2010 ACC Women's Basketball Legends: Meghan (Saake) Knokey, Miami
Feb. 12, 2010
The Atlantic Coast Conference celebrates its sixth annual class of ACC Women's Basketball Legends during the 2010 ACC Women's Basketball Tournament, March 4-7, at the Greensboro (N.C.) Coliseum. The honorees will be recognized during the ACC Legends Luncheon, as well as on the court at halftime of the first semifinal game on Saturday, March 6.
The ACC Women's Basketball Legends program honors past players from each of the ACC's 12 schools who have contributed to the league's rich tradition. Included in the class are 12 former student-athletes that represent four decades of ACC Women's Basketball competitors.
TheACC.com will feature three members of the 2010 ACC Legends Class each week (Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays) during the final four weeks of the regular season.
Q&A with Meghan (Saake) Knokey
Q: What was the most memorable game for you while playing at Miami?
A: I would say that it was definitely the last game I played. My junior year we made it to the tournament and it was the only time that we made it in my time at Miami. We played at ‘The Pitt’ and I think there was something like 16,000 people there. I’d never played in front of that many people and it was just super special. We lost in overtime, but it was just a really fun game to be a part of.
Q: What has changed the most in ACC women’s basketball since your playing days?
A: I just love that women’s basketball becomes more and more aggressive as the years go by. I would definitely say that is partly because of the ACC’s intensity and the way women are working harder and harder to become greater at the sport. That is definitely shown within the teams in the conference. It just makes it fun to watch - it really does.
Q: How well does the ACC prepare student-athletes for life after their playing days – whether in business or in their professional basketball careers?
A: I would say that any student-athlete within the ACC is going to be well prepared going into the real world. It’s just a mind frame of putting both your work and school on the same pedestal and working equally hard towards both goals. That only carries over into the real world and it really helps in keeping up with your responsibilities and priorities.
Q: Does a specific game or team stand out as a special rivalry for your program?
A: Notre Dame was always a big game for us. We were pretty evenly matched when I was there. It was always really fun to play in regardless if it was at Miami or at Notre Dame. That was always a big game for us.
Q: How did you get into playing basketball?
A: I started playing basketball when I was seven. I have three older brothers and they were all pretty active in sports. So I think initially I started out just wanting to be more like them and then it just grew into something that became a passion of mine. I decided to pursue it at the next level each time and it just turned into something that I wanted to do at college - so I started working towards that goal.
Q: What do you enjoy most about doing charity work?
A: I’ve always had this sense of wanting to help people in one way or another and being able to help someone or put a smile on someone’s face actually means a lot to me. That is part of the reason why I decided to go to Guatemala this year through Habitat (with Humanity) and maybe explore what that would mean and if that’s something that I would want to get even more involved with over time.
Q: What advice would you give to a current ACC women’s basketball player getting ready for life after school.
A: I would tell them to work towards their goals in basketball, but don’t necessarily forget the people you meet along the way and the friendships that you form with your teammates. I still have some really close friendships with my old teammates. I think that is one of the most important things, to acknowledge how people are a huge part of your life and the support system that you kind of grow together. So, hold on to your friendships and keep your teammates as a priority.
More about Meghan Saake Knokey…
Meghan (Saake) Knokey (Miami, 1999-2003): The 2002 Big East Defensive Player of the Year (2001-02), Meghan Saake was a strong athletic guard who excelled in a fast-paced game.
She was the first Hurricane women’s basketball student-athlete to earn the league distinction of Defensive Player of the Year. Saake served as team captain for her junior and senior campaigns and started every game of her four-year career.
The youngest in a family of five, Saake concluded her career averaging 8.7 points, 4.3 rebounds, 3.0 steals and 3.4 assists per game. As a junior, Saake set the school’s single-season record for steals (121) in a season. The record, which still stands today, formerly belonged to Maria Rivera with 106 during the 1986-87 season.
Saake finished her career with 358 steals, a mark that remains good for second in Miami annals, behind only Rivera (382). Saake totaled 1,030 points in her career, joining what is currently a 19-member 1,000-point club.
A four-year Dean’s List student, Saake was also named Miami’s Scholar Athlete of the Year in 2003. As a starting guard at Wellington High School, Saake registered 2,021 points, the most in school history, while averaging 17.8 points and 8.5 rebounds a game.
She also lettered four years in volleyball and was the high school volleyball team’s most valuable player during both junior and senior years. Saake earned the Commitment to Excellence award and majored in Liberal Arts at Miami.
She remains active with Habitat for Humanity and will be traveling to Guatemala in May 2010. Saake has spent time as a team leader for multiple events for Relay for Life, which supports the American Cancer Society, and is a passionate supporter of the Susan G. Komen Foundation. She currently resides in Hanover, New Hampshire, with her husband Jon and their American Bulldog, Tugg.