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."