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Q&A // Joanna Catalano, Aberdeen, basketball

Aberdeen senior Joanna Catalano has plenty to keep her busy. She is the Aberdeen student government association president and also serves as the school's representative for larger student government organizations. She's a member of the National and Spanish honor societies.

Catalano is also in Aberdeen's Latino Dance club. And she's in Aberdeen's difficult Science and Math Academy, something that will help Catalano achieve her dream of becoming an orthopedic surgeon.

Catalano, 6 feet 4 inches, also fits in some basketball. She is a four-year starter at center for Aberdeen, one of the county's top teams. She's averaging about 11 points and 10 rebounds.

Do you enjoy such a full schedule?

Yes, it keeps me busy. I'm never going to be able to have a schedule like this again in my life. I might as well do it now. When you're older, you have more responsibilities. I enjoy keeping busy.

What do you like the most, apart from basketball?

I enjoy being the SGA president because I get to make ... decisions, and I get to represent my school to the bigger organizations. My decisions directly impact the school, and I like to help.

How much have you improved over four years on varsity?

I've improved greatly, I think, definitely from my freshman year to now. A lot of it, I think, had to do with confidence. I gained more confidence just through repetitions, and I had to come up with a mental block about making mistakes. I had to just get over them and move on, and build on them, and make up for them.

What's it been like to play four years on varsity?

It was interesting because when I was a freshman, I looked up to the seniors on the team. ... It was very different being thrown into that environment. Now, being a senior and having the freshmen look up to me, it's kind of cool.

What do you want to do as a doctor?

I used to want to specialize in the knee just because that's very interesting and sports-related. I think a lot of athletes have problems with the knee. But I'm not for certain yet.

How good can your team be?

I think we could be phenomenal. We have so much talent on this team, and we're very deep.

What's in your iPod right now?

I have a very eclectic taste in music. I listen to everything but country. You can find anything in my iPod. The girls on the team look through it. There's so much music on there.

When you look back at high school years from now, what will you remember the most?

Definitely basketball and the experiences from it. In the fall, I'm waiting for the season to start. In the spring, I'm like, OK, I'm waiting for next year to start. It's going to be interesting after this season ends. I've never had to face no more high school basketball. It's going to be sad.

What do see as your role on this year's team?

I definitely see myself as a leader. I'm a captain. Definitely, just because there's a lot of young players on the team, and they need somebody to look up to. I kind of understand what the coach is looking for, and where he's trying to get our team to be and the different concepts he's trying to [teach].

What position will you play in college?

It depends. Some of the coaches I've talked to, they want to me to continue playing center. Some have talked power forward. On my last AAU team, I played some facing the basket. I don't really have a preference. I can play either way.

[Jeff Seidel

Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
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