Simone Egwu for president? Maybe someday. For now, Egwu's attention is focused on finishing her senior year at Arundel, leading the Wildcats to a state title and getting ready to play basketball and study political science at the University of Virginia next year. A four-year starter and All-Metro forward, the 6-foot-4 Egwu averages 16 points, 12 rebounds and is a dominant player on defense. One thing she is missing on her impressive basketball resume is a state title. The program has captured three, with the last coming in 2004. Last year, the Wildcats fell to Eleanor Roosevelt, 52-50 in the Class 4A title game. With a weighted 4.3 grade-point average, Egwu excels in the classroom. She has aspirations of becoming a senator or the president. Along with sports (she also played volleyball) and her studies, Egwu is a council member of the school's Kickoff Mentor Program, which helps freshman adjust to high school; treasurer of the International Honor Society; and a peer mediator.
With the regular season winding down and the playoffs approaching, what is this time like for you and the team?
This is when we really start to buckle down and really start being intense in practice and games because, at this point for us, everything is a playoff game. We're just getting ready for the state championship run.
How tough was last year's 2-point loss in the title game, and how has that affected this year's team?
Last year was the most miserable loss because we had come so far, worked so hard, and then to lose by 2 points. Being right there, it's just basically motivating all of us, and we're all out for revenge because we don't want to feel like that again.
Do you remember what the feeling was right after that game?
At first, disbelief - I couldn't believe we actually lost. And then it was like we were all soooo sad. I can't find any other way to describe it.
How will the strong program at Arundel help you when you play at Virginia next year?
Everyone knows Arundel basketball has been around for years and is established as a great program. I think [that] coming into a place that's already well estalished, already has a system in place is going to help me when I get to Virginia because I'm going to be used to that. Debbie Ryan has coached at Virginia for over 20 years, so it's the same sort of thing, the same environment. It's just going to help me because I'm going to be prepared with the work ethic I need.
What's it going to take to win a state title?
I think we're all going to need to be hungry. If last year we were hungry, this year we are starving. It's going to take passion and fire because we're the same team as last year, so that's really what's going to make the difference - whether we want it as bad as we think we do.
What are your thoughts about attending Virginia next year?
I'm really excited. It's the perfect school for me with the mix of academics and basketball. Academics is very important to me, and the fact that I go to such a great basketball program - Debbie Ryan is just a great coach. I really just can't wait to get there and hopefully make an impact.
What is the best advice you've received?
I'd say the best advice I've ever gotten was from my Dad, who basically said [that] after you fail, all you have to do is get back up and try again. That's the measure of your success, how many times you get up and not how many times you fall.
What is the biggest issue with today's youth?
I feel like my generation has a sense of entitlement - that everything has been given to us already and we feel like we don't need to work for anything. That's something we all really need to overcome - nothing is going to be on a silver platter for you.
What were your thoughts when Barack Obama took office?
That was a great moment. I have political aspirations myself, and then to see the first black man to become something as powerful as the president is motivating and uplifting. Plus, to use the phrase again, it really is just time for something different because we needed change.
What are your career aspirations?
I would like to be a senator, maybe the president one day. I've always been like a politics/law person, and I'm very analytical. ... That kind of led me to be a lawyer and from lawyer to politician.