EVANSTON, Ill. (WLS) -- If defense wins championships, Veronica Burton is trying to make that happen for the Northwestern Wildcats.
And she takes pride in her role on the team.
"Just knowing the impact it has on the game, I think that's something I try to remind myself and keep doing it," Burton said. "It's just something I've always kind of done."
The sophomore leads the Big 10 in steals and assists and is one of two sophomores in the country named to the Naismith Defensive Player of the Year midseason team.
"(It was) definitely a huge honor to see all the other people, to be recognized with them," Burton said.
Her coach Joe McKeown made her captain as a sophomore, saying "she's older than her years."
Burton also wears the purple with unique pride as a third generation Wildcat. Her mom was a swimmer, her dad and two uncles played football, and her grandfather was All-American running back Ron Burton.
"My grandpa died when I was pretty young, so just being able to have that kind of connection to him is truly incredible," she said. "It's definitely so deep; it's huge, just having that family chemistry in it. It means a lot to me, and it means a lot to my family."
NU women's basketball Captain Veronica Burton shines as 3rd generation Wildcat