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DURHAM, N.C.- Fifth-year senior Keturah Jackson sat down with GoDuke.com this week to talk about coming back for another year, graduate school and the Blue Devils. Jackson, who is from Columbia, S.C., received a degree in sociology over the summer and is currently obtaining a graduate degree at the Fuqua Business School. Over her career, Jackson has appeared in 90 games, made 26 starts and owns a 109 career steals.
GoDuke.com: You are in your fifth year at Duke now; how quick has your time passed by and can you believe you are in your final year with the Blue Devils?
Keturah Jackson: No, my freshman year was my longest year and it seems like after that it flew by. It went by really fast but I've just been trying to take advantage of every moment.
GD: You finished up your sociology degree over the summer. Did you actually get to walk for graduation?
KJ: I didn't get to walk. I finished in May but I didn't get to walk because I had to make sure I got into the graduate program or I wouldn't have been eligible to play.
GD: When did you decide you wanted to come back for a fifth year?
KJ: Probably early last year. I knew I wanted to go to graduate school. I started applying in December of last year and this program actually wasn't even available until close to the beginning of this year around March. So once I found out about this program it was pretty much a good fit because it's a one-year program and I could finish everything my fifth year instead of having to come back another year and finish.
GD: You just finished the first six-week session, how did everything go so far?
KJ: It was definitely a challenge but I liked it. It taught me a lot in a short amount of time. I've never taken accounting classes so that was a challenge but the material presented was very useful, very helpful and there were plenty of resources I had throughout the six weeks. Aside from just classes, just being in the program taught me how to network more to make myself more available to the job market. It's been very helpful, especially since I'm a shy person so it helped me step out of my comfort zone.
GD: What would you like to do following graduation and how long will you have to go to school to finish at Fuqua?
KJ: Well, I would love to keep playing and if not, I would love to work in two fields -- sports management, just maybe work in the athletic department at a university or human resources. They are two extremes but I like to interact with people so both of those give me a chance to experience sports still and interact with people.
GD: You ended up having surgery over the summer on your shoulder. What happened?
KJ: The injury actually happened after the season. I tore my rotator cuff and my bicep so I got both of those repaired by Dr. Toth. That was in June.
GD: How are you progressing with your rehab?
KJ: I'm almost done. I'm at the end of it basically. I'm still working on my strength, which is what's keeping me from being able to play with contact so I have my full range back but as I continue to get stronger I'll be able to do more things with contact.
GD: With a lot of the team members being able to be around a lot this summer, how close is this team?
KJ: I just feel like every year since I've gotten here the teams have gotten closer and closer. For instance, over the summer we did this thing, we call it 'Team Tuesday,' where we go over to a different teammate's house and they would host and cook dinner for us so little things like that definitely helps us to have a deeper vibe.
GD: What do you enjoy most about playing for Coach P?
KJ: I like her energy and I like that she is always thinking positively. She's definitely a great teacher and she keeps us encouraged and her passion spreads throughout the team.
GD: What does someone not know about Keturah Jackson?
KJ: I'm very religious, I guess. Right before every game I read my favorite scripture, Philippians 4:13.
GD: Since you've gotten healthier through rehab, what kinds of stuff have you been trying to work on with your game?
KJ: Definitely always trying to improve my ball-handling. Trying to work more on my shot, getting more arc on it, having more confidence in it so I can just be ready to go when I'm able to.
GD: What do you think are some of the strengths of this year's team?
KJ: I think we're very versatile. Any given night anyone can step up. I think we're very athletic. We're quick. Because we've been playing together in the Coach P system for, this will be the third year now; we're more acclimated so I think that means we'll be successful.