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October 10, 2018

Jody Wynn

Jenna Moser

Amber Melgoza

San Francisco, California

JODY WYNN: Hello, everybody. Good morning, I think. We're just happy to be here. I have two incredible student-athletes with us. It's great to be in year two, the best thing about being a sophomore is you're no longer a freshman, and that's kind of how we all feel right now

THE MODERATOR: And now we'll open it up to the media. Please wait for the microphone to ask a question, and identify yourself.

Q. Jody, as your former high school teammate, I want to say how incredibly proud I am of this move for you and to this incredibly difficult and challenging conference. It is so happy for me and joyful for me to see you doing what you're doing and raising such young women in the right way.
I know your style of basketball, and I know what you want to play, and we were able to see just small glimpses of it last year, but in your first year you're dealing with being new, being a freshman. So how were you able to use this summer to get your team in a place physically, fitness, to be able to fit into that system that I know you want to run?

JODY WYNN: I think half the battle is them knowing and having that comfortability amongst the student-athletes every single day when we take the court, whether it's for an individual session, a small-group session or team session. There's a lot to be said about confidence. And understanding the system, understanding the expectations, understanding the tempo that is expected that they practice with every single day is three-quarters of the battle. And so this spring and summer were tremendous growths for us because as all of us, comfortability with the coaching staff as well and our relations with the girls, you know, it's just -- we're kind of able to finish each others' thoughts and sentences now on the court whereas last year it was a struggle to connect dots as far as terminology and expectations.

Q. Amber, where did that confidence come from from you? You were always such a confident player in years past. You showed why last year.
AMBER MELGOZA: Yeah, definitely. It all started I would say after my freshman year season, and then that summer I knew that I needed to do something different. I knew that I was stepping into a program that it was fresh, like we're all freshmen, and it was fresh, and so I knew I needed to step up and become more of a leader and kind of fill in my role of how I was growing up as a player and to be confident and be aggressive and be a scorer and a passer. But onto that, it takes time to build the confidence like she was saying and that is something that I worked on every single day to say, if I miss a shot, be like, hey, I shoot that all the time, just keep on shooting, just keep on shooting. And also my teammates, they gave me confidence. When I did something, they were always there giving me a high five and those little things it adds up and adds up. And as we start this season and I think each one of us on this team, we are doing that. And that is something that I think it's going to really carry on on to the season.

Q. Jenna, two things. One is versus a comment. Three words. She will win. You know what I mean?

Q. Secondly, what a bonus to be able to see you here. What a nice treat to be able to get that extra year. What does that mean to you and how are you feeling, and based on what you know as a veteran, do you approach it any different?
JENNA MOSER: It's a bonus, for sure. That's basically what we've been going about this year as for me is just bonus. It's like I didn't know I was going to have a new fresh opportunity like this, kind of like amber was saying. And so it's been really like a reflective experience for me to look back on last season and say, there were a lot of things that happened that I wanted to change at the time, but we had to keep moving forward, and now that I do have the opportunity to have another year, it's a really just happy feeling, like I feel really good to get a fresh opportunity and to get new chances and to have another class coming in that I get to help lead and another year with the girls and the staff.

Q. Jenna, did you get home to Colton at all this summer?
JENNA MOSER: Yes, I did.

Q. Did they throw you a little flipping prayed or something? (Laughs)?
JENNA MOSER: Every time.

Q. Hell, yeah. Seriously, do little kids in Colton or maybe in Seattle come up -- I mean a while back we didn't know who you were. And I don't mean that with any disrespect. You come on as a walk on, and you're kind of at the end of the bench and not used a whole lot, didn't get a lot of playing time. And then, boom, just grinding and grinding and grinding and the will do kids come up to you and say I know you? Do little kids in Colton ever do that?
JENNA MOSER: To be fair, I know every single person in Colton.

Q. They should come up to you; right? They're probably asking to borrow money. No, seriously, though. Do you get to talk to some of the youngsters about sticking to it and grinding?
JENNA MOSER: Yeah. Yeah. So my mom is an elementary teacher in Colton, and so I have an opportunity to go back and see her class, see those kids. A lot of the teachers are still the same, and I have relationships with them.

Q. That you had?
JENNA MOSER: Yeah. Yeah. It was a K-12 school. So all through the grades. A lot of the same teachers, some new faces, and then I have a really good relationship with my high school coach, and so if I have time when I go back, I'll go in and I'll be in the gym. I use the facilities still to get shots up and stuff. And usually there are athletes in season there. So I get to see them. They're a lot of my friends' little siblings still. So it's really cool to be able to see them. It's humbling.

Q. And question for both of you, maybe you, too, Coach. How were you able to not quit on each other last year, quit on that season? Some of those out comes and results were tough. Losing streaks had to have been tough. What was it about your team without the coaches around, culture in the locker room, where you learned an awful lot about each other, didn't quit on each other. And then maybe, coach, from the outside looking in, if you will, your response to that as well?
AMBER MELGOZA: I mean sometimes it was very hard, but you look left and right, and you're sisters. Like we know that we have each others' back and that is something that I knew that none of us were going to fail with that. And so that was something like, you know, there would be times when you'd come in the locker room after the game and just be like -- you know, we had a quarter that was bad. But it was something that you just know like deep down that you were meant for this stuff. And Jody prepares us really well for things like this. And our parents. Like this is things that life is not always going to be easy. And so I always knew like next day, let's keep on going, keep on grinding, let's keep on pushing each other, let's get ourselves in the film room, let's get extra conditioning, extra shots. And you grab your partner and like let's go and do this, and so that's something that I always knew like to just put in the back in my head that it's going to get better and there's always going to be those bad days.

JENNA MOSER: Do I need to add to that? That was well said.

JODY WYNN: For us it was just about celebrating little successes, if you will, every single day, and whether it was rewarding, the player of the day in practice or the young lady who took the most charges from the weekend or a lot of celebrating some of the deflections and the hustle stats. We talk a lot about the scoreboard might have been a liar at some points based on how the coaching staff views the game. And that it's okay and that as long as we're putting one step in front of the next the next day and we're getting up and we're doing this together and we're fighting for each other. I think there's just a lot of respect amongst the players and the coaches, and they know we're fighting hard for them and we know they're fighting hard for us and so we're fighting together to get through it. And like amber kind of alluded to, these are life lessons that are going to serve well into adulthood, and we talk about that often in how we just cherish our opportunities and our moment to get a little bit better every single day. I think that's why we're here.

Q. Jenna, just to kind of follow up on a couple of questions that have been asked for you. What has this process been like going from being kind of a practice player, true freshman season to becoming a full-time starter and becoming a really key contributor, and then Coach, what have you seen from Jenna in the time that you've had her?
JENNA MOSER: It's been a lot of ups and downs. It's hard to stay focused a lot of times when you are in a practice player role, when you're in a night on the bench role. You take on more of a supportive aspect, obviously. You can do it, talking defenses from the end of the bench, less so of an on-court leader, obviously, because you're on the bench. And so through the coaching change and through the role change, I've learned a lot of, I think my character has grown a lot. I've been asked to step outside of my comfort zone, a lot of times by Jody and a lot of times by my teammates just to be a better example in a lot of things. I never really had to lead on the court. I could lead off the court, be kind of a peacemaker. And I still do try and do that, but at the same time try to be the hardest working one out there to set that example for my teammates as well.

JODY WYNN: When we first got Jenna and we first met Jenna, you know, it was just like, hey, this kid is a walk-on on the team and then she was off to an internship with Nike for an entire summer and we never saw her, and she returned to campus in September and just blazed through the conditioning tests on day one, and it was like, wow, who's this kid. And from then it was like immediate respect. Like I don't know who you are very much and she didn't know who we were, but that just shows her character, right, and she's an unbelievable young woman. I mean she just has it all together. And to see her go from earning a scholarship on October 1st last year to starting every single game during the season last year and being a leader on and off the basketball court. She's quiet, but she leads by example and she's finding her voice I think even more so now as a college grad in her Masters program being able to lead with her voice as well as just her sheer work ethic off the court. So she's just an incredible young woman, and you hope that you can always have people of her character. And like amber as well, in your program.

Q. Jody, what was your biggest lesson that you learned from season one at UDUB and how is that helping you as you head into season two?
JODY WYNN: I think the biggest lesson that I personally have learned is it's a game. It's a very important game. It means a lot to us. It means a lot to our university. But the battles that we're fighting are on the court, and at the end of the day these are young women that you're mentoring and you're becoming -- and you're a role model to every single day. And the chips will fall where they will fall. All you can control is that your effort and your attitude is there every single day for the people that are around you. And I think to me people would maybe say I'm ultra competitive in a lot of different ways. And to me that was like the biggest lesson is that you can still win in life without winning on a scoreboard, and, you know, you win by sharing successes with your young women that you're around and you're mentoring every single day. So to me that was the biggest take away from last year is like, you know, sure, you can say you're a failure, you've won one game in conference or whatever and you can start to just believe that you're a failure, or you can just say that, you know what, we're not failures, we're learning how to get through thick mud every single day, adverse times that are just going to help us long into the real world when we're out of sport.

Q. And just to follow up, do you wear a fit bit tracker and if you do, how many steps do you get in during a game?
JODY WYNN: Yeah. I know. I need to be more subtle on the sidelines.

Q. Because you move.
JODY WYNN: I want to play, you know, and it's like -- then I go out there and I'm like, that's why I don't play because they can kick my butt. But no, I just want to be out there with them. And I think that's how I am every day in practice. I can't just sit still. It's just not my character. Sometimes I say I have a goal, I'm not going to stand up as much, and then my assistants are like get up, you're not yourself. And I'm like, yeah, you're right, I'm not myself. But yeah, I don't know. It's just something about tipoff once that ball is up, there's just something that just causes me to get in a defensive stance or talk, help them through whatever I can, and I don't know. I don't mean to be like a distraction.

Q. (No microphone).
JODY WYNN: Thanks. Yeah, I mean I love them. Like we say we love each other. I just want to help in any way I can, and I know I can't make shots and dribble the way they do, but if I could help speak and talk and give them confidence, that's my job.

Q. Jody, on a human interest level, how does it feel to be competing and playing against the coach in Mark Trakh and USC who taught both you and I in high school so much about this game?
JODY WYNN: It's surreal that, you know, when I met Coach Trakh, I was 10 years old. I was a brat in fifth grade that thought, you know, whatever. And just to I spent 13 years as an assistant and had adulthood with him, if you will, when I was 22. And just the life lessons that he taught me along the way and he put -- I didn't know then but I know now why he put me in difficult situations. And made me answer hard questions and tried to get me comfortable being uncomfortable. And I mean he's just a tremendous giver, and he cares so deeply for the sport. Here's a man that never charged a dime for college coaches to come watch his teams play and some of the greatest players in southern California played in his gyms. He's just such a giver and he gave me this career and this opportunity which led to a marriage and to family and to kids, and yeah, I could never repay him. I just hope that I do right by him, you know, and I still talk to him on a very regular basis.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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