would see in a player. She wants to win, and she wants to make us better people. If she's taught me anything, it's to be patient. Things will come.
Mistie, when you read this, I'll be languishing in a differential equations class. Forget the chat and COME SAVE ME! Physics 135! Hurry! Or, if you can't do that, at least promise me that you'll abuse the overrated Lady Vols on Monday night and show them how a real basketball school plays the game.
Mistie Williams (12:47 PM)
You're in class right now, on the computer! Oh lord. I would suggest you get back to listening. I know how those science classes can be, sorry I can't come save the day, but I'll do my best on Monday -- make sure you come .... if you don't have physics homework.
Chris (Nashville, TN)
I look forward to see you guys play my Lady Vols for what will likely be the first of 2 meetings this year. I hope for a good game that ends in Pat's 901st victory. Not ... every Tennessean likes country music either.
Mistie Williams (12:49 PM)
Sorry if I offended you Chris! It's just, I've been to Knoxville before and I sure heard a lot of country!
Mistie, as much as I love seeing your passing game, PLEASE take it hard to the hoop on Monday! You and Chante and Ali were WORKING it tonight against NC State. WAY TO GO!
Mistie Williams (12:50 PM)
Thank you Sue.
Dez (Minot, ND)
Whats up Mistie, quick question? How do you prepare for a game, and what are some of the pet peeves that Kenny does that get on your nerves. By the way I say you guys play the other night....and I was definitely impressed. Keep up the good work, and make sure you keep Kdubb in check.
Mistie Williams (12:53 PM)
Oh my gosh! Dez! Hi. Before the games, I have my little routine. SHoot around at 1, eat at 2, I take a nap from 3-4. Shower, do my hair, go to the gym early, shoot around before anybody is on the court. If you go later, you don't get the shots you want to get in, so I get there nice an early. Then, I listen to my gospel music, have a 'moment' and really focus and get totally there, at the game. Then, I shoot and then we get ready for the game! ..... AND, the good news is, I have no pet peeves about Kenny.
It's great that your sorors are supportive of you and your endevours. You represent Zeta well! :) Follow up, were your teammates supportive of you joining the sorority? Back in '99 they made a huge deal out of Hilary Howard being a "sorority girl".
Mistie Williams (12:55 PM)
Thanks Erika. The white sorrorities are quite different from the black ones on this campus. They 'rush' for the white ones which involves a crazy week that is usually pretty rough for them. My teammates were pretty supportive of me because there arent' many athletes that get into sororities just because they are always so busy with everything else. But I did, and, overall, I'd say my teammates are very supportive. They are always asking questions.
Andre (Chicago IL)
A lot of folks have talked about increasing parity in the women's game. Could you comment on how the level of competitiveness has changed during your time at Duke?
Mistie Williams (12:59 PM)
Definitely. Now, more than ever, girls are realizing that they can go to any school and make the program better. Before, Tenn or Connecticut would win the title every year. On or the other! :) A lot of great athletes went to those schools just because thats where you would have a shot at a title. But now, great athletes are going to different schools ... Baylor, LSU, Stanford all kinds of schools. This is making the womens' game much more exciting. When you watch men's basketball, any team, ranked or not, can beat anybody on a given day. That's why people like men's basketball so much. And that's where we are hopting to take the women's game.
Steven (Brooklyn, NY)
Hey Mistie, it's Steven from AAX. Great Job so far this season, you gals are looking as good as I've seen you. Big Game versus Tennessee next week, should establish number 1 for rest of season. Not really concerned with outcome, more worried about who you play after, UNC (twice) and another date with Maryland. The ACC looks to have taken a much awaited step up in competitiveness this year. Do you believe that it has proven to be the best confernce this year, specifically is it tougher than the SEC.
Mistie Williams (1:01 PM)
Hello my frat brother. Good questions. The ACC has definitely become a lot more competitive. Every team has improved 100% and with the addition of Miami and Boston College, it only makes it better. We have six teams, I believe, in the Top 25. That says a lot about the ACC. ... As far as being better than the SEC ...... of coooouuurse. (laughs) They are both incredibly competitive, but we've got 3 in the Top 6! I definitely think the ACC is No. 1 in the nation.
Mistie Williams (1:03 PM)
Alright everybody. Thank you all for joining me, I answered as many could! I've got to go lift. Thanks for the support. Keep checking us out on ESPN.com! Goodbye!
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