Meet the Panthers: Freshman Erin Dohnalek
For freshman Erin Dohnalek, basketball has always been about family, and after choosing to play basketball at the University of Northern Iowa, she found another family.
Dohnalek started playing basketball when she was young because her brother and father were always playing, and she wanted to join in. The Lee's Summit, Mo. native played basketball at Lee's Summit West High School, before tearing her ACL her senior year.
She averaged 17.0 points per game her junior year, a 79 percent free throw percentage, a 42 percent three-point percentage and was selected to the all-conference and all-district teams. She also helped lead her AAU team to a national championship in 2009.
The injury didn't stop Dohnalek. She fought back for her chance to play at UNI and to play her favorite sport again.
"I just love the game and everything about it," Dohnalek said. "I feel basketball is my escape. I just have such a great passion for the sport."
Because of her success on her AAU team, Dohnalek is acclimated to being in big-game situations, and is ready to help the team this season.
"I want to really contribute to help this team win," Dohnalek said. "I want this team to get past the first round of the NCAA tournament and as a team, we want to win the MVC Championship."
Although she has only been here for a few months, Dohnalek has already made up her mind on what her favorite part about Northern Iowa is.
"I love my team," Dohnalek said. "They are the best thing about this college."
Getting to Know Erin:
Q: What is your favorite color?
Q: What is your favorite athletic team?
A: I'm from Kansas City so I would have to say the Chiefs, even though they are last in the division.
Q: What is your favorite sport to watch besides basketball?
A: I love football.
Q: Who is your favorite athlete?
A: Dwayne Wade
Q: What is your favorite sport to play besides basketball?
A: Soccer. I used to be very good.
Q: Who is the funniest person on the team?
A: Either Sharnae Lamar of Moran Lonning.
Q: What is your favorite movie?
A: My favorite movie is Love and Basketball. I know all the words.
Q: Who is your favorite actor/actress?
A: My favorite actor is Denzel Washington. He is the greatest actor alive.
Q: What is your favorite type of music?
A: I like a lot of different types of music, but some of the girls on the team are teaching me how to like country. I used to hate it.
Q: What are the top-five songs on your iPod right now?
A: Probably the entire Drake album, Take Care. It's old, but I love that album.
Q: If an actress could play you in a movie, who would it be?
A: I would say Cameron Diaz because she is blonde, outgoing and athletic.
Q: Do you have any hidden talents?
A: Not many people know that I can draw.
Q: What is your favorite post-game food?
A: Panda Express
Q: If you could choose to have dinner with three people, who would they be?
A: Michael Jordan, Drake and Kevin Hart.
Q: If you won the lottery, what would you do with the money?
A: I'd buy my mom a mansion, just to repay her for everything she has done for me.