Holding Court with Jaleesa Morris

Oct. 31, 2007

As the Knights prepare for an exhibition game against Rollins College on Sunday, Nov. 4 at 2 p.m., UCFAthletics.com continues to introduce fans to the UCF women's basketball team in a series of feature interviews. Today the spotlight shines on freshman forward/center Jaleesa Morris. The native of Augusta, Ga. talks about her UCF basketball family, her reasons for choosing UCF and her decision to major in nursing.

What does the team's motto "Prepare and Compete" mean to you?
To me, prepare and compete means we have to get stronger and do our best to be on top of our game.

With nine true freshman on the roster, how has the team started to come together?
We've pulled together well as a team. We might have a few minor things that we still need to work on. We have learned to trust each other and work together to achieve our goals.

What are you looking forward to most this season?
I'm looking forward to triumphing over any adversity we might face and winning the conference championship.

What is the best part of being on this UCF women's basketball team?
The family connection is the best part. It's not just about basketball. It's how we click together as a family. We look out for each other. We are always having a good time no matter where we are.

UCF head coach Joi Williams and the rest of the staff have already begun to involve the team in community service. What charity or social cause would you like to help?
I would love to get involved with kids and people in need.

What influenced your decision to come to UCF?
Coach Williams recruited me at Murray State. I liked her coaching style and I saw the way she built the Murray State team. If she was able to do that there, I believe she can do that here. I know she sees the potential in all of us.

Why have you decided to pursue your degree in nursing?
I really like kids and I have always liked watching television shows about hospitals. I've always wanted to be able to help people and make a difference in someone's life - even if it is just as simple as checking a fever. I've just always been interested in that or working with animals.

What did earning the Coca Cola Academic Award mean to you?
It meant a lot because it meant I was the top player on the team with the highest grades. It just shows what you can do in school when you put forth the effort.

Sunday's game against Rollins College tips off at 2 p.m. Admission to the contest is free. The Knights open the regular season when they host Texas Tech on Nov. 9 at 7:30 p.m.

Season tickets are also available for the women's basketball team's debut season at the new 10,000-seat UCF Arena and can be purchased by calling 407-UCF-1000 or by surfing to UCFAthletics.com.

For the latest news and information on the Knights, tickets or apparel log on to www.ucfathletics.com - the official site for UCF varsity sports. Also check out UCFPhotos.com, the exclusive fan source for UCF action sports pics.