Mississippi State senior guard Roshunda Johnson might be playing on a huge stage this weekend, but she's missing a really important affair. Ro's son, Malaki turns two this week. Balancing school and ball is one thing, and Ro has to throw in the responsibilities of being a parent as well. But with the support of her family and team, she's able to do it all gracefully.
Roshunda Johnson (MSU senior guard)
"I mean it's difficult because I don't get to see him all the time. Sometimes I have to just call him, and you know how babies are, so busy and everywhere. So half the time we don't even have a conversation...just put the phone down, hear him run around, I just listen to him play on the phone. It's hard, but it's a decision that I just had to make because I'm trying to make sure he's good at the end of the day. Do what I gotta do to make sure we're good. Your love with your child is an important key. It always has to be there. You can't be down, ever, when you're around your child. It brings you joy and it brings him joy. And just know that, it's really good."
Vic Schaefer (MSU head coach)
"It's unique and special. It brings some real perspective to you know what, she's got a lot going on. It's not just going to class. She's got to take care of Malaki before she thinks about doing anything. It gives me a greater understanding and appreciation for her, because I know the challenges that she has everyday. All those things play into my mind, and gives me a tremendous amount of respect for her."
Blair Schaefer (MSU senior guard)
"Oh my God, I don't know how she does it. There's so much credit that goes to her for doing what she does. For her to be so successful on the court, and be a mom, and have to worry about her schoolwork, she's so giving and that's why so many people are willing to help her with Malaki and everything else."
I asked Coach Schaefer if he considered Ro his secret weapon. He smiled and explained that she's multidimensional. Ro had 12 points and 2 rebounds against UCLA last week.
Mississippi State and Louisville tip off Friday night at 6:00pm. The national semifinal will be telecast on ESPN2, streaming online at ESPN3.com.
NCAA Women's Final Four (Columbus, Ohio - Nationwide Arena)
Friday 6:00pm: Mississippi State (36-1) vs. Louisville (36-2)
- TV: ESPN2
Friday 8:00pm: Connecticut (36-0) vs. Notre Dame (33-3)
- TV: ESPN2
Sunday 6:00pm: MSU/Louisville winner vs. UConn/ND winner
- TV: ESPN
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