In preparation for the Georgia Lady Bulldogs’ 2017-18 campaign, senior guard Simone Costa sat down with her teammates to recap their summers and look ahead to the upcoming season. This week, Costa sat down with Taja Cole, who is ready to take the floor after sitting out last season due to NCAA transfer rules. The Louisville transfer, who was a five-star recruit in the 2015 class, shares her thoughts on this year’s team and looks back on several community service initiatives she has taken part in this summer.
You were recently one of five Georgia representatives on the SEC Student-Athlete leadership Council this summer and went to Costa Rica for a community service event. What was that experience like?
“It was a great experience. We actually went to Costa Rica and gave out 2,385 pairs of Nikes, which was pretty cool. It was just an awesome experience.”
When you sat out for a year, was it tough to just sit back and watch?
“It was tough sitting out and not being able to play, you know, watching on TV and not being able to travel. I made the best of it, and I knew that this year was coming up. I knew it would be here quick. I just tried to get better every day and encourage my teammates. ”
What was the toughest moment on the bench? Were there times when you wanted to jump up and help your teammates out?
“Probably the Tennessee game, double overtime win. I just really wanted to jump out of my chair, but I believed in my team and we got the job done.”
Playing point guard, you have to be vocal. This year you have a chance to be leader –what does that mean to you?
“With me sitting out last year, it really gave me and my teammates a chance to build a relationship. It gives them a chance to trust me and know what I can do and helped me know what they can do. I feel like our bond is already there, so my job will be way easier.”
Why did you come to Georgia?
“Georgia is one of the schools that sends the most girls to WNBA, and that’s my dream.”
What other sports did you play besides basketball?
“Actually, my first sport was football. I played peewee football for the Sandston Jets.”
What’s the best part of being at Georgia?
“All the great people you meet. There are a lot of people here that can set you up for life, so I think just the opportunities that you have off the court and on the court are unparalleled.”
What’s your favorite movie?
Your favorite vacation spot?
“I want to go back to Costa Rica. That was just a beautiful place.”
What do you like to do besides playing basketball?
“I like to shop, eat and spend time with my teammates.”
You obviously want to play professionally after you are done here. What are some other career goals?
“I want to play in the WNBA, but I also want to manage the clothing Nike puts out – I want to design clothes for Nike or for Jordan. Actually, I have had a clothing line called Team Cole since I was 13. It started because I feel like everybody was wearing the same thing, so I wanted to create something different.”
What’s something that no one will guess about you?
“I love to color. I feel like it relaxes your mind, and you get to think and spend quality time with yourself.”
You were a five-star recruit coming out of high school, and the Jordan classic MVP. What was that experience like?
“It was a great experience. I got a chance to play in the Michael Jordan All-Star game. I ended up being the MVP of the game, so I got the chance to meet Michael Jordan. It was a dream come true.”
Do you have a nickname?
“TC. They call me TC.”