Karl's Mailbag 2

Q: What are the main responsibilities of a point guard? Jamie from Florida
A: Thanks, Jamie, for the great question. All positions in basketball require a lot of practice, but a point guard is like the traffic cop and leader of the basketball team. It is their job to set up the plays for the team and run the offense. Playing with great point guards is almost like having a head coach on the floor.

Q: I think Candace Parker will come back strong, after having a baby. Do you? Kristen from California
A: I am with you, Kristen. I think she is going to come back strong this season. Candace Parker is a true professional and has always worked hard, ever since she was a great high school player in Naperville, Illinois where she led her basketball team to state titles in 2003 and 2004.

Q: How do you like working in television? How did you get started? Tyler from Wisconsin
A: I love working in television! I got my degree in Communications from Ithaca College in New York, and actually got my first real job working on TV for a news station in Ithaca while still in college. After lots of hard work, I got my big break with ESPN seven years later. Working in TV is tons of fun, but I have to remember that it is my job, so I give it my all every time I work.

Q: Who do you think is the top favorite player for kids among all sports? Michael from New Jersey
A: Well Michael, this is a tough one, so I decided to leave it to the kids and check out the Kids Choice Awards to answer this question. The fans voted and said that Candace Parker is the favorite Female Athlete and Peyton Manning is the Favorite Male Athlete. I tend to agree - they are both really exciting players to watch, are great examples for kids, and work hard to be their best!

Q: Which professional sport is the most difficult to train for? Devan from Massachusetts
A: Devan, that is a great question, but a tough one. Although all sports require a specific set of skills, I am going to say the hardest sport to train for is the sweet science of Boxing. It takes strength, endurance, power, speed, agility, flexibility, and durability to get through 12 rounds against an opponent. Ice Hockey is a close second in my mind.

Q: My favorite players aren't on my favorite team anymore because they became free agents after a certain amount of time. Why does that happen? What does it mean to be a free agent? Samantha from Colorado
A: Free Agency was not always a way of life. Back in the day, players had little or no choice for which teams they would play for, but this changed when players were allowed to become free agents. It means that a player has the opportunity to sign with any team they want to. A lot of factors determine why a player becomes a free agent or leaves teams. Sometimes it has to do with wanting to play closer to where there family lives, or where they grew up. And of course, sometimes it has to do with which team offers them the best career options.

See you all next month when I get to answer more of your awesome questions!!

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