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Standout sophomore center answered fans questions online Tuesday

COLUMBUS, Ohio Jantel Lavender, sophomore center on the Ohio State women’s basketball team, held a live online chat on OhioStateBuckeyes.com to Tuesday, answering fan’s questions. Read what she had to say about the Buckeyes’ upcoming game vs. North Carolina, her gameday rituals and favorite Coach Foster saying.

Lavender, who became the first Big Ten freshman to earn conference player of the year honors last season, has recorded a double-double in all seven of Ohio State’s games this season. This season, the Cleveland, Ohio, native is averaging 21.7 points and 12.1 rebounds while recording 12 blocks.

Jantel and No. 18 Ohio State will welcome No. 2 North Carolina at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Value City Arena as part of the 2008 Big Ten/ACC Challenge.

The Buckeyes are looking to Pack the House’ Wednesday, admitting all Ohio State students free of charge with a valid BuckID. Ohio State offers fans a family friendly environment with appearances by the Zooper Stars, cheerleaders and Brutus Buckeye, in addition to inflatable games pregame. Postgame, Lavender and former Buckeye standout Katie Smith, 2008 WNBA Finals MVP and U.S. Olympic gold medalist, will be available for postgame autographs near the Ohio State Official Team Shop in the northeast rotunda.

Lavender’s Chat

OhioStateBuckeyes.com::  

Welcome to Jantel’s online chat. Please post your questions for her here.

OhioStateBuckeyes.com::  

Jantel is here so we will go ahead and begin.

Shelly: Dublin, OH:  

Outside of basketball, what OhioState athlete do you admire and why?

Jantel::  

I would have to say Beanie Wells because he plays hard.

Dan: Worthington:  

If you could sit down to dinner with any three people alive, who would those three people be and why?

Jantel::  

Barack Obama, Oprah and Michelle Obama. I would want to see how they talk casually when it is not all about politics.

Jessica: Dublin:  

I heard you were a great volleyball player too. Have you ever thought about also playing VB for the Buckeyes?

Jantel::  

I wish I could, I love volleyball. I was really good at it too. But our seasons overlap.

Traci: Columbus:  

Kick UNC’s butt Jantel!! We love you!

Jantel::  

We will play as hard as we can. Thanks!

Laura: Cincinnati:  

Who is the toughest competitor you have played against?

Jantel::  

I would have to say Alyssa DeHaan from MichiganState because she is 6-9.

Shelby: Mentor, Ohio:  

I saw you on TV the other day and you are just as good with your left hand. How old were you when you started using your other hand?

Jantel::  

I really worked on my left hand a lot this summer. I would dribble and do left-handed moves for one whole practice. It makes me more versatile on the court.

Jared:St. Henry, Ohio:  

Are you happy you stayed instate for college?

Jantel::  

Yes. I love the fact that my mom and my aunt can come to all my games.

Amanda: Dayton:  

What do you and your teammates do for fun outside of basketball?

Jantel::  

We play games but we don’t have that much free time together with class, practice and games.

James: Columbus:  

Hi Jantel! What is Coach Foster stressing this week as you prepare for the Tar Heels?

Jantel::  

He is telling us to stay relaxed. We did a lot of conditioning drills this week because North Carolina likes to run the court.

Amanda: Dayton:  

Also, is basketball an all year thing for you? Do you play in summer leagues?

Jantel::  

We play summer leagues and I play with U.S. Basketball. To make the U.S. team, you start with 40 girls and cuts go on until they have their 12 players. It’s nerve racking but I just play as best as I can.

Emily: Columbus:  

Ashlee said on TV that you wanted to be the next American Idol winner … are you a good singer? What is your favorite song?

Jantel::  

I can sing pretty well. I sing a lot in the locker room so that’s probably why she thinks that. My favorite type of music is R&B and “If I Were a Boy” by Beyonce is my favorite song right now.

Jeff: Oxford, Ohio:  

Do you have a favorite Coach Foster saying?

Jantel::  

“No, it’s not okay.” He always says that when someone says it’s okay.

Greg: Columbus:  

Do you view yourself as a role model to young female athletes?

Jantel::  

I try to be a role model by being myself most of the time.

Marissa: Pickerington, OH:  

I saw the story in the game program with you and your sister. You two are so beautiful. How cool is it having your sister around? Do you two live together? Good luck Wednesday!

Jantel::  

Thanks! I love having my sister here. It is like having your best friend around you all the time. And yes, we do live together.

Sara: Columbus:  

Do you have any game day superstitions or pregame rituals?

Jantel::  

No, not really. We turn on music in the locker room and everyone runs around to get excited for our games. As far as superstitions, if I don’t shave my legs two days out, I don’t shave for the game. In high school, I always shaved my legs the day of the game and I felt I played bad so I started to do it in advance.

Danielle: Reynoldsburg – OH:  

Hey Jantel! Where do you get your hair done? It always looks so good 🙂 And did you get off for Thanksgiving?

Jantel::  

Thanks! Our whole team goes to this lady named LaLa. She do anything we ask her to – she is really talented. We had Thanksgiving off but it took a lot of work. To get off, we had to play well against Hartford and practice Wednesday so we could have an afternoon practice on Friday.

Jennifer: Galloway:  

If you didn’t play basketball…what sport would you play and why?

Jantel::  

Volleyball. I loved spiking. People use to duck when I spiked because I hit hard.

OhioStateBuckeyes.com::  

Well, that is it for Jantel. Thanks for all the questions.