If Philadephia talent producers were given the opportunity to have the Sunday 10 PM spot on E!, they may be able to sell fans across the country with the new reality show, “Meghan and Pam take Sweden.” Even though Meghan Gardler and Pam Rosanio may look like Kardashians, they don’t have the last name pushing the ratings, however, Looking Up Court feels the story of two of Philadelphia’s most talented women would have viewers captivated. They have swagger, thick accents, and a shared taste for Philly Cheese Steak, but their biggest connection has to be their undying love for basketball.
From Springfield, Pennsylvania, Meghan Gardler is best known for her time at the University of Connecticut, playing for Hall of Fame Coach Geno Auriemma. Prior to UConn Meghan played 4 years at Philadelphia power Cardinal O’Hara where during her senior season was named Philadelphia Catholic League MVP and led her team to a #1 state and #12 national ranking. At UConn Meghan contributed all four years and was part of 2 National Championships. Meghan graduated from UConn last spring with a degree in English.
Joining her on this adventure is former University of Massachusetts standout, Pam Rosanio. Pam is the seasoned housewife. You know the Vickie of the group. She has seen the European leagues and last year led the Swedish league in scoring. Born in Southampton, Pennsylvania, Pam was a high school sensation before she took her game to Amherst. She was a three-time Philadelphia Catholic League all-star and was the league MVP in ’03-’04. She also holds the all-time record for points scored at her high school with 1,417. At UMass she finished first all time in games played and seventh on the all-time scoring list with 1,466 points. She is starting her third season oversees.
Prior to last week’s Swedish departure, Looking Up Court had the opportunity to sit down and talk to the girls about their life since college, the UConn streak, professional basketball, and Swedish culture. What we found was that the girls are undoubtedly ready for what lies across the pond.
Looking Up Court: For both of you, what have you been doing since graduating from UConn and UMass?
Meghan: I have been training and was getting ready for a career overseas that got delayed a little. A few offers to play in Europe professionally ended up falling through so I got a job at my agent’s law firm to stay busy. I had also been freelance writing and had one particular article published in a popular website in Philadelphia. I was basically just trying to stay busy until I figured out playing basketball again.
Pam: This is going to be my third season playing basketball overseas. I played in Italy and Sweden. Last year I led the Swedish league in scoring. I work at my agent’s law firm when I am not playing.
Looking Up Court: This is for Meghan, how was it watching UConn make history at the end of 2010?
Meghan: It was such a thrill for me and I am so proud of those girls. I know how much pressure is on them from the media about the streak. You combine that with academic demands and the constant pressure to play basketball at UConn, and it’s amazing that they kept it alive. I am honored to have been part of 78 of the games in the streak and I am so glad I got to see the 88th game live at Madison Square Garden. To have a been a part of the Connecticut program and the historic streak will be one of the most significant things I achieve in life and I am so blessed.
Looking Up Court: What are some things about Philadelphia that bring the two of you together?
Meghan: People from Philadelphia will always have each other’s backs. We have so much in common. I compare it to my relationship with Caroline Doty. We always were so close at UConn. Pam and I are very similar. We didn’t really even know that until the Sweden decision. We love the same sports teams, are fun and crazy, and obviously love basketball.
Pam: We are from the same area so we have a bunch of friends in common. We also both love the Philly sports teams and Philly cheese steaks.
Looking Up Court: Did either of you ever dream that you would one day play professional basketball?
Meghan: Actually after my senior season, I didn’t want to play basketball again. All the pressure from the streak and the emotion of winning two Championships made me feel like nothing would ever compare. I wanted to take that success and bring it to the working world. I started to miss basketball this summer and missed being on a team. I felt that I needed to take advantage of traveling when I was young, and just go for it. I am so happy I did.
Looking Up Court: This is for Pam, how have your past experiences playing overseas worked out?
Pam: Going overseas is such a great experience. Last year I had such a great time and as I said I did very well so it was awesome.
Looking Up Court: Prior to going to Sweden, what did you know about the country?
Pam: I knew nothing, I had no idea where it actually was and I thought there was going to be a lot of Swedish Fish here (my favorite candy) and there isn’t.
Looking Up Court: What has been the biggest culture shock so far?
Meghan: I don’t know if there is one specific thing, but there has been a number of small things. Swedes are very conservative, and I think that they are a little taken a back by Pam and I because we are two loud, Philly girls. The money is weird too. It’s like paying with Monopoly money. Everyone knows English here so I am lucky. For the most part it has been a smooth transition.
Looking Up Court: On a fashion side of things, do you think you could ever dress like a native?
Meghan: NO WAY! They are dressed up all the time, and I mean all the time. I wear sweatpants most days and the girls here are usually in nice pants and cute boots. Even in the airport in Stockholm people were getting on planes all dressed up. In America people always want to be comfortable. They all shop at H&M, which is my favorite store. This helps when we go out because I look a lot more native. However, on a day to day basis I need to be comfortable.
Looking Up Court: What did you do on New Year’s Eve in Sweden?
Pam: On New Years Eve, Meg and I met up with a few friends and went to the center of town to watch fireworks.
Looking Up Court: And now drum roll please, what were you both wearing on New Year’s Eve?
Meghan: I wore a miniskirt from H&M with thigh high black boots, a black top, and a jeweled bib necklace, also from H&M. Had to look hot to rock out the New Year.
Pam: I wore black leather over the knee boots, leather skirt and a fury vest.
Check out Looking Up Court next Sunday for an update from Meghan and Pam on their time in Sweden!
Love & Hoops,