Christina Foggie plans to attend the Women’s Final Four next April.
She just hopes she and her Vanderbilt teammates will be front and center.
Foggie, a rising senior shooting guard for the Commodores, was on hand last week for the unveiling of the logo for the 2014 Women’s Final Four. The national semifinals and championship game will be held less than two miles from Vanderbilt at Bridgestone Arena.
“I think this team has what it takes to get to the Final Four,” Foggie said. “All it takes is some motivation and some hard work and I think we have what it takes to do that. Everyone always says, ‘Vanderbilt, that’s your backyard. You might as well get to the Final Four if it’s right there.’”
Foggie was able to snap pictures of the logo and send text messages to her teammates at the small gathering last Thursday at the Renaissance Hotel due to her summer obligations. She held microphones during interviews with Mayor Karl Dean and NCAA and local officials as she serves as intern for Channel News 5.
She’ll have just one class during the spring semester before she graduates in May. She’ll have more time to frequent the gymnasium and focus on guiding the Commodores to the Final Four. Her parents are already planning on making the trip from Mount Laurel, N.J., even if Vanderbilt has already been eliminated.
“It will be cool either way to experience that,” Foggie said. “I’d obviously love to play in it but if not I would still and go and still experience my first Final Four and meet some good people.”
Foggie recently spent three months rehabbing her right knee, which was injured in a game against Kentucky on Feb. 10. She missed the next four games and came off the bench in four straight before starting both NCAA Tournament games.
She was the team’s second-leading scorer with 13.4 points a game. The year before, she averaged 17.9 points to become Vanderbilt’s first Southeastern Conference scoring champion since 1991.
“I’m 100 percent and I plan on staying that way this year,” she said. “I’m great. I’m ready to go. My knee was not 100 percent [at the end of the season] but it is much better now after months of rehab.”
With the graduation of last year’s leading scorer Tiffany Clarke (16.6 points per game) and center Stephanie Holzer forgoing her senior year due to leg injuries, Foggie and fellow senior guard Jasmine Lister will lead the charge. The duo accounts for the only seniors on a team with nine freshmen and sophomores.
“Steph was a huge loss and we’re going to miss her dearly,” Foggie said. “But we have a bunch of All-Americans and have some young players but they are very talented. With Jasmine and I — we’ve played four years here and have played a lot of time in the SEC — I think we have some good leadership.”
Last year, the Commodores won 21 games and reached the second round of the NCAA Tournament last year before losing to eventual national champ Connecticut. They have reached the postseason the last 14 years but haven’t advanced to the Sweet 16 since 2009.
Vanderbilt’s only Final Four appearance was in 1993.
“It means a lot that we could play a Final Four in our backyard and have all our fans there,” Foggie said. “When I got here [as a freshman] that’s when it was reinforced that my senior year would be the Final Four in Nashville, which is almost the best way to go out — if you got to the Final Four in your own town. So I’ve known for four years that this was ultimately the goal.”