As the Syracuse Orange prepare to host Pittsburgh in the JMA Wireless Dome on Thursday, Jan. 5, (6 p.m., ACC Network), we continue our Q&A series to help you get to know your Orange! In this edition we talk with assistant coach and recruiting coordinator Kristen Sharkey

What is it about Coach Jack that has been the driving force to want to continue coaching with her when she got the job at Syracuse?

KS: Her passion for young people and ability to push them to be the best they can be. She is a ferocious winner and tremendous leader on a consistent basis. She challenges and pulls the best out of people and gives them permission to dream big. Coach Jack takes the futures of our players very seriously.

 

Where is your favorite place to go on vacation?

KS: Anywhere with a beach.

 

What makes Syracuse/Syracuse University so special?

KS: The tradition of excellence and the camaraderie of all sports here. Our alumni base is massive and they have shown up for us in so many ways. The community latches on to our young people and supports them and this institution. You are truly a part of something bigger than yourself.

 

What is your favorite part of coaching basketball?

KS: Watching our players grow into the people they become when they graduate. Basketball is a game, but it is so much more than that. I also love scouting opponents and figuring out their tendencies and adjusting what we can do in order to take them out of their game.

 

What do you enjoy doing in your free time?


KS: I love the beach and being in the water. I grew up on the beach in New Jersey so when I wasn’t playing basketball I was doing some kind of water sport.

 

If you didn’t play basketball, what sport would you have liked to play in college?

KS: I would have been in the band. I grew up playing a bunch of instruments and I had to give that up in high school in order to focus on basketball. I definitely miss creating music with a group of people.

 

What is your favorite basketball memory either as a player or coach?

KS: The 2016 MAC Championship at Buffalo. We were the 8-seed in the tournament and had lots of ups and downs and growth throughout the season. Once we got to the conference tournament we were rolling and competing at a different level. We won the championship on a last second sideline out of bounds play. That moment was incredible and it was the start and spark to what we accomplished at Buffalo.

 

If you could choose one superpower, what would it be?

KS: Teleport. I travel a lot recruiting and I would love to just pop in and out of places.

 

Where is one place you’d like to travel?

KS: Australia

 

Are you a morning person or a night person? 

KS: Night person