The Daily Pennsylvanian asked Penn women's basketball’s Katie Kinum 15 questions about her sport, her time at Penn, and her life overall. Here's what the senior guard had to say.
1. Can you introduce yourself?
My name is Katie Kinum. I am a senior. I am a guard, mostly a three, so a shooting guard. I'm from New Jersey, and I am in Wharton.
2. Did you pick up any new hobbies during quarantine?
I started running more, like longer distances, and I started making friendship bracelets and the bracelets that say words on them.
3. When did you start playing basketball, and why?
My entire family has played basketball — my cousins played, my parents played. I grew up, for as long as I can remember, going out into the backyard and shooting with my cousins and shooting with my sister. I started playing in 4th grade, and I fell in love with it. I love the sport, and I love always being around it and watching and trying to keep up with my older cousins too.
4. What has your experience playing basketball at Penn been like?
It has been unreal. I made some of my best friends ever and just got to see so much of the world through basketball playing here. We went to Hawaii, Europe, and it was just so nice to be able to go on those trips and spend it with people I genuinely like. I couldn't imagine doing it or playing anywhere else.
5. How has your team coped with the pandemic?
We talk a lot. Seven of us live in a house off-campus, and we have four others, so we see each other a lot. We do a lot of zooms; we try to make sure that we are having constant communication and supporting each other because we realize that now it is bigger than basketball, and we have to be there for each other as people. I think we have done a really good job about that and reaching out and making sure we're all feeling okay.
6. One thing you miss about not playing basketball right now?
I miss the Palestra a lot. I miss being able to walk in there and go shoot or sit in the locker room and crack jokes with my teammates.
7. What is your favorite Penn basketball memory?
It is probably going to Spain and Paris and just being over there and getting to experience the culture and playing basketball and getting to go to these cool places and see the world.
8. Do you have any pregame rituals?
I always get my hair braided, and I normally pick one style for the year. So my freshman and sophomore year, I wore my hair in two braids, and then junior year, I switched a braid to a bun. I have the same girl braid my hair every time, so that is another little ritual.
9. Do you have a favorite professional player?
I really like Tyler Herro; I think the way he plays is so confident, and his shot is so pretty. I love watching him play and the moves he makes.
10. If you had 24 hours to do whatever you wanted in Philadelphia, what would you do?
I always wanted to go to South Philly Barbacoa. I would definitely go there. That is on my list. I would go to Reading Terminal [Market], I would walk through City Hall again. I would have to make a pit stop at Smokes. I would go to the art museum. I love looking at all the different paintings there. I would probably go to the Palestra again to play one last time there.
11. What piece of art (book, music, movie, quote, etc.) most influenced the person you are today?
I really like the Man in the Arena Poem by Teddy Roosevelt. It talks about using courage over comfort and being in the arena and not caring what other people think. Just doing what you want to do because you know you want to do it, regardless of whether you fail or succeed, doing it for you. That has really influenced what I do and make sure that every decision I make, I make it because I want to do it, not because anyone else or I'm afraid of what other people are going to say.
12. If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?
Australia. I love the beach, and I love how warm it is, and I want to go see what it is all about.
13. If you could have dinner with anyone, dead or alive, who would you pick?
I would have dinner with Kobe Bryant. I would really love to hear his take. I think his mindset and his mantras are so strong and powerful, and I would like to hear him talk more about it and talk more about how he's gone through — adversity, and lessons that he wishes he had learned. I think that in sport and life, he was such a resilient person, and I would love to hear more about that. I think he would be so interesting to talk to.
14. What are you majoring in and do you have any plans for after graduation?
I am majoring in marketing and managing innovation and entrepreneurship. Ideally, I think what I would love to do is work for a startup [company] or a growing company and help bring them up from the ground floor.
15. If you could go back in time and talk to freshman you, what is one piece of advice you would give?
Don't sweat the little things. Really try to keep the big picture in mind. Everything happens for a reason, and everything will work out. I know it doesn't feel like it will, but to really enjoy the ride because it goes by quickly, and it's always the little things you remember. Don't worry about staying up late till 2 am to study for an exam, have fun and let myself live a little bit.
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