The Indiana Fever, after a slow start, are back on the prowl for a repeat championship. NUVO caught up with the team's point guard after a recent practice. She just happens to be a black belt and loves Pulp Fiction. Meet Briann January.
NUVO: The Fever are coming off a championship season. Does that make you feel more relaxed and confident as a player?
Briann January: No, not at all. If anything it's kind of heightened the intensity that we bring everyday. We know people are gunning for us. When you win a championship, you have a target on your back, and you are getting everybody's best game, and so you know you need to improve - and that's what we are doing.
NUVO: You play point guard, a position that demands a lot of control. In your life outside of hoops are you a control freak?
January: (Laughs) I'm the complete opposite, on and off the court. I'm pretty intense on the court, yelling and really focused. Off the court I'm focused, but I'm the most laid-back person you will meet.
NUVO: What are some of your favorite places to hang out in Indy?
January: I'm a foodie; I like to eat out and try new restaurants. I just tried a few on Mass Ave. Mesh - I really like that place. I will go out to Broad Ripple and bop around out there. I like the Chatterbox. It's a cool, small, low-key place.
NUVO: What are some of your other skills? Is it true that you're a black belt?
January: Yeah, I'm a black belt. My dad is a karate instructor, so I've been doing martial arts since I was little. I love it. I wish I had more time to practice, but those things never leave you; it's kind of like riding a bike. I played the trumpet for eight years. When I tore my ACL, I got a road bike, and I ride a lot during the off season.
NUVO: Could you take Reggie Miller in a fight?
January: (Laughs) I mean, he's a skinny fellow. I think I got him; I got some muscle - I'm quick.
NUVO: I noticed you have a few tattoos. What are they and what do they mean to you?
January: My first tattoo is an ankh with my sister's middle name on my wrist. She's a very important person in my life. She's my best friend, and I love her to death. This other one on my wrist says "CORE." It's an acronym, and the C stands for being centered in your beliefs, the O is having an opportunity-not-obligation mindset, the R is "real purpose" and the E stands for "engage self." Staying present always - that is something I live by everyday. I have two more: the endless knot Buddhist symbol and a quote from Buddha about doubt.
NUVO: Where is your championship ring right now?
January: It's in the box - where I know it's going to be - on my coffee table, and it will not move from that location for the entire season. I lose things. I wore it the night we got it, but it's been in the box ever since.
NUVO: What kind of music would we find on your phone? Do you have a favorite artist?
January: I love Prince. I listen to everything from country to rock, rap and R&B. My parents got me into a lot of the old school stuff.
NUVO: Favorite concert experience?
January: The Lilith Fair was in town and Miranda Lambert was performing. We were there signing autographs, and we got to stand on stage. So we were right there while she was performing on the stage, and it was awesome.
NUVO: What are some of your favorite films?
January: Pulp Fiction is my favorite movie. I just saw the new Star Trek. The Heat was hilarious, I loved it.
NUVO: Can you dunk the ball?
January: No, but for my size, I can get up there and grab the rim. I have a nice little vertical.
NUVO: You can have lunch with any two people, dead or alive. Who's joining you?
January: Gandhi would be one. Then it's a toss up between Michael Jackson and Prince.
NUVO: If they were to make a TV show about your life, what would it be called and who would play you?
January: I would have Zoe Saldana play me; I just love her. The name of my show? I don't know ... Living Every Day. That would be it.