The player wearing the number one jersey for the WSU women’s basketball team is a warrior, Head Coach June Daugherty said.
April Cook, 21, is a sociology major at WSU and has been playing basketball since she was in the second grade. She is originally from Carson, Calif. and was recruited from Long Beach Poly High School. Her season high is 18 points against USC, and her career high is 33 points in the Feb. 2010 game against Arizona State.
“Sociology is more trying to figure out ways to help people,” Cook said. “To figure out where all the inequalities are coming from in society and it’s just fascinating to me that there is all the these issues.”
Cook said the helping people aspect of sociology drew her to choosing it as her major.
She chose to come to Washington State because of the small town atmosphere of Pullman, she said. She liked how everyone knew each other.
“I don’t like ‘oh we’re in this huge city and nobody really even knows about us,’” Cook said. “(WSU) is really close-knit, everybody supports everybody. All the sports programs here are cool with each other.”
She also likes Pullman because she feels safer, she said.
Daugherty said she wanted to recruit Cook based on her defense, her record as a winner and her competitiveness.
“When I watched April in AAU basketball as well as with her high school team, she just has fire in her eyes, she gets after it, she has fun,” Daugherty said. “You always know when she’s about ready to go on a roll because she starts clapping her hands and she’s feeling it.”
Cook really enjoys the game, Daugherty said. That was really apparent when she watched her play.
“I think she’s so versatile as a player,” Daugherty said. “I think that she’s very experienced. I think she is by far the our best defender on the perimeter, no doubt about it.”
Cook said she prepares mentally before games by trying not to get hyped up.
“I just relax,” Cook said. “I listen to the slowest, most relaxing music and I just got to have to have my ‘calm before the storm’ is what I call it.”
Cook said on the court she blocks out all distractions such as the crowd. She just completely focuses on her offensive or defensive assignment.
“I think off the court people would be really surprised to know that this is a kid who is very musically inclined,” Daugherty said. “She makes up her own songs, she plays the keyboard she produces her own songs. I mean she’s really a amazing talent with her music as well.”
Cook said she has been playing the keyboard since she was in fourth grade. She and other athletes get together to make music and she makes the beats.
Music and basketball connect because she needs music to prepare for the game, Cook said. Basketball and music connect because she applies her same work ethic on the court into the creation of songs.
At the end of it all, Cook is going to miss WSU.
“I really enjoyed my time here,” Cook said. “Sometimes I wish I had a little more time sometimes.”