Junior reveals secrets behind newfound shot-blocking ability

Cherise Daniel Q-A

Q: Junior guard Cherise Daniel understands what it takes to be successful on the basketball court. The Columbus native and Eastmoor Academy product has been a winner at every level. A star in high school, Daniel has come off the bench all three seasons as Buckeye. Don’t, however, think that has diminished the ever-positive Daniel. Whether its offense, defense or an emotional lift on the sideline, she provides a spark for Ohio State. The selfless Daniel is a team player who puts everything on the line when she enters a game.

By Kyle Rowland, Ohio State Athletics Communications

Q: You have had success everywhere you’ve played state runner-up at Eastmoor, two AAU state championships, back-to-back Big Ten titles at Ohio State what has been the key element to those teams success?
A: “Each team I have been on has been close on and off the court. Everyone has played their role. The main thing is having great players and coaches. All the hard work, practice and being tired really pays off when you have success.”

Q: How has the adjustment been from always being a star on your high school and AAU teams to coming off the bench at Ohio State?
A: “It’s been an adjustment, but it is something you have to learn from. I knew coming into the program that I wasn’t going to be the star and I wasn’t looking to be. The team experience has been great.”

Q: Do you think your strength is at the offensive or defensive end of the floor?
A: “Whatever the team needs at that point in the game is what I want to help with. If we are not playing good defense, I try to put pressure on the ball. If we need offense, I try to do what I need to do. I’m mainly concerned with my defense, though; I know that’s what coach (Foster) looks for. I’m pretty quick and athletic, so I shouldn’t be getting beat. I take a lot of pride in my defense.”

Q: You recorded zero blocks your first two seasons. Now, all of a sudden, you’re almost a shot-blocking machine with seven so far. How has that happened?
A: “(Laughs) Blocks are just fun to me. I’ve got seven, but I think I’ve tried to get a few more and they’ve been fouls. It’s very exciting to send a shot the other way. I try to time them and if they shoot it in my face, I go up for it.”

Q: Are you still able to be in contact and see your family frequently?
A: “I see them at all the games, but I am so busy with school and basketball that I don’t make it home too often. I had not been home since October until I visited my mom on Valentine’s Day. I wanted to make it seem like I went away for college.”

Q: Being from Columbus and knowing what Ohio State means to the city, what is it like to be a student-athlete at the university?
A: “It feels great after growing up and watching the Buckeyes. The main thing is getting a good education and playing for a great program. My family also gets to see me play a lot.”

Q: When you graduate, how do you plan on using your business degree?
A: “I would like to work in marketing, perhaps advertising. I enjoy working with people and would love to work in sports marketing. It’s interesting to me and hopefully an opportunity comes along.”

Q: You played soccer in high school, how was that experience?
A: “I started out playing soccer when I was kid. My parents would have to force me out on the field and I would cry. I don’t know why, but it is fun, especially playing in the rain. You can just run around and be free. Since then, though, basketball has been my love, but I’ll always like soccer.”

Q: How would you describe yourself in one or two words?
A: “I would say easy going. I can get along with almost anybody. I’m really friendly and love making people laugh. I always talk to strangers and enjoy talking to fans after the game. Being an only child for 13 years helped me.”