Why I love… basketball

US 1500m champion Morgan Uceny talks about why she likes shooting hoops and following US College basketball.

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"I grew up in Indiana so watched a lot of Indiana University basketball team - the Hoosiers. I spent so much time playing basketball as a youngster and I actually quit cross country, so I could focus on basketball. I ran cross country in junior high but I hated cross country.

"I took basketball seriously. I worked with a personal training to improve my basketball and for weightlifting. I was an okay player. I made varsity in my junior year and I was a point guard. I was 5ft 6ins and really small so I remember my personal fitness trainer tried to make me put on about 10 pounds in weight. How many people are put on a programme to gain weight? 

"I probably could have gone on to play basketball at college but only at one of the smaller schools, maybe a third division school. I knew running could take me to a better school and a better academic opportunity, so that was the end of basketball.

"Today I follow men’s college basketball closely, although now living in England I find I’m losing touch with what’s happening. I don’t really follow a team. My college, Cornell are not really that good.

"One of my favourite players is Anthony Davis of Kentucky (now of the New Orleans Hornets). He is really spindly but the most athletically gifted athlete.

"I don’t like pro basketball at all. It is more like a show. In NBA they don’t play a lot of defence. At college level I think they play more as a team and it is more entertaining."