I had a great offseason from the WNBA in Australia. It gave me a chance to actually rest my body and still compete. Now, I’m officially back and it’s good to be home in Chicago. After being traded to the Chicago Sky, I’m very excited to be playing in front of friends and family in the city that I grew up in.
But, it’s always hard to leave places that are familiar to you. I’ve been in New York for five years trying to build something, but I’m happy to be in a place where I’m wanted and able to compete for a championship. That’s always my goal and I feel that being in Chicago, I have the chance now.
The draft is tonight and I’ll be watching at our draft party, cheering on our pick. I’m excited to see who we land with the fifth pick. I’m sure it will be a fun night.
For me, back in 2006, the draft was overwhelming. I can’t lie. We had just finished the All-American game for the college seniors and I had to fly to Connecticut. There were rumors surrounding whether I was going to go one or two. People were talking about whether Seimone Augustus would go one and I would go two or vice versa. There was a lot of speculation around it.
It was a two-day event, and I also had to find something to wear. I spent a lot of time running all around looking for something. My family came up. They wanted to be with me. I was nervous going into it because I didn’t know if I’d have to go up there first or second or what. I didn’t know how it would go. It was an excited nervous feeling, though. Ultimately I went second to the Mercury, and I was happy to learn that I’d be playing with Diana Taurasi. That was a great feeling.
It all happens so fast. Your name is being called and you’re talking to media and then just like that I had to fly to Phoenix an hour later after the draft. It was a crazy whirlwind but it was super exciting. I’d tell this year’s draft class to just have fun and soak it all up. You only have this day once and it all happens so quickly, so embrace the moment, take lots of pictures and enjoy it. It’s an opportunity that will change your life for the better, so just soak it all up.
Even though the fashion is the trend and all the girls are thinking about what to wear, once your name gets called, it’s all about basketball. You have to prepare yourself to be ready to go. The Mercury flew me out for media right away, so I landed in Phoenix at 11 or 12 at night and was up at 7 in the morning talking to the press. It was fun. I was happy to be in a different element and ready for my professional career to start.
When the season starts, I think that first half of the season you are riding on a high and then you hit that rookie wall. If you played in the NCAA tournament and then you go to the WNBA you’re pretty much playing nonstop. You have to do your best to take care of your body – rest when you can, but at the same time enjoy going to different cities and playing against all these different teams.
But it all starts now for these girls and it’s exciting to start your career. Personally, I’m looking forward to seeing where everyone lands. Good luck to everyone at the draft!