We all saw and heard the typical responses you'd expect from any excited 20-something young lady embarking on an exciting professional basketball career. The responses that all of us would have - "I'm excited for this opportunity, I know I can bring something positive to [team xyz], I want to thank my [friends, family, parents, teammates, coaches] for all of their support that has gotten me to this point in my life and my basketball career." Those things are great to hear and certainly true and meaningful for each lady, but here's some behind-the-scenes, lesser asked and heard questions and answers from each of the women who made the trek to Secaucus, New Jersey.
#1 Tina Charles (Connecticut Sun):
On being the first pick of the 2010 WNBA draft - "Definitely a dream come true, but I'm more interested in what kind of impact I'm going to have on a team rather than being a number one pick . . . I'm just excited to learn and to just have fun"
#2 Monica Wright (Minnesota Lynx):
On her experience at this year's Final Four - "Just to be around all those coaches and I've seen everybody that I've ever known in my basketball career there. It was just amazing for women's basketball to have that many fans and that much support. It was just good to be a part of it."
#3 Kelsey Griffin (Minnesota Lynx, traded to Connecticut Sun):
On being from Alaska - "I'm very proud of being from Alaska, I like it. It's a great conversation starter whenever I'm meeting new people. There's always tons of questions asked and I embrace it, I love it and I think it will be something that hopefully people relate with me. I would have no problem with people not knowing my name but saying, 'hey, that player is from Alaska', I'm completely fine with that."
#4 Epiphanny Prince (Chicago Sky) *conference call from Turkey:
On what she's looking forward to when she returns from Turkey - "Just being able to play in front of my family, hopefully get some home-cooked meals becuase I don't know how to cook and Courtney [Paris] doesn't like to cook for me. Just to hang out with some family and friends is what I'm looking forward to."
#5 Jayne Appel (San Antonio Silver Stars):
On other post-players with remarkable passing skills - "Courtney Paris is actually a good passer. She has been double-teamed, not only in the professional leagues but also in college - I'm pretty sure for all four years - and she's someone I also played against in AAU basketball growing up and I think that she has tremendous passing ability to be able to pass it consistently off double-teams."
#6 Jacinta Monroe (Washington Mystics):
On being a slender inside player - "I'm a different style of post, I'm not a conventional five player, so I'm not at all bothered by the fact that I'm not able to bang with the bigger posts because being that I'm versatile, I can step out and shoot the jumper or go around bigger posts so it doesn't bother me."
#7 Danielle McCray (Connecticut Sun):
On if the WNBA was her childhood dream - "Yes! That has been my dream for a long time. I started [playing] when I was 5, so it's just something that I always wanted to do . . . growing up, being the only girl in my family, I was always with boys and playing basketball with them . . . It made me stronger, so it's something that I can transfer to the league next year."
#8 Andrea Riley (Los Angeles Sparks):
On moving to L.A. - "L.A. is somewhere that I've always dreamed of actually staying, because i always visit there. Actually being able to stay in L.A. makes me kind of feel like a movie star. With so many people there I think that it will be a great environment to live in . . . I was like 'Oh my God, I'm actually moving to L.A. where all the movie stars are'."
#9 Chanel Mokango (Atlanta Dream):
On the international game as compared to the WNBA - "It's really different. I played with older people than me, but learned more. Like being tough and strong - that will help me get my game more and more better and being here the basketball is just different to me."
#10 Allison Lacey (Seattle Storm):
On playing with Sue Bird - "Sue Bird is amazing and to have the opportunity to go and play behind her I'm just ready to learn anything I can, so I'm excited. Not being a true point guard coming into college and now leaving as a point guard, I'm ready to learn anything I can, especially from the best."
#11 Jene Morris (Indiana Fever):
On the advantage to going to a non-traditional basketball school - "It just made me work that much harder. You have to work that much harder to get your name out there. Even when I was successful in high school people were like, 'well, you go to a small high school', so then I played AAU and club ball and still was able to perform in AAU against the bigger schools and bigger names, so I think it helps. There are disadvantages, but I think it depends on the player and depends on the person and I've always had hard work and determination and I've never wanted to hear 'no'. So I think it worked best for me."
#13 Kalana Greene (New York Liberty):
On her favorite NBA team and player - "I'm actually a San Antonio Spurs fan for the most part, a Manu Ginobili fan. . . I think he 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."
#15 Allison Hightower (Connecticut Sun):
on where she wanted to be drafted to - "I really like San Antonio just because it was kind of close to home, I'm from Texas, and kind of close to my college too. I was really liking San Antonio but to be able to come up to Connecticut is going to be a great experience."
#17 Alysha Clark (San Antonio Silver Stars):
On her childhood interests - "I wasn't a sports girl when I was younger at all. I wasn't interested in sports, I didn't play sports . . . [I was] a girly girl. I played with Barbies and I read. We moved around a lot so I kind of stayed to myself a little bit and I think that probably had something to do with it, but I was a girly girl . . . I love to get dressed up, I love to get pretty, it's fun."
#19 Amanda Thompson (Tulsa Shock):
On Oklahoma coach Sherri Coale's description - "indomitable spirit" - "I think it fits well. I never stop no matter where I'm at, what I'm doing. I just love what I do and I'm going to give my best effort every time. I just put my best foot forward as many times as I can."