Lady Tigers' Senior Guard Seeks Trip to Final Four
Dating back to ancient Greece and the development of sport, spectators have been drawn to athletic events for their competitiveness, drama and unpredictable finishes. Games can end suddenly, leaving participants on one side helpless and begging for one more chance. This unfinished business can plague a competitor until the opportunity for redemption presents itself.
LSU senior women's basketball guard Adrienne Webb, a native of Madison, Ala., understands all too well what it feels like to be a victim of unfinished business.
After battling to the Southeastern Conference tournament championship game against Pat Summitt's tough Tennessee team, the 2011-12 Lady Tigers fell to Penn State in the second round of the NCAA tournament at home to dramatically end their season.
After the premature ending to the season under LSU first-year head coach Nikki Caldwell, Webb looks forward to being one of two seniors on this year's team.
"Even though there are only two of us seniors, there are seven returning players that know the system," Webb said. "They also help to teach, encourage and make our team come together as one. It is not just myself and (senior) Bianca (Lutley) talking to everyone, it is us and the five other returning players teaching so that we can all be on the same page."
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Although it is Webb's senior season as a Lady Tiger, her focus is not on herself, but on the team and ways she can contribute to its success.
"I would like to become a better leader for my team," Webb said. "Being here three years, I have seen great leaders come through and I have learned from them. I want to step into that role for my team and become a leader like the ones I have seen come through LSU."
Webb's newfound leadership will not only come on the court, but off the court as well. It will not be only a physical leadership, but much of it will stem from her mental strength.
Webb pulls her mental toughness and discipline from some unique and unconventional sources for a basketball player.
"Before I started high school I did karate from the fourth grade to about halfway through my ninth grade year," Webb said. "It was something to do when basketball was over and I had free time.
"Part of the discipline of karate is staying to what I know and not venturing off into no man's land or letting my mind wander," Webb continued. "It is all about staying disciplined to what I have at hand. Karate made me aware of certain things and when I stopped, I actually noticed how it was helping to train my mind."
Mental training is only part of what Webb and the Lady Tigers must do to be able to compete with the elite in college women's basketball and accomplish their ultimate goal.
"We want to get to the Final Four," Webb said. "We want to get to that final game in New Orleans. It is possible. We have to keep working hard in the offseason and know in the back of our minds we want to get down there to New Orleans. We need to push ourselves to the breaking point and always have each other's back so we can achieve that goal."
After putting up 9.9 points per game as a junior, being named to the Southeastern Conference All-Tournament Team and sinking a game-winning shot to advance the Lady Tigers to the 2012 SEC Tournament semifinals, Webb has the utmost respect for the game of basketball and understands what it will take for this year's team to go the distance and take care of unfinished business.
"It is my last year," Webb said. "I want to go out with a bang and I want my team to do well. I am looking forward to giving everything I've got for my team, laying it out there on the line every game, every practice, and in everything I do. That way our team succeeds. I want to string everyone along with me because it doesn't take just one person. It will take all 10 of us to succeed this year."