DURHAM, N.C.— Over the summer, the Blue Devils will be catching up with Duke women's basketball alumnae to see what they have been up to since leaving Durham. Our next alumna is 2002 graduate Krista Gingrich.
A four-year letterwinner at Duke, Gingrich was a 1999 All-ACC Freshman team selection and helped lead Duke to the NCAA Final Four in 1999 and 2002. Gingrich was a part of three ACC Championship teams and was named to the ACC All-Tournament second team in 2002. She drained 124 three-pointers over her career, including 53 as a senior.
Since graduating from Duke, what have you been up to?
Since graduating from Duke undergrad in 2002, I decided to pursue a career in medicine. After working in clinical research at the Brain Tumor Center, I went to PA school at Duke earning a Masters in Heath Sciences and Physician Assistant degree. After PA school, I again worked at the Brain Tumor Center for several years, and now work in Pediatric Orthopedics here at Duke. Personally, I live in Durham with my husband, Robert White, and our 11-month old son named Hayes.
Have you been able to keep in touch with many former teammates/coaches?
My former teammates and coaches are still a huge part of my life, as they will be forever. I'm still having fun with my Duke family---Georgia (Schweitzer) Beasley, Lauren Rice, Rochelle Parent, Vicki (Kraphol) Pugsley, Michele Matyasovsky, Missy West, Olga Gvozdenovic, along with our former practice players Jeff Powell and Mychal Harrison. Coach G and GV (Gale Valley) also hang out with this crazy group anytime they are in town. I also stay in touch with Jason Williams, who remains a great friend.
You were a part of the first NCAA Final Four team at Duke. What was that experience like?
Immediately following our epic win over Tennessee started a week-long whirlwind experience. I still remember how excited and almost giddy the bus was on the drive home from Greensboro, even cheering when we saw the Duke Chapel exiting the Durham Freeway. (I still take that exit to get to work every day and smile at the sight). Experiencing the support from the Duke community during the San Jose trip was amazing. It took a long time to recover from the loss to Purdue, but looking back it was one of the greatest experiences in my basketball career.
Do you still follow DWB and watch games when they are on television?
My winters are extremely busy, as my husband and I coach high school basketball at Durham Academy. However, we still watch games at home as much as possible.
How has your experience been coaching high school basketball?
I really enjoy coaching high school basketball, as it allows me to stay competitive and teach the game I love. Seeing the growth of teenagers both on and off the court is very rewarding.
What kinds of things have you taken with you from your playing days at Duke to lead your team?
Honestly, my old teammates would laugh if they could see one of my practices these days, as I think I'm turning into Coach G! I've stolen most of her drills, and even some offenses and out of bounds plays. And yes, they still work! It becomes somewhat complicated when my team played Ravenscroft, who was coached by Payton (Black) Hobbs. Both of us were yelling, "55-blitz," and "T-game," the entire night!
Since leaving Duke, who are a few DWB players you have enjoyed watching play?
Elizabeth Williams is one of my favorite players. I admire her work ethic both on the court and in the classroom. I was able to get to know and mentor her through the CAPE program (Collegiate Athlete Pre-Medical Experience).
Do you get a chance to play basketball any these days?
These days are mostly spent working on my jumper on a 4-foot hoop with Hayes, but occasionally I will participate in practices at Durham Academy.
When looking back on your days at Duke, what are some of your favorite memories?
A couple of my favorite on-court memories would include beating Tennessee in the NCAA regional final in 1999, as well as defying the odds with only eight players my senior year and returning to the Final Four (2002). There are way too many off the court memories, especially with my above mentioned Duke family.
Have you developed any new hobbies, etc., that you are involved with these days?
I enjoy attempting to swing a golf club these days, although I wouldn't consider myself a golfer (yet).
How has a Duke degree helped you?
A Duke degree speaks for itself in the real world and has opened many doors for me professionally. A surgeon during graduate school once told me that he would hire a Duke student-athlete at any chance, as he knew they were forced to have great time management skills, work ethic and teamwork, which easily cross over into the work place.
Knowing what you know now, what advice would you give to our current student-athletes?
I would definitely advise current student-athletes to take advantage of all of the resources available at Duke. Networking is extremely important moving forward, and the opportunities at Duke are endless. Also, Duke will always be a part of you, and with that comes responsibility to help mentor the next generation of student-athletes. Stay involved. And finally as former President Nan Keohane told me years ago, "Work hard, Play hard!"
Do you remember a specific class and/or professor at Duke that you really enjoyed while in school?
I remember almost all of my professors at Duke, but a few that made a lasting impact would include Dr. Steven Baldwin (Chemistry), Dean Sue Wasiolek, the late Dr. Frank Bassett (Anatomy of Lower Extremities), Jeff West (Theatre Studies), the late Dr. James Bonk (Chemistry, aka Bonkistry), as well as my many Cultural Anthropology professors including Anne Allison, Naomi Quinn, Ingrid Byerly and Lee Baker.