WOMEN'S BASKETBALL

T.F. North grad Chapman enjoying success on court at Alabama-Birmingham

2012-06-29T19:00:00Z 2013-08-27T23:40:04Z T.F. North grad Chapman enjoying success on court at Alabama-BirminghamBy Mike Nieto mike.nieto@nwi.com, (219) 933-3232 nwitimes.com

Karisma Chapman hasn't lost her sense of humor or the smile that lit up the T.F. North gym and sometimes her prep coach Tim Zasada.

She also hasn't lost her seriousness about the game.

What Chapman has become is more serious about her school work, training and eating habits. The Alabama-Birmingham junior-to-be has blossomed and become a team leader.

Her senior year at North was marred by a torn ACL in her left knee, but Chapman said she hasn't had any problems since.

"I think I didn't take my rehab seriously in high school," Chapman said. "Once I got here, I got a little more serious and did the rehab.

"In high school, I babied my knee, and I admit it now."

Chapman led the Blazers in scoring with a 13.8 points per game average and also led the Blazers in steals with 78. She averaged 5.1 rebounds per game and had 52 assists in starting 29 of UAB's 30 games. Blazers coach Audra Smith said Chapman has not reached her full potential.

"Karisma really developed confidence this year, and it showed in her game, especially on defense," Smith said. "She is not just a slasher, but she has improved her total game. She has really worked on her outside game and as a result Karisma has become a big asset to our team."

Chapman said getting away from home was a good thing. She also improved her diet, which she said has helped her physical abilities.

"I am a picky eater, but I also ate a lot of junk in high school," Chapman said. "Chips, hot wings, pop. Here, we have a balanced meal with vegetables, lean meat, lots of fruit. It makes a difference."

At North, her pre-game meal requests of hot wings made Zasada buy wings if the team played well just so his players wouldn't eat them before a game.

On the court, Chapman said she is comfortable but knows there is room for improvement.

"It was a matter of getting used to the college game and being mentally ready to play," Chapman said. "Conference USA is a tough league, and you have to be prepared to play every game. I think my defense and other skills have improved. I am not just a scorer.

"One thing I realized at this level, you have to go out and get it done yourself. You have to be a little more aggressive."

Chapman saw some of her teammates lose their homes last year when tornadoes struck the Birmingham area. She could relate as she and her family survived a fire which destroyed the house they were living in.

"It was tough for them, because they lost everything," Chapman said. "I will never forget the night our house burned. We were standing out there, and we lost nearly everything."

Copyright 2014 nwitimes.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Follow The Times

Fan Poll

Loading…

Who was the area's best baseball player this season?

View Results

Follow your school

Duneland Conference

Chesterton Trojans
News
Crown Point Bulldogs
News
Lake Central Indians
News
LaPorte Slicers
News
Merrillville Pirates
News
Michigan City Wolves
News
Portage Indians
News
Valparaiso Vikings
News

Greater South Shore Conference

Bishop Noll Warriors
News
Calumet Warriors
News
Lake Station Eagles
News
Michigan City Marquette Blazers
News
North Newton Spartans
News
River Forest Ingots
News
Wheeler Bearcats
News
Whiting Oilers
News

Great Lakes Athletic Conference

Clark Pioneers
News
Gavit Gladiators
News
Hammond Wildcats
News
Morton Governors
News

Hoosier Conference

Rensselaer Bombers
News

Northwest Crossroads Conference

Andrean 59ers
News
Griffith Panthers
News
Highland Trojans
News
Hobart Brickies
News
Kankakee Valley Kougars
News
Lowell Red Devils
News
Munster Mustangs
News

Northwestern Conference

Lew Wallace Hornets
News
Roosevelt Panthers
News
West Side Cougars
News

Porter County Conference

Boone Grove Wolves
News
Hanover Central Wildcats
News
Hebron Hawks
News
Kouts Mustangs/Fillies
News
LaCrosse Tigers
News
Morgan Twp. Cherokees
News
South Central Satellites
News
Washington Twp. Senators
News
Westville Blackhawks
News

Independents

Bowman Academy Eagles
News
Calumet Christian
News
Campagna Academy
News
Covenant Christian Knights
News
E.C. Central Cardinals
News
Hammond Baptist Swordsman
News
Luther East Eagles
News

Chicago Catholic League

Mt. Carmel Caravan
News
Seton Academy Sting
News
St. Francis deSales Pioneers
News

Chicago Public League

Washington Minutemen/Minutewomen
News

East Suburban Catholic

Marian Catholic Spartans
News

Metro Suburban

Illiana Christian Vikings
News

River Valley Conference

Beecher Bobcats/Ladycats
News
Illinios Lutheran Chargers
News

South Suburban Blue

T.F. North Meteors
News
T.F. South Rebels
News

Southland Athletic Conference

Bloom Twp. Blazin' Trojans
News
Crete-Monee Warriors
News

SouthWest Suburban Blue

Homewood-Flossmoor Vikings
News

SouthWest Suburban Red

Thornridge Falcons
News
Thornton Wildcats
News
Thornwood Thunderbirds
News

Latest Local Offers

Featured Businesses