Shock Factor: Four Minutes With Minnesota’s Amanda Zahui B. After The 2015 WNBA Draft
Get (more) familiar with No. 2 WNBA draft pick Amanda Zahui B. in four minutes
Sweden native Amanda Zahui B. hustles hard. The redshirt sophomore (who turns 22 this year) was named the first woman from the University of Minnesota to land on the AP All-America First Team. If that’s not impressive enough, the Gophers center was also named Big Ten player of the year. The curly-haired college baller continued to make waves when she opted to leave school early and enter the 2015 draft. After the Tulsa Shock grabbed Zahui as the No. 2 selection at last night’s ceremony (April 16), the six-foot-five shot caller told VIBE she is intent on stepping up her already impeccable game. Watch her work.
A big congrats are in order for the WNBA Draft! What is going through your mind right now?
Amanda Zahui B.: I’m just excited right now. I can’t stop smiling and singing.
I’ve seen you rock shirts on Instagram that say “Don’t Kill My Vibe,” which salutes Kendrick Lamar. If you could soundtrack your draft day, what song would you pick?
That’s a tough one. I don’t know, I just like the beat of [Michael Jackson’s] “Billie Jean” and Whitney Houston’s “I Wanna Dance With Somebody.” It would just be full of different beats, like a big remix, because my mind has been blowing up.
You shook up the draft order a little bit last week when you announced you were going to leave school early to enter the draft. What cemented your decision to join the lineup?
I felt like this was right for me and that it was my time to go.
Now that you’re headed to the big league, are there any aspects of your game that you want to improve on?
Every part of it. I want to become the best. I can get better at everything: offense, rebounding, blocking, playing more defense, be a better leader, with my words and with my actions. I’m just ready to go and see exactly what they need. I’m going to bring it.
What’s your pre-game routine?
I like to be in [the venue] early, get my shots up, stretch to loosen up, work on some post moves, and then just relax and have fun. I’m the kind of player that doesn’t like to be too tied up. I like dancing and playing around with my teammates to get them going.
If you weren’t in this moment right now, where do you think you would be?
Well… I don’t know. Probably watching the draft somewhere [or] in the gym, working on my game to get there.
How are you going to celebrate being the newest member of the Tulsa Shock?
My mom actually flew over here from Sweden. She leaves tomorrow morning, so just spend time with her and try to realize what just happened.
What’s your advice to young women with hoop dreams right now?
First of all, be yourself. Don’t listen to people who tell you that you can’t do anything. Stay strong in what you believe in and what you want. Have faith. Stay strong to people who care about you. Work hard and never give up. That’s something that I never did. I never gave up and I’m not planning to.
Photo Credit: Getty