Women's Basketball Star Kai James Bleeds Garnet and Gold

When one thinks of a student athlete at FSU, they probably assume that their sport is their life, and that would definitely be true for Kai James, number 42 on the FSU Women’s Basketball team. Kai is a natural talent with a love for the game and hopes to go pro one day! Get to know this true Seminole.

Name: Kai James

Year: Junior

Age: 20

Major: Sports Management

Hometown: West Palm Beach, Florida

Photo By: Nicholas Kielbasa

Her Campus (HC): How long have you been playing for?

Kai James (KJ): Freshman year of high school.

HC: Oh nice! You didn’t play before then?

KJ: Not at all, I’d never touched a basketball! And it’s crazy because so many of my teammates have been playing since they were little kids.

HC: Yeah, I had figured that’s when everyone on the team started playing.

KJ: Not me! I didn’t play ‘til my freshman year, and my brother didn’t start until his sophomore year of high school. Now he plays at UNC.

HC: Wow! You guys just must be naturally good at basketball. Did your parents play?

KJ: Not at all, we’re the first two to play basketball.

HC: So what made you first want to start playing in high school?

KJ: My brother, because he’s a year older than I am, so he started playing and then I just naturally did what he did. He was like my best friend growing up, so I started playing too.

HC: At what point did colleges start showing interest in you?

KJ: Well, my freshman year of high school I got my first scholarship offer, and after that they just started flocking. By my junior year, every school in the country wanted me to play for them. It was kind of crazy how fast it all just happened.

HC: What made you decide on FSU?

KJ: The family atmosphere. I come from a really big family, so that’s something I really enjoy and is close to my heart. My coach, all of the staff, and not just my team, but the campus in general, they treat me like family. I took four visits to different schools to decide where I wanted to go. I took Florida State first. I don’t know what made me take it first, but as soon as I came here it felt like I was supposed to be here. After that, I went to all those other schools and no other school felt the same.

HC: What other schools did you go to?

KJ: Oklahoma, Georgia Tech and Florida. I’m from West Palm, so I was on the campus of UM like every day. I don’t really count that as a visit.

HC: I know what you mean about FSU being the right feel. I didn’t tour that many schools because this was the first school I toured, and after that I knew I wasn’t going anywhere else.

KJ: Right! Yeah, it doesn’t make any sense once you’ve come here.

HC: Well, I’m assuming the game takes up most of your time.

KJ: Quite a bit!

HC: How often are your practices?

KJ: We’re either practicing or playing six days a week, and we have one off day. We’re really only off because the NCAA says we have to be off.

HC: Do you do anything on your own outside of practice?

KJ: Oh yeah, I’m always in the gym. At this level, if everyone’s at the same level of athletic ability then you gotta do something to set yourself apart from the competition, and not just on the other team, but your teammates too. You’re competing against your teammates every day in practice for playing time, so if you can make the shots and your teammate can’t, then you’re gonna play.

Photo By: Nicholas Kielbasa

HC: Yeah, that makes sense. I never thought about it that way.

KJ: Yeah, a lot of people don’t and I don’t know why. I mean, people complain that they don’t play, but they’re not in the gym! If you want to play, get in the gym!

HC: It seems like basketball took over your life all of the sudden back in high school, but did you have anything you were interested in before basketball?

KJ: Not really. I mean, all my siblings before me ended up going to college and getting their degrees, so education was a foundation in my life, especially through my mom. But I wasn’t really doing anything else.

HC: Is there anything else now that you enjoy doing, like little hobbies on the side?

KJ: I don’t think I have any hobbies! Either I’m playing basketball, or I’m too tired from playing basketball.

HC: Well, Netflix can be a hobby!

KJ: Oh! Okay yeah, Netflix! I’m on my iPad all the time watching Netflix or Hulu.

HC: What do you watch?

KJ: Well, on Hulu I watch this show Quantico. Have you ever seen it?

HC: No, I haven’t!

KJ: Aww man, it’s great. I watch a lot of stuff on Netflix, like I’ve watched all of Prison Break two times, How to Get Away With Murder, The Walking Dead.

HC: Oh I’ve heard How to Get Away With Murder is really good.

KJ: It really is, you should watch it!

HC: As a Sports Management major, do you know what you want to do after college?

KJ: No, I don’t have anything 100 percent pinpointed just because the sports world is so broad, but I definitely do want to come back into the sports world. First I want to play professionally for a few years, then I can do some networking, but I was thinking that I’d want to come back here and do something after I’m done playing.

HC: Like working with the team?

KJ: Yeah, something like that.