Ask Atholton senior center Taylor Chapman what she is looking to get out of 2008 and she has two quick answers. The first is to get accepted to all the colleges to which she has applied - Georgetown, New York University, Columbia, the University of Maryland, College Park, UMBC and Towson - so she has plenty of options to pursue her plans to study international business.
The second is doing whatever she can to help the Lady Raiders win a second-straight state championship. Chapman, who has started every game in her four-year career, is averaging 14.4 points and 11.8 rebounds in the No. 5 Raiders' 8-2 start. In her career, Chapman has 800 points and 920 rebounds, and if the Raiders can make another strong run in the playoffs, she has a chance to finish with more than 1,000 points and rebounds.
Chapman, who maintains a 3.8 grade point average, is a member of the Spanish National Honor Society. When she is not studying or playing basketball, chances are you can find Chapman watching a movie with friends. Her favorite is A Few Good Men.
How has your role changed this season?
This year, more of the younger players are looking up to us seniors. We have a freshman, a couple of sophomores, and the things that I've learned over the past three years from older players are helpful to pass along to them. They tend to ask you more questions, so it puts you in more of a role-model position than other years.
What was it like the moment after you won the state championship last year?
It was like a state of joy. I couldn't believe we won, the first team to do it. I was so happy. Even for weeks after, I was still amazed at the fact we won. It was an incredible feeling beyond words.
Does that give the team an advantage this year with four starters back?
It definitely gives you an advantage knowing what you have to do to get there, understanding the different things you have to go through and knowing how focused you have to stay.
What do you enjoy most about basketball?
I probably like defense because it's so intense, so hard-working, and you can win games with good defense. You have to be aggressive, very focused, know what everybody on the court is doing, not just the player you're guarding, and you have to be able to do it for 30 seconds.
You get the chance to vote for the first time. How will you base your vote?
I am definitely going to see what each candidate has done previously from a political standpoint, see who has the best resume and then go from there.
If you could ask a presidential candidate any question, what would it be?
Probably I'd ask - in terms of Iraq and that stuff - what would you have done differently if you were in the situation President Bush was in after Sept. 11?