Sharpshooting guard Keara Finnerty’s talents helped lead the 2012-13 W.T. Woodson girls’ basketball team to the program’s first Northern Region tournament berth since 2010.
After the Cavaliers defeated Lee in the Patriot District quarterfinals to clinch a regional berth, Finnerty in the semifinals made eight 3-pointers and scored a career-high 40 points during a victory against three-time defending district champion West Springfield. Woodson would finish district runner-up to T.C. Williams.
A four-year varsity athlete, Finnerty finished her high school career with 1,514 points. She was a three-time first-team all-district selection, a first-team all-region choice in 2012 and a second-team all-region member in 2013.
Finnerty, a 2013 W.T. Woodson High School graduate, will continue her basketball career at Stetson University in DeLand, Fla., where she received a full athletic scholarship. She recently participated in a Q and A with the Connection via email.
*Connection: What made Stetson the right fit for you?
Finnerty: The size, location and amazing sports programs made Stetson University the right fit for me. Stetson is a nationally ranked university located in DeLand, Fla. The women’s basketball team has won the Atlantic Sun Division I Tournament two of the last three years and also has two NCAA Tournament appearances. The coaches and team were very welcoming and I am excited about playing basketball at Stetson.
*Connection: What position will you play?
Finnerty: I will play shooting guard.
*Connection: What is your favorite memory of playing basketball at Woodson?
Finnerty: My favorite memory of playing basketball at Woodson was our 61-43 win over top seed West Springfield in the 2013 AAA Patriot District semifinals. We hadn’t beaten West Springfield in the previous nine times Woodson had played them. We worked very well together to beat a very talented team.
*Connection: Three-point shooting is one of your strengths. What does it take to become a good perimeter shooter?
Finnerty: To become a good perimeter shooter it takes lots of practice and sound fundamentals. The key is to first establish your shot close in, which I work on at the beginning of my workouts, and then move farther away from the basket once you have your form. Once the shot is established, I then proceed to shoot a couple hundred shots.
*Connection: What is your career-high for points in a game? Careerhigh for 3-pointers in a game?
Finnerty: My career-high for points in a game is 40 points, which I scored in my team’s 61-43 win over top seed West Springfield in the 2013 Virginia AAA Patriot District semifinals. I shot 73 percent from the floor and made 8 of 11 3-pointers. My career high for 3-pointers in a game is eight, which I had in that game and several other games during my sophomore, junior and senior years.
*Connection: If you could go back and change one thing about your high school athletic career, what would it be?
Finnerty: I don’t think I would change anything. I really enjoyed playing for coach Neri and coach Murray for four years on the varsity team and was very blessed to have amazing teammates.
*Connection: At what age did you start playing basketball? When did you realize playing college basketball was a possibility for you?
Finnerty: I started playing basketball on my Little Tikes Basketball Hoop when I was 2 and moved onto the taller hoops when I was 4. In first grade, I played organized basketball and moved to AAU basketball from age 9 to 17, culminating with last summer being a member of the Fairfax Stars 16U Nike Elite Premier Showcase Team.
In September of my junior year, I began to realize that playing college basketball was a possibility when I received many college basketball letters of interest.
*Connection: What are you most looking forward to about the transition from high school to college?
Finnerty: I’m looking forward to getting the opportunity to play with and against great college basketball players. Working with them will help me learn a lot, improve my game and take it to the next level.
*Connection: Who is your favorite music artist? Why?
Finnerty: My favorite music artist is Luke Bryan, because I love his country music and he writes really good songs.
*Connection: What’s your favorite movie? Why?
Finnerty: My favorite movie is “She’s the Man,” because I think Channing Tatum is a great actor.
*Connection: What is your favorite hobby outside of basketball?
Finnerty: I enjoy fishing when I get a chance. It’s very relaxing and I like being out on the water.
*Connection: What location is the farthest you’ve traveled from the Washington, D.C. metro area?
Finnerty: The farthest I traveled is to New Orleans to attend our 11U AAU Girls National Championship with the Fairfax Stars.