When the Texas women’s basketball team steps onto the Frank Erwin Center floor on Saturday to take on Kansas, Ke$ha’s hit single “We R Who We R” will, like always, boom through the house speakers in hopes of pumping up the Longhorn team.
Freshman guard Chelsea Bass doesn’t need Ke$ha to get fired up.
“I don’t get into the whole pop or hardcore rap mode to pump up before games,” she said. “I listen to music my parents listened to, like Earth, Wind and Fire or The Temptations. It makes me looser.”
The nineteen year old’s music preference adds to her self-described quirkiness. As a matter of fact, her fellow freshman teammates have a specific tag to qualify her place among the young group.
“They call me the geek of the group,” Bass said. “I don’t think I’m nerdy. I just have nerdy tendencies. They [the fellow freshmen] are always like, ‘What are you doing, Chelsea? Where did that come from?’ I’m goofy I guess.”
That she and the core youth on the team are so close is good for a Texas team loaded with young talent. Bass said she and her fellow youngsters want to learn from the team’s veterans to accomplish their one goal — to win.
“Once [the freshmen] all got together and started playing, we all clicked,” she said. “We all know why we are here and that is to play hard and help this team. We push each other, and we are a big support system for one another.”
From a basketball perspective though, age doesn’t matter on the court. It is about how hard you work, and Bass has been working at basketball for a long time.
“There are videos of me when I could barely walk at the age of 2, and I was trying to dribble a basketball,” she said.
Her 17 years of practice and unwavering desire to win have helped her thus far. Bass has seen extended playing time lately and is expected to continue that trend Saturday against Kansas.
“I don’t care if I’m coming off the bench or starting, I just want to get into the game and work my hardest and do the little things and work in any way to help the team win. There is still a lot I need to improve on.”
With her nearly seven points a game, Bass is the team’s second best freshman scorer. She said one area of play she can make an improvement in is her defense.
Bass will need to make sure her defense is tight versus the Jayhawks as they play at a very fast, run-and-gun pace. Kansas, like Texas, is statistically in the conference’s top half of scoring offenses. They are also coming off an 81-53 blowout victory versus a physical
For Bass, basketball is a sport that she is a humble student to, so no matter how quirky her teammates believe she may be off the court, no one can deny how seriously she pushes herself to hone her skills on it.
“I love playing here at Texas,” Bass said. “I just want to see this team win and keep winning.”