Q&A with Chatilla van Grinsven on a special senior season & signing with the Connecticut Sun

Saint Joseph's star Chatilla van Grinsven is getting her chance at the WNBA with the Connecticut Sun. - USA TODAY Sports

Last week St. Joseph's Hawks star Chatilla van Grinsven signed with the Connecticut Sun after being named Big 5 Player of the Year. Swish Appeal had the opportunity to follow-up with van Grinsven on a special senior season, the Connecticut Sun, and preparing for the next step in her basketball career.

Swish Appeal: How excited about you about being invited to the Connecticut Sun training camp?

CvG: "I am extremely excited about the invitation to the Connecticut Sun training camp. This has always been a goal of mine, to be exposed to the WNBA, and this is an excellent opportunity for me that I have worked tremendously hard for in my basketball career."

SA: What have you been doing to prepare for training camp?

CvG: "[I’ve been] playing a lot of pick-up with girls and guys -- working on my individual skills as well as keeping up my conditioning and lifting workouts. It really comes down to dedication. Doing the 'extra' workouts and being 'extra' long in the gym on top of all the regular workouts and exercises I have always been doing. This is an exciting time, no matter what happens in the end, I enjoy journey of hard work and pushing myself even further."

SA: You had a very successful season that culminated with an A-10 championship and NCAA tournament bid, elaborate on the joys of the season?

CvG: "This season has been a very special season for me because of the many expectations we as a team have exceeded. Besides this, I was able to do this with amazing teammates and an excellent coaching staff that believed in us since day one. We started out our season with a very successful road trip to Ireland, this is where everything started. Our team started to know each other better since we were together 24 hours and on the court this was the first time our newcomers, transfers as well as the returning players played together. On that trip we started to get the hang of it and the ball really started to roll for us.

"We had some outstanding wins during our non-conference play such as the win versus Maryland. Then during the season we won a few overtime games. This is where we as a team really started to know each other, we went into games with a state of mind that refuses to loose. We had a great record going into our conference tournament, but at that time we knew our goal was the NCAA tournament, and the only way to make that happen for certain was to win the entire tournament. We kept our mindset right, pushed each other day in and day out to make this happen. We overcame Dayton -- ranked #11-- in the semi-finals which was a thrill and eventually won the A-10 Championship."

SA: In your workouts, what are some things that you have been working on specifically?

SvG: "My shooting, especially, and ball handling."

SA: Have you had a chance to talk to Coach (Anne) Donovan, if so, what did you all talk about?

SvG: "Yes, I have talked with Coach Donovan. We have talked about several things but mostly about the team and how to get ready for the Pro-league."

SA: As you get ready to embark on your professional career, what is a lasting message that you would like to say to everyone at St. Joseph's?

SvG: "THE HAWK WILL NEVER DIE! As long as you keep believing, keep working, have dedication and keep up your Hawk-spirit, success will come your way!"

For more on the Connecticut Sun some other rookies they'll have in camp, visit our offseason storystream.

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