Q-and-A with Myia Starks


Sophomore guard Myia Starks shoots the ball in the Huskies’ 76-52 win Nov. 29 against Bradley University. Starks is averaging 4.9 assists a game.

By Krystal Megan

DeKALB — Myia Starks, women’s basketball sophomore guard, has seen her role increase significantly from last season.

Starks played a total of 81 minutes last season, averaging 4.2 minutes per game. This year, the sophomore has played 181 minutes, averaging 25.9 minutes per game and has started every game of the season so far.

{{tncms-inline account=”TopShelf_NIU” html=”<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Don't blink or <a href="https://twitter.com/Starkyy4?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Starkyy4</a> will blow past you! Huskies up 70-50 at the timeout. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Huskies?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Huskies</a></p>— Top Shelf Sports (@TopShelf_NIU) <a href="https://twitter.com/TopShelf_NIU/status/936048533337231360?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">November 30, 2017</a></blockquote>” id=”936048533337231360″ type=”twitter”}}

Head Coach Lisa Carlsen said Starks would play the point guard position a lot more this year, and the growth between a player’s freshman to sophomore years is the most important transition.

“I think Myia has really embraced what we need from her,” Carlsen said. “She is a pass-first point guard. Not that she doesn’t have the ability to score the basketball, but she’s really quick. She does a great job of seeing the floor and handles the basketball and understands the scorers around her. She’s really embraced that role and will find herself in a position to play significant minutes for us.”

The guard ranks ninth in the Mid-American Conference in assists, averaging 4.9 helpers per game.

Q: How’s the transition to having an increased role this year been?

A: I think it’s going pretty well. I think I can only go up from this point. Being on the court more has allowed me to get more comfortable and get back to myself. Last year, I barely played and then when I did, I was doing stuff that was uncharacteristic of myself. So, being on the court a lot more has really helped me get my confidence back. I’m having a lot more fun.

Q: What does your role this year entail?

A: I’m definitely playing a lot more minutes. I know Janae [Poisson] going down has changed a lot. I mean, me and her were like splitting minutes a little bit, and I knew that I was going to play regardless, but now I’m in a role that I have to get everything going on the offense, make sure to talk to my teammates and tell them what to do. I know Coach is looking at me to be like the quarterback of the team and do what she needs us to do. So, I have to reciprocate that and tell the team on the court.

Q: How has the team responded to Janae Poisson’s injury?

A: It was kind of big, but I mean things happen. We know that she’s going to come back stronger next year, and people are just trying to step up and come into their roles and do a little bit more than what was expected of them before.

Q: Coming into this season, the team didn’t know who was going to be the starting point guard. When did you find out?

A: I didn’t even know either to be honest with you. When we scrimmaged Marquette, I was kind of surprised that I was starting. I knew Janae played a lot more than me last year, but it was kind of weird how they were doing it. Once I found out that I was going to be the starting point guard, I was excited. I finally said my hard work paid off. I know that Coach Carlsen put me in that position for a reason. I’m just taking everything and trying to do my best at that.

Q: The reason there was the open point guard spot was because Ally Lehman graduated. Did she give you any advice before she left?

A: Not really. Ally was just a baller. She loved this game, and she did whatever she could so that we could win. I would say last year was a lot different because a lot of it was on her shoulders, but now we need everyone to contribute for us to do well. Me and Ally really didn’t talk much about that. I just knew that I was going to have to come into an increased role sooner.

Q: For someone who’s just getting to know Myia Starks as a player, how would you describe your style of play?

A: I’m really quick. I think I’m a defense-first type of guard. When my defense is going, I know my offense is going to come. I know my offense is only going to get better. I’m starting to look for my shot more. I can pass, but I also need to look to be more aggressive to score because I can. I’m a lot quicker than the people that guard me. I play a lot bigger than I seem. I can jump, and you may not necessarily know that I’m coming, but I get there.

Q: What’s been the most rewarding with the increased role this season?

A: Having a bigger role. Last year, my role wasn’t that big. My role was to make Ally Lehman better in practice and push her. This year, now that I have a bigger role, I’m more excited. I’m looking forward to staying consistent and getting better.

Q: The team has a mantra of “All In.” How would you describe the team’s motto?

A: It’s pretty much saying that in order for us to do well this year, we need everyone to contribute, and not necessarily putting the team on one person’s back, but everyone’s.

The Huskies will be back in action 11 a.m. Wednesday against Loyola University Chicago at the Convocation Center.