Sharneé Zoll: International Athlete
Sharneé Zoll (CLAS 2008) made headlines and smashed records in her basketball career at U.Va. After college, Sharnee was drafted into the WNBA. Soon thereafter, Sharneé made the move to international basketball, playing for teams in Romania, Turkey and Poland, and continuing to make news with her impressive skills. Now, Sharneé plays for the CCC Polkowice in Poland, where we were able to catch up with her via email to ask some questions about her basketball career, her life in Europe and her time at U.Va. Iris: What is the most difficult part of your day? Sharneé: The most difficult part of my day is getting to sleep. We usually have practices at night so when I come home I am still full of energy and adrenaline. It is hard to calm myself down and to stop my continuous thought process of what I did right, wrong, or what I need to get better at. Iris: How would you describe your career path? Sharneé: It is quite obvious that I love basketball so it is easy to say that I want to continue to be around the game. I, of course, want to continue playing overseas as well as get into the WNBA for the next couple of years (God willing). Afterwards, I do want to get into coaching. I feel that with my insight and vision of the game I could help players to reach their full potential. That is after I first gain some patience. [UPDATE: Sharneé signed with the WNBA's L.A. Sparks on February 23rd.] Iris: How do you spend your days off? Sharneé: Most off days I go into the gym in the morning and work on some of the shots or things that I didn’t do so well in the previous games. I take Polish lessons here so I have class for about an hour two times a week. After that I like to relax. I am a huge word game fanatic so I sit in the house [and] play games and watch movies. Of course I spend a good amount of time on Skype getting caught up with family back at home. Iris: Who or what inspires you? Sharneé: Wow this is an extremely tough question because there are so many people. I will keep it to only two people though. I would say my grandmother and Coach Ryan. They are both exceptional women who have had to continually fight adversity to become as successful as they are. I admire both of them as leaders and more importantly as women. Iris: What was your first job? Sharneé: Haha I would have to say being a camp counselor at Coach Ryan’s summer basketball camps. Iris: Where is your favorite place to play basketball? Sharneé: Spain is by far my favorite place. It is just something about the Spanish culture and language that intrigues me. I’ve been blessed to be able to play there two times this season! Iris: What do you miss most about the States? Sharneé: Definitely the food delivery. Here in my city, Polkowice, there are several places that deliver but not like at home. After a tough game or practice there is no better convenience than to be able to pick up the phone and within the hour to have some food ready at your house. Iris: What did you want to be when you were a child? Sharneé: The first woman in the NBA! This was obviously before the WNBA and ABL were founded. Iris: Do you consider yourself a perfectionist? Sharneé: Absolutely, especially a perfectionist at my craft. I am an extremely competitive person and I hone my skills to try and become the best at anything that I do. It sounds a little crazy but it is true. I hate to lose so much that I just practice and practice at something until I am good at it. Iris: What influence did UVA play in your life? Sharneé: My experience at UVA is what made me the player and person that I am today. The connections that I formed while on grounds have helped to shape my life. I was fortunate enough have teammates and friends at UVA that are to this day some of my closest friends. Iris: What are your favorite things to do in Poland? Sharneé: My favorite thing to do is to go to Polish class. It is so interesting to me the letter combinations and sounds that differ so much from English. I’m far from fluent but I am definitely coming along pretty quickly.
[Images courtesy of Sharneé Zoll.]