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Your TIME to SHINE: A Vet's Perspective

The rooks!! Special guests all through out orientation. Awesome time!
The rooks!! Special guests all through out orientation. Awesome time!

I’m en route back to Indy, and just thinking about my last few days in Connecticut. I love the opportunity to speak and be involved at the WNBA/WNBPA Rookie Orientation – which is just before the WNBA Draft. I get to meet with the incoming rookies, welcome them to the W and share my experiences as a vet and some advice to the rooks ; )

In this moment, this is the purest they’ll ever be. Basketball becomes their profession and life wherever they get picked begins. So, for now they’re anxious to hear their name, where they’ll be, who they’re playing with and for and the whirlwind spins even faster.

Think about the past few weeks for these ladies… From school to the NCAA regionals in different cities, to the NCAA Final 4 in Tampa, back to school, to Connecticut for Orientation, back to school, to your draft city for training camp, back to school for graduation and then the actual season. Welcome to the real world LOL. Talk about brain overload… this is just the beginning. But, in this moment they really have to shift gears before tonight and remember why they are here – it’s the beginning of their next life and they DO belong in the WNBA.

When I was drafted (WAY back when, lol), Orientation was actually in Chicago after we knew which team we were playing for and had a week of training camp under our belt. All of the rookies flew to Chicago for one big Rookie Orientation, and I remember how much I enjoyed being with my peers and talking about the past few weeks of pure craziness.

Who's passing on an opp to take a pic with the Birthday Girl- the one and only Mikki Taylor

Thinking back, I remember the night before the Draft being the most nerve-wracking time. It’s hard not to play out all kinds of scenarios in your mind. In my Draft, Seattle had first, Charlotte had second and Indiana had third. I was like, okay, where am I going to go? Who am I going to play with? The small sliver of fear of going somewhere that you don’t belong, or what if the team doesn’t like me… And, oh yea, your family is there, so as much as mom and dad told me how great I was, the pressure was on!!

My advice to the rookies before I left was “HAVE FUN! You went through the process of picking what college you wanted to go to. You worked your butt off in college to be in a position where teams want you. And now, as you wait to get picked, Enjoy the moment!!

Whether your name gets picked first or at the end of the third round, enjoy the process. You belong in this league, so take advantage of every single second. You’ll literally look back on this and remember it forever. And you’ll be me telling the next rookie about your Draft memories.”

What an amazing experience – it gives me the chills just thinking about it!

Well, flights about to board! Good luck to all of the ladies tonight…I’ll be watching!

Best wishes and God Bless!

TC 24

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