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Getting to Know: Sophomore F/C Chyna Golden

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Another year older, another year wiser. Sophomore Chyna Golden was one of the five incoming freshmen Pitt welcomed last year to make up the youngest Division I team in women's basketball.

The Neptune, N.J,. native worked hard during the summer to improve her game on all levels and in the process has earned a starting spot when the Panthers tip off against Youngstown State today. 

Q: How have you seen yourself grow from the end of last season on March 2 to now as we begin you're the 2012-13 season. ?

Golden: I felt like last season I really wasn't myself. I liked getting rebounds

and playing the high post, and I felt like I really wasn't playing that game, which didn't really provide an opportunity for me to be very successful. So, I took the time in the spring and summer to improve. When I went home I worked with my trainer and worked on getting shots up. I also worked on my game at the high post, on being aggressive and getting rebounds. I felt like going home in the summer just let me do that. It let me get away from everything and let me get back to me. When I got back after the summer I felt like I was doing things so much better. I am so ready to get this season started.

Q: What makes your Pitt family special?

Golden: I refer to my teammates as family because we are always together, like "24/10" (laughter). Since we're always hanging around each other we might as well get to know each other better and get along - that's what you do as a family. Everyone is always very welcoming and loving, which is what I really like about Pitt.

Q: Your roommate is teammate Cora McManus. Some may say you are complete opposites.

Golden: Yeah, Cora and I are cool. We're always joking around and laughing. Since we do have some dissimilarities in our personalities I guess you can see it as "opposites attract." Most of the time we'll just be sitting in the room, watching TV, watching movies, or trying to catch up on sleep since we don't get a lot of that (laughter).

Q: You verbally committed to Pitt early. What made Pitt the right choice for a Jersey girl?

Golden: School has always been important to my family, especially with my mom being a teacher and a part of the education system. Pitt is a great school that offers an amazing education. With that in mind, I know that even after my days of playing basketball are over I will still have a degree from the University of Pittsburgh.  And then, obviously, there is basketball. The Petersen Events Center is a great arena and Pittsburgh is a great city to play in, plus we are playing in the best conference, the Big East with another amazing conference for my final two years in the ACC.

Q: How tough was it last week for you as family and friends battled Hurricane Sandy?

Golden: It was really hard because now when I go back home in the summer and want to go to the beach with my friends it's going to be totally different considering most of it was ruined. I live about five minutes from the beach, so I was there all the time. But, the most important thing to me was that my family and all the other people that were affected were okay, because we can always rebuild a house and fix the material aspects. It's bittersweet because I enjoy going home, but now when I do I will see that all of the places I used to go to in the summer will be gone.

Q: You have a special affection for the Nickelodeon character SpongeBob SquarePants. How did that come about?

Golden: I think SpongeBob is kind of crazy and unique, like me, so I just always seemed to like the show.  In high school I would carry around a SpongeBob backpack and when I didn't have it people would be ask, 'Chyna, where's your SpongeBob backpack?" People knew me by my love for SpongeBob. I have my SpongeBob covers, my SpongeBob pillow and I even have a little SpongeBob beanie baby. It actually all started when I was a little older. I think everyone enjoys something that makes them feel like a little kid. Some people like Dora the Explorer, or Tigger, or Winnie the Pooh, but I just like SpongeBob.

Q: Do you have any crazy nicknames?

Golden: Yes, but I am not telling you (laughter). It could be used against me later. 

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