What's up Seattle?!
I thought it would be a nice time to update you all with some recent, exciting stuff that has been happening in my life. As many already know, I accepted a training camp contract with the Seattle Storm, and I am beyond excited. I was super upset last year after being drafted and not getting the opportunity to prove myself due to Covid. I’ve spent the last year preparing and now is my chance to get to Seattle and get after it. I think about this opportunity all the time. I arrive in Seattle April 18th and training camp officially starts on the 25th. Let the grind begin!
This next step in my basketball career seems unreal. I will compete and play with the best of the best all while exploring a new city. It is such a unique experience, but the WNBA is one of the hardest leagues to play in. To put this into perspective, there are only 12 teams and each team has only 12 roster spots. In comparison, the NBA has 30 teams with rosters being up to 17 or 18 players. The WNBA is a very competitive league. It has always been a dream of mine to play in the WNBA, and I finally feel like I have the opportunity to make that dream finally happen. So much hard work day in and day out has been put in and I feel so ready mentally and also physically.
A large part of my preparation has been my daily workouts with my favorite trainers. I like to get my workouts done in the morning, so I have the rest of my day off. I usually leave the house around 7ish to get to the basketball gym around 7:40 to stretch and warm up and get going with Jeff around 8. We have been working on ball screen actions, passing, finishing and lots of shooting. What we focused on most with shooting was mid range and three point shots. We also did double screen actions, working on a floater, and getting my shot off quickly and efficiently. I think as a shooting guard in the WNBA these are the techniques that will help you excel with getting better.
After Jeff, it is onto the gym where I spend the rest of the morning with Lexi, my weight trainer. We work on a variety of things as well. We usually start with some type of agility and conditioning before moving onto the lift for that day. We rotate through different workouts for the lift portion: upper body lift with core at the end for one day. Then, for the next day a lower- body focused lift, strengthening and acceleration along with core at the end as well. A major goal I set for my lifts this summer was to be more explosive so that would help me do things I want to do on the court at a faster rate. And, the most important part... if you aren’t listening to Justin Bieber during your workouts you’re doing something wrong. Lexi and Jeff know by now that he is my favorite so they let me pick the music and Jbiebs just brings so much energy to my workouts.
Getting a nice sweat in on the court and improving my game feels so rewarding. Then, going straight from the gym to lifting I feel even more accomplished for the day. I’ve been getting better and stronger and feel super prepared for training camp. It is very important for an athlete to really focus on the lifting and strengthening side in order to stay physically prepared for the court. My style of basketball has two important parts to my game; I am a shooter and someone who takes a lot of contact driving to the rim. This means as I prepare as an athlete I have to focus on two main things: legs and my power house...AKA my core. To be an effective athlete, my core is the most important to maintain balance while shooting or finishing a layup with contact. Having been playing for so long and always thinking of longevity of my career I have really focused on the weight room to build a body that can withstand the stress of the sport.
I’ve learned throughout the years that recovery is a key ingredient for an athlete to keep going and feeling good, just like a warm up to workouts. I don’t only mean the stretching and rolling out. I am talking things beyond the court, which includes what I am putting into my body. There are certain foods that when I eat I know I will get energy from and make my body feel really good. I had to find a routine that works for me and allows me to be my best. I am a big breakfast person. Before I leave for my workout, I usually drink lots of water and either eat oatmeal with fruit or a protein bar. After training, I usually eat a turkey sandwich or more breakfast food. Aside from my post-workout cup of coffee, my drink of choice for the day is water. I always like to add lime. My water drinkers will understand how adding a lime or lemon to ice water can really change the game. Dinner I like to keep it simple and usually stick to grilled or baked chicken breast. Then, for the sides usually a salad with veggies and baked sweet potatoes. SOO GOOD.
I am living at home at the moment. My parents, siblings and my friends all work during the day, so I find ways to keep myself occupied after my busy mornings. I am not one to just sit and watch Netflix. I have enjoyed spending time taking walks in the afternoons and enjoying the fresh air. The weather is finally starting to get somewhat nice here in the Midwest, so it has been nice going outside when it hits past 40… sigh. I had gotten used to the warm Carolina weather after going to school there for 5 years. Now, I'm a big baby when it comes to cold weather.
Besides from spending the majority of my time in the gym each day I sometimes go see my grandparents since they live so close. It’s always great catching up with them, looking at pictures, or playing cards. Then, around 4:00pm both of my parents are done with work. Together, usually before or during dinner, we try to fill out the crossword puzzle, and some days are better than others. We spend the evenings watching a TV show or two.
I introduced my parents to The Office, and once we finished that we moved onto Schitt’s Creek. Two shows I highly recommend for a good laugh. For the most part, that is basically what I have been doing! Things change here and there, and I also spend time with my friends. But, I usually am in bed by 10pm… yes I am a grandma. My friends make fun of me, but that is okay. I love my sleep, and it’s another valuable thing I learned that every athlete needs to take seriously. Sleep is the easiest thing an athlete can do to help their bodies and give themselves time to recover.
Another great thing about being home is being able to see my siblings. They live in Chicago and are both super busy with work. My sister is a nurse and my brother works in finance. We would sometimes go to my sister’s place, or they would come back home and we would order some food and have some intense game nights. I tell my friends and family to surround yourself with people that love you and you’ll be a very happy person. I think that is a reason I am such a homebody because it brings me a different level of comfort. Spending time with my parents and siblings will forever be one of my favorite things.
By the time this is posted, training camp will be underway. I’m jumping into this next step in my career with optimism and excitement and a few nerves. I am really excited to share this new journey with you all and all of the new experiences Seattle brings me so stayed tuned!
*SEATTLE SNEAK PEEK*