Kalana Greene had a busy week. It all started with an NCAA National Championship to win, and culminated with what she has worked so hard to obtain: a shot at the WNBA. Greene was drafted as the first selection of the second round in the 13th spot by the New York Liberty and spent some time after her name was called talking about her game and this new opportunity.
On her last few days and weeks -
It's been busy. I haven't slept in a couple days because from winning the national championship to flying back and being greeted by the state of Connecticut and coming back to the pep rally at UConn – it's been busy. It's been fun and now I'm back in New Jersey now and about to play for the Liberty.
I'm a 5th year senior so school for me is pretty much done. It's been hard to think about school actually the past month or so being on the road. I think I've been to my apartment a total of like five days this total month so school is going to be tough to catch back up. Being close to New York, I'm pretty sure I won't have that much catch-up to do.
On transitioning from college basketball to professional basketball -
It's bittersweet because you're going to miss everything you had in college but there's a beginning and an end to everything and I'm just happy that my college career ended the way it did and I'm thankful for the opportunity I have now. Reporter: You know, you're not going to win every game in the WNBA. KG: I can try!
I think I'm prepared for everything. Coach Auriemma does a great job – him and his staff – preparing you for the next level, showing you work ethic and teaching you how easy it is when you work hard every day at practice and I think knowing that and having the great guidance that I've had will definitely help me at the next level.
On waiting to be selected in the draft -
Not nervous. I just want a job. To get out there and have another opportunity to play. This is a sport I love and just knowing that I was invited here, I'm definitely willing and able and capable to play in the WNBA. I'm just excited.
On playing in the WNBA -
I just think when I got to college and realized how much basketball was a part of my life and the opportunities I would have, I just wanted to keep playing. I just love watching basketball, playing basketball. I remember just playing every chance I got, watching it every chance I got, playing against the guys – anyone I could play against.
On her reaction to being drafted by New York -
I was just talking to my mom, I was like 'I don't know where I'm going'. Some people throw little hints at you in the first round, but after that first round was over I didn't know where I was going, but like I said – I'm just happy to have a job.
On living and playing in the Northeast -
I think this is the best environment for basketball – in the Northeast. New York, Connecticut are some of the best places to play basketball. I'm just blessed I had the opportunity to play for the University of Connecticut and I'm blessed to have the opportunity to play for the Kicks, the Nets (laughs) – the Liberty.
On playing at The Garden -
It's going to be fun! We're pretty familiar with The Garden, at UConn we play there it seems like almost every year and New York is a beautiful city, a great city. It's right up the road from Connecticut and I have a lot of fans up there so I'm pretty sure it gets people in The Garden this year.
On the recent adjustments to the Liberty roster -
I played against [Cappie Pondexter] as a freshman. She's tough to play against, she's relentless, a competitor and a person who knows how to win, especially being in Phoenix so I'm just happy to come along and hopefully help her out and get a couple of wins with her.
I think when everyone goes to a team you think about winning and I think everyone on the team including all the coaches are focusing on winning and especially the move bringing Cappie to the team. I'm pretty sure New York is going to win a lot of games.
I'm pretty sure all might teammates there are going to be people that want to win and when I'm surrounded by people who want to win and are willing to do what it takes to win, I'll be happy.
On what she will bring to the Liberty -
Just all the intangibles. Things that probably won't show up on the stat sheet for me the first couple games there, but playing defense, getting loose balls, rebounding and scoring in the mid-range.
I think I'm pretty quiet and once you get to know me I open up and I'm just willing to work hard in whatever I do, on the court and off the court.
I just work hard. I think I'm a really good rebounder, I got a lot smarter after my injury – court vision and everything else – so I just think I'm a smart and hardworking player.
On her influences from the men's and women's game -
I'm just a basketball fan, I just like watching good basketball. I'm actually a San Antonio Spurs fan for the most part, a Manu Ginobili fan, but the Knicks might do some great things after this year. I think [Ginobili] does everything. Some games he comes up big on the stat sheet and then they win games when he's only scoring like 10 points because he does all the intangibles. He's a beautiful player.
I'm older than most people, being a 5th year, but growing up I watched a lot of the college game. I'm a huge [fan of] Charlotte Smith, from North Carolina, Tweety, Deanna Nolan from Georgia and when those guys got in the league watching . . . a lot of people like that, T Spoon and all those guys. I just love watching the game.
On Broadway -
I love Broadway, I love the plays, I love everything. New York is a nice city, a beautiful city.