Women's Basketball

Friday Feature: Getting to know Elyse Kiploks

Friday Feature: Getting to know Elyse Kiploks

Charleston Southern Women's Basketball is back at home this weekend as they look to put an end to the perfect conference-record of No.1 seed Radford.  Senior forward Elyse Kiploks says, while there is always room for improvement, she's confident in the abilities of the 2016-17 team.

"The season isn't going as well as we hoped, but it's still going well, and we still have time to get back to where we want to be," Kiploks said.

With a Big South record of 2-3 and fresh off a tough 50-48 loss to Campbell on the road, the Australia-native says the team is refocused and ready to move forward.

"We're looking forward to Saturday against Radford because they are the only undefeated team in the conference," Kiploks added.  "It's going to be a really tough game, but it should be a good test for us to see where we're at."

We sat down with the Buccaneers' rebound-leader ahead of Saturday's showdown to get to know more about the girl from down under.

When did you start playing basketball?
I started playing basketball at home in Australia when I was about five or six.  When I was 12, I started to get a little more serious about it, but I didn't really think about a collegiate career until the year before I was supposed to leave for college.  I didn't have a lot of interest in higher education, but I knew it was something I wanted to pursue if I could play basketball.

When did you move from Australia to the United States?
I moved to the U.S. in 2013 to play basketball at a junior college, Coffeyville, in Kansas.

What's the biggest difference between Australia and the United States?
I would say the biggest difference is the people.  I think since there are so many people in America, it's more difficult for people to keep up with what's going on outside of the U.S.  In Australia, a lot of the people have traveled outside Australia and know a lot about other parts of the world.  I would also say basketball is really different in America.  In Australia, the pace is a lot slower and structured, whereas here in the U.S., it's a lot less structured but more fast-paced.

What do you miss most about Australia?
I miss the food in Australia and, of course, my friends and family.  It's not that the food is so much better in Australia, there's just more of a variety and a lot more healthy options that don't cost as much as they do here.

Who is your favorite athlete?
My favorite male athlete is Kevin Durant and my favorite female athlete would be Elena Delle Donne. 

Favorite pre­-game meal: 
I eat steak before every game.

What is your favorite animal?
My favorite animal is a horse.

What is your nickname? 

Most surprising/embarrassing song on your iPhone: 
I don't have a lot of songs on my phone, but I guess a Pandora station I like that some might find surprising is High School Musical.

Two words to describe you on the court:
Loud and determined

Two words to describe you off the court: 
Chilled and laidback 

Best advice you've ever gotten or your favorite quote?
My favorite quote is 'Everything happens for a reason.'

Favorite ice cream flavor: 

If you could only eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be? 
Hazelnut ice cream

Mountains or beach? 

Describe your recruitment experience:  
My recruitment experience was a long journey.  I was getting recruited from several different schools my freshman and sophomore year of junior college.  I started getting recruited by Charleston Southern at the start of 2015 after the coaches saw me at a tournament in Texas.  I didn't hear from them for a while, and then they saw me again at my school's conference tournament and I talked to the coaches a little more.  I went on visits to four different schools, but Charleston Southern was the one I liked the most.

Does your family ever get to come and see you play?  
My family came to see me play last year and they were going to come this year, but they are coming to see me graduate instead.  It costs too much to come twice.

What is your favorite sporting moment from your time here at CSU? 
My favorite sporting moment was probably getting to the second round of the conference tournament last year.

What do you want to do when you graduate?
I want to get a job in the U.S. so that I'm able to stay in America.  I think I'll look to do something in social work or sociology.

Favorite TV show:
Gossip Girl

Place you would most like to visit?  
I've been to New York City multiple times, but it's still my favorite place in the world.  It's where I want to live eventually because it reminds me of home.  I love how busy it is and all of the lights and the energy.  Other than that, I want to go to Europe.

Favorite sport to play/watch outside of basketball:  
I don't really play any other sports outside of basketball, but I think I would like volleyball.  As far as watching other sports, I like to watch track and sprinting.

Do you have any superstitions or pre-round rituals?  
I just shower before every game.  I also have this OCD thing where if I do something on one side of my body a certain number of times, I have to balance it out and do it on the other side.  So if I squeeze my hand on one side twice, I have to squeeze my hand twice on the other side.

Who is the funniest/goofiest person on the team?  
Aliyah Abney

Who is the best singer?  
Shauntavia Dobson— I don't' want her to know it, though.

Who is the best dancer?  
Rachel Burns

Who is the team cheerleader? 
Shauntavia Dobson

Who is the most superstitious?  
Bri Lakes

What's been your favorite memory as a team?  
I don't really have a particular favorite memory.  I would just say all the time we spend together off the court.  When I was new last year, I didn't really speak to anybody because I find it difficult to talk to people I don't know.  Eventually, I opened up and got really close to my teammates and we would all just hang out at my apartment and do silly things like make music videos.

What's Coach Applin's 'go-to phrase?'  

If you were a superhero, what superpower would you have?  
I would choose to have the power to be invisible. 

If you could go back in time, what decade would you travel to?
I would travel back to the eighties because I just like the mentality and laidback attitude of that decade.  

What are you going to miss most about being a student-athlete at CSU?  
I'm going to miss being around my teammates all of the time.

How do you think being a student-athlete at CSU has shaped you for the better?  
I've definitely become more of a leader.  I'm still a quiet person, but I'm much better at helping others and providing advice to younger people to help them grow and mature.

With 13 regular-season games left in her collegiate career, Kiploks has her sights set on doing as much as she can to help this year's team and the teams to follow.

"My role on the team definitely isn't to score all the points," Kiploks said.  "I see myself as a leader on the team who is there to help the younger post players learn.  Coach Poe calls me the 'puppet master' because I tell everyone where to go and what to do on the court so we can stay composed and united." 

After making it to the quarterfinals of last year's Big South Championship, Kiploks is determined to help the Buccaneers get back to the second round and beyond.

"Personally, my goal is to continue to be a leader and help everyone stay focused, but as a team, I would say our goal is just to make it as far as we can in the tournament and to ultimately win it all," Kiploks added.  "Looking at it from a short-term view, we want to beat Radford on Saturday.  We take everything one game at a time."

You can come out and show your support for Kiploks and the Buccaneers as they look to give Radford their first conference loss on Saturday afternoon.  Tipoff at the Buc Dome is set for 3:00 p.m. on the Big South Network and will be followed by Charleston Southern Men's Basketball home conference matchup against Longwood at 5:30 p.m. 

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