Five-on-Five with Kia Vaughn

 

WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO SIGN WITH THE PHOENIX MERCURY?

Kia: Phoenix is a great team. The Mercury have, of course, Diana Taurasi, Brittney Griner and now they have Skylar Diggins-Smith. I love Sandy. Actually, a few years ago, when I was transitioning back to D.C. from New York, I would have loved the opportunity then, but I had family stuff. So, it was better for me to be closer to home to at the time. So, for her to ask me again and that they’d still love to have me be a part of their organization and such a great winning team, how could I say no? On the court, obviously they’re great. I’d love to be a part of it and learn more stuff. Just to play with them is going to be exciting.

OUTSIDE OF BASKETBALL, WHAT INTERESTED YOU ABOUT PHOENIX?

Kia: Tell the fans not to judge me. I used to use my time there in Arizona to have my cheat meal at a popular chicken and waffles place, Lo-Lo’s Chicken & Waffles. During the season, I don’t eat meat often and I would take that time to have a cheat meal. It was always the best place for me to do it.

HOW DO YOU SEE YOURSELF FITTING IN WITH THE REST OF THE ROSTER?

Kia: For starters, just getting into training camp and trying to establish what they system is and asking Coach what she needs from me. Obviously, we have Griner, we have a shooters. So, just fitting in where I can. Bringing along what I do best, being an aggressive defensive lead, talking, being a role player, shooting short corners. I’m extending my range now. Whatever I can implement in the game from what I’ve been doing over the past years, but also where I’ve grown over this winter, I’m willing to do it. There are little things that I don’t think a lot of people notice that I think I’m really great at.

WHAT DOES A DAY IN YOUR LIFE DURING QUARANTINE LOOK LIKE?

I’ve been trying to do family boot camp with my mom and my little brother where we are just trying to do things in the house. I’m putting like detergent in a book bag and we’re doing squats or we’re ruining my mom’s couch pillows by sliding across the floor. Whatever I can get. We’re carrying the salt bags that help soften the water in the house down the basement stairs. Anything and everything. We’re all doing different meals. Also playing cards and games. I opened up Monopoly the other day. I probably played the last time in junior high school or elementary school. As of right now, just trying to get to know my family on a different level. It’s a different feel.

IF YOU HAD TO TELL THE X-FACTOR ONE THING ABOUT YOURSELF, WHAT WOULD IT BE?

Kia: I do have a story for them because I was thinking about it with my mom when I told her I was signing. I played for an AAU team and we used to throw up the ‘X’. I was born and raised in the Bronx and we used to throw up the ‘X’ sign. Now, I’m coming to the X-Factor family.