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Welcome to the Team: Women’s Basketball Transfer Edition

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Butler Women’s Basketball welcomes a total of five transfers to the roster this season. Photos by Lauren Hough.

KOBE MOSLEY | EDITORIAL DIRECTOR | [email protected]

“Welcome to the Team” is a Q&A where the middle schooler sits down with freshman student-athletes entering their first season at Butler University. This week, Le Collégien will focus on transfer student-athletes for our special basketball issue. These articles will explain why they chose Butler, what they hope to get out of this season, and some personal information you won’t find anywhere else.

This week, editor Kobe Mosley sat down with three transfers who play for Butler’s women’s basketball team: Kelsy Taylor, Anna Mortag and Shay Frederick.

Kelsy Taylor

Kelsy Taylor is a 6-foot-2 graduate forward from Louisville, Ky. Taylor is pursuing her MBA at the Lacy School of Business. She transferred from Division III Trine University, where she started in all 32 games last season.

Kobe Mosley: What about playing in the Big East that excites you the most?

Kelsy Taylor: I’m very excited about the experience, traveling to different gyms and playing against bigger players. Came from [Division III] at [Division I] is a big transition, so I’m excited about my senior year and making memories with my team and new family.

KM: What do you hope to bring to the team this year?

KT: I really hope to provide leadership. It’s my fifth year playing basketball – I know the ins and outs at this point, it’s nothing new to me. So just being a leader in the field, especially a vocal leader, like I need them to hear my voice all the time. And just the energy, as I’m pretty sure I’m like the hype man on the team. So just bring the energy each day and just keep our team moving forward.

KM: Tell me about “College Craves?”

KT: I had a cooking business at home. In [Division III], [you don’t have to do basketball in the summers]. So… every Friday, I was selling plates. And every Friday it would be a different dish like hibachi, soul food, barbecue. Every Friday…that would just be my job basically…I can’t necessarily do it here because [Division I basketball] takes too long. So what I do on my Instagram story is I try to find cheap student meals and I call it “College Craves”. I try to make easy meals and inexpensive meals so students can cook them something healthy – make sure you have your greens, protein, carbs. I continue like this because cooking is a real great passion for me.

KM: Why are you wearing #44?

KT: I started wearing it in high school, and it was like a regular number. But my last year, my father passed. [I had previously] I decided I was going to go back to 21 because I had that in college – 21 is my favorite number. Then I couldn’t get 21, so I chose 44. And then I kept 44 because… when I found out that [my father] dead, it was 4:44 a.m. It’s as if he was always with me.

KM: What’s your favorite karaoke song before practice?

KT: I love country breakup songs. I don’t know what it is. But my favorite is “Before He Cheats” by Carrie Underwood. I love that one. It’s as if you put yourself there every time.

Anna Mortag

Anna Mortag is a 6-foot-1 junior forward from Milwaukee, Wis. Mortag specializes in sociology and criminology. She transferred from IUPUI, where she played for two years for Butler’s current head coach, Austin Parkinson.

Kobe Mosley: Yesou are one of the few players on the team to have participated in the NCAA Tournament. What is the impact of this experience on your role within the team?

Anna Mortag: I think it kind of helps us see where things can go and pushes us to come back to the tournament. I mean, it’s definitely something we all want and we know the work and the effort that we have to put in…and just trust Coach P and the other coaches and their system because it works.

KM: What do you think makes Coach P different from other coaches?

AM: I would say his attention to detail and his dedication. You can tell he is very passionate about what he does and wants the best for the whole team. He will do everything to make a good difference and will do everything for the team.

KM: Are you looking forward to playing against your old team, IUPUI, on November 13?

AM: Yeah, I can’t wait to be there, to see my old teammates and all that. It’s definitely going to be a little weird, but it’ll be good to see them, and I hope they’re doing well there.

KM: What is your favorite hobby outside of basketball?

AM: I like being outside, don’t I? [outdoorsy] things, other sports like beach volleyball…or just being with my family.

Shay Frederick

Shay Frederick is a 5-foot-7 graduate guard from Greenville, Wisconsin, and is pursuing his master’s degree in communications. Frederick transfers from Valparaiso University, where she led her conference in assists in consecutive seasons.

Kobe Mosley: When I spoke with Coach P last week, he told me that you are “an extremely intelligent player” and that on the pitch you “make people better?” What specific aspects of your game do you think make you such a high IQ basketball player?

Shay Frederick: I would just say I really try to play with what the defense gives me and not try to overdo it and really try, as a point guard…to put my teammates in a position where they can succeed.

KM: What are some of the reasons you chose to transfer to Butler?

SF: I chose to transfer to Butler honestly…because of the coaching staff. Coach P, I just have a lot of respect for him and what his coaching staff [did] at IUPUI. [It was] pretty amazing, and I kind of followed them because I had friends on IUPUI. I always really admired what they did there and the culture they have. So that was really, really important to me. And just his knowledge of the game – I knew I could learn a lot from him. And obviously Butler is in a big conference, a big school academically, and Hinkle is pretty cool too.

KM: During your senior season at Valpo, you were the only player to start all 30 games. I’m sure you’ve had to deal with injuries here and there, so where does this strong desire to be there for your team come from?

SF: I just have such a passion for basketball… I just hate missing games. So yeah, there are a lot of bumps and bruises to go through, but honestly, it just comes from wanting to be there for my team. We’ve worked together so much in training and stuff and I just want to be out there with them competing and winning games… I love it. I would do anything to be there.

KM: Why are you wearing #5?

SF: I was always sort of number five, actually. When I was very young, a good family friend of ours, our neighbor, they had a daughter in high school, and she died in a car accident. She was number five so I kind of wore it to honor her and the family let me keep wearing it [to] honor him because his number was retired in high school but they brought the jersey back so I could wear it in his honor. So honestly, that’s a huge reason just because we were close to them and it was a tragedy and… she was playing basketball and I wanted to honor her on the court.

KM: Who is your favorite NBA player and WNBA player?

SF: My favorite NBA player should be Steph Curry and my favorite WNBA player should be Sabrina Ionescu.