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September 10, 2015

Sophie Gershon, Stuyvesant ’15/MIT

Sophie Gershon, Stuyvesant ’15/MIT

Name: Sophie Gershon
Age: 18

Height/Position: 6’1” guard/forward/center

High school: Stuyvesant HS ‘15 (New York, NY)
College: Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Year: Freshman

High school athletic awards: NYC Mayor’s Cup PSAL All-Star (soccer and basketball); 2nd Team All-Manhattan Basketball Team (two years); PSAL Class A Leader Total Rebounds 2013-14; Stuyvesant Top Female Scholar-Athlete 2014-15; Stuyvesant Outstanding Senior, basketball and soccer

High school academic awards: Phi Beta Kappa (3rd Highest Average Stuyvesant Class of 2015); National Merit Scholarship Finalist; AP Scholar with Honors; Murray Kahn Memorial Scholarship; Stergiou Math Scholarship

College: Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Year/Major: Freshman/Computer Science

When did you know that basketball was your favorite sport?

SG: I knew basketball was my favorite sport in the beginning of high school even though I was still playing soccer pretty seriously. I started playing basketball in third grade. My dad is a big basketball fan so he signed me up for the local league Safe Haven.

What is your favorite thing to do on the basketball court?

SG: Block shots.

What is your best basketball highlight or moment to date?

SG: Sophomore year my coach wasn’t starting me, even though I was probably better than two of the other starters. I was frustrated that season. I was working really hard. We were down in Canarsie, in Brooklyn. At the playoffs my coach didn’t start me like she had in all the other games. And then we went down by 17 points. I went into the game and we ended up coming back up and winning. I scored 20 points that game and 10 rebounds.

Who is the person/persons who influenced you the most in your basketball career?

SG: Mo probably influenced me the most because she has been very serious about basketball from an early age. It was never just goofing off. It was serious even when I was a fourth grader developing my skills and working on being a smarter player all the time.

How was your first day at Mo’ Motion like? Do you remember it well?

SG: My first day at Mo’ Motion I was in fourth grade, and it wasn’t even officially Mo’ Motion yet. Mo told me that I had been doing lay-ups incorrectly and that I had to fix that. I think that’s all I remember from that practice, but I knew immediately that she was not messing around.

In what ways did Mo’ Motion help your development?

SG: Mo’ Motion helped me develop my IQ in basketball. In Mo’ Motion there is a strong emphasis on playing the game correctly both having skills that are developed the right way over time.

How do you measure your commitment to basketball and training?

SG: My commitment training is about 2 hours a day give or take. I try to shoot regularly and work on my handles and hand-eye coordination. I also do strength-training and cardio, and I bike and swim.
What training habits do you think have helped you the most?

SG: Right before a big game I usually think about the things I need to focus on for that game and I just try to clear my head about other things that are going on my life. I do mobility training and injury prevention regularly. I have done a lot of ACL prevention exercises, especially in basketball practices or other mobility things like yoga before practice.
What do you think is the most important skill an athlete can have?

SG: I think the most important skill an athlete can have is mental toughness. You can have all the athletic skills or athleticism, but if you don’t have mental skill or toughness it’s really hard to push through and be successful.

On a scale of 1 to 10, how healthy is your diet?

SG: I’d say my diet is a 7 or 8. If I can overcome my weakness for ice cream, I think I can get it up there to be a 9 or 10.

How many hours of sleep do you need to feel good as a student-athlete?

SG: Ideally I’d get nine hours but usually I get seven-and-a half to eight hours, so I should probably work on that. If I don’t get enough sleep it affects my performance in the classroom where I can feel my lack of focus and fatigue.

What are your short or long term goals as a basketball player and a student?

SG: I would like to pass all of my classes [laughs]. I would like to also help my MIT team when I start playing as a freshman there, and have significant minutes where I am able to have a positive impact on the game. In the long term, I’d like to help MIT win the conference.