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Catching Up with Indiana Fever Rookie Jene Morris

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When Indiana Fever rookie Jene Morris looks back on the early days of her still blossoming WNBA career, she's already carved out memories to keep. The first speeding ticket on her first day in Indianapolis, the hot and humid weather, the calmer than California lifestyle in what Morris describes as a "basketball town".  

But above all else, she points to veteran support as something to hold on to in her transition to professional basketball. 

And when you begin to study the Indiana roster, it's clear she means by veteran. Not just first or second year players, but some players with eight and nine years under their belt. And some even more. In a cursory scan, you find four women born in the 1970s, quite a reach from the youngsters such as Morris born in the late eighties. 

For Morris, this older and wiser influence on her game has already made an indelible mark.  

"Probably my favorite, favorite [moment thus far] is when the first time I met the veterans, when they came back from overseas," Morris says with admiration in her voice.  

The influence of her team has led her to strive to be successful in her daily goal - "to get better every day" - which has in turn led her to just over four points a game in just under 13 minutes of playing time in the four games Morris has been a part of.  

"It's always going to be difficult for a rookie, but we've got great veterans, the team has helped me a lot, working with Tameka Catchings and Katie Douglas," says Morris. "And they're great people as well as players. It makes it a lot easier. People like Shay Murphy being able to come off the bench and help the team so much, she's also been a great influence for me."  

 

"Mentally the game is different, physically the game is different but luckily I have great people to help me through," Morris reflects. "The players have been patient and the coaches have been patient in working on me. I plan on getting there."  

Just where "there" might be is a work in progress, but for the lady whose dreams of making it and succeeding in the WNBA were distant, these first five games of the season are just the tip of the iceberg as she learns to incorporate her joy in playing with the business of basketball.  

"Walking on the court and seeing people I've looked up to for years has been amazing but at the same time I have to compete against them and it's a business. It's definitely a business at this point and that's been the hardest transition for me."  

Morris, a west coaster who even refused to leave the state of California when considering her collegiate choices, is relying on these women and this organization as more that just a post-college paycheck, but as her new extended family.  

"The first day I got here I felt the family atmosphere. Everyone truly cares about each other, with and for each other," says the recent transplant to a landlocked state. "We're going to have our rocky moments but everybody believes in each other and that's how we're going to get far."  

The rookie on a team of veterans, whether those with one year or eleven, is working hard to ensure that the Indiana Fever go far indeed - the tough task of climbing all the way back to the WNBA Finals.