With no collegiate competitions over the summer months, SMCGaels.com will feature a Muscle Milk Newcomer of the Week (temporarily replacing the SMC Player of the Week) each week until the beginning of the 2014 Fall Sports Schedule.
Galland begins her first season of eligibility for the Gaels in 2014-15, after sitting out last season due to NCAA transfer rules. The sharp-shooting point guard recently took time to talk about her path to Saint Mary’s and why SMC is a good fit.
Q – Talk about your path to Saint Mary’s?
GALLAND: Coming out of high school, I went to Oregon for my first year. I decided it wasn’t the right fit. I then looked at Saint Mary’s again… I love the environment at SMC, the people and that’s why I decided to come here. I spoke with Paul Thomas again and my friend and former teammate from high school (Hayley Hendricksen) and they said a lot of good things about SMC and the program.
Q – What was redshirting like?
GALLAND: It was very hard. I had to sit out most of my senior year of high school with an ACL tear and sitting out again was very hard. You practice, you lift, you do everything the team does, but you don’t get to play in the games which is the best part. It was very tough and I’m very excited for this season.
It was a great learning experience… I got lots of reps in on the offense and defense of Saint Mary’s basketball… that’s a plus getting to do that before actually doing it in a game. That’s the benefit of redshirting a year.
Q- Talk about being from Spokane, a city that is a huge hoops rival for Saint Mary’s.
GALLAND: It’s cool that I’ve played with a lot of the girls on Gonzaga and am friends with the former head coach there. It will be fun playing in front of family and friends back home… I’m really excited. I know that we are rivals and lots of my friends are Gonzaga fans but we will see my family and some Saint Mary’s gear in the crowd when we play at their place.
Q – Talk about being a Lewis & Clark HS teammate with Hayley Hendricksen.
GALLAND: We won the state championship in 2011. Hayley was a big part of that team, it was her senior season and my junior year. She led the team in rebounding and was a key player in the championship run. I remember we lost something like six straight that season, then never lost again. After we lost to our big rival game, we just kept winning and did not look back… made it to the state championship game and won. It was a great experience.
Q – Is the Saint Mary’s conditioning program easy for you, compared to what you went through with Paul Westhead at Oregon?
GALLAND: You’d think that, but honestly it’s very hard here. Especially coming in after transferring and having a summer off. I didn’t have summer school at SMC as Oregon got out after SMC’s (summer classes) were already well under way.
Coming here, we did the suicide test right off the bat and it was an… experience. Saint Mary’s pushes just as hard, if not harder, than what I’ve experience in the past.
Q- Do you have a favorite athlete?
GALLAND: This is a little strange since it’s soccer, but I love Alex Morgan. Also Courtney Vandersloot, I know she graduated from Gonzaga, but I’ve always wanted to emulate her game and I appreciate what she does on the court as a point guard… I’d like to try and be like that.
Q- What’s one thing that always puts you in a good mood?
GALLAND: That’s a great question… the sun. The sun comes out everyday which is nice… coming from Eugene which poured every day.
Q- What attracted you to transfer to Saint Mary’s?
GALLAND: I liked everything, the environment, the small classes, you get to know everyone well/more people, and develop relationships with the teachers. That’s been a big plus for me here.
Q- What’s the biggest obstacle you’ve had to overcome?
GALLAND: Staying motivated during my redshirt season after transfering. It was difficult and I had to push myself at practice since practice was my gametime. I gave it my all in practice to help the team prepare and be game-ready.
Q- What’s the most adventurous thing you’ve done?
GALLAND: I’ve been skydiving. I was scared but it was really cool. A great experience.
Q- Do you have a No. 1 thing on your bucket list?
GALLAND: I want to travel to at least five different countries and explore everything there is at those places. I’ve been to three so far.
Q- What song or songs need to be on this year’s pregame music playlist?
GALLAND: Country music. Anything country. Everyone will hate it but we have to have at least one country song… maybe by Luke Bryan.
Q- What’s your role going to be on the court for the Gaels?
GALLAND: I just hope to bring that energy that everyone feeds off of. I know we lost three really huge components to the team, but I think everyone is going to step up and we are going to have a great season.