In 2010, a fresh-faced college grad from Syracuse made a long trip to Tulsa for an open tryout. In 2011, Juanita Ward was back with the Shock, earning a training camp contract after a successful season in Bulgaria. Despite the growth in her game that Ward thought would make her stick on a WNBA roster, she yet again was the victim of cuts in camp. She took some time to answer some questions about the league she aspires to work in, and the coaches and players she grew to know in Tulsa. To see more of Ward's thoughts, follow her on twitter @Hoopa1532.
Have you watched much WNBA this year?
Yes I have. I try to catch as many games as I can on WNBA Access, ESPN and NBA TV. What are your thoughts of the season? The games have been very entertaining. The league seems to get better each year. I can't wait to be a part of it and for more than just a training camp.
Is your goal still to get in the W?
Yes. The WNBA has been a dream for many years. As a young child my parents talked to me about setting goals and staying focused so I could achieve them and that's what I intend to do.
What have you been doing since you were released from Tulsa?
Working and staying in shape.
You've had contact with Tulsa since the beginning. Have you been keeping up with the team this year?
Yes, I've been keeping up with the team and it pains me to watch what's happening. It didn't have to be this way and it's unfortunate, but I hope they can turn things around at some point.
You were with Teresa Edwards for training camp. Impressions of her as a coach?
I didn't really get a chance to work with Coach Edwards that much but I've heard good things about her.
More changes have come now with the recent news that assistant Wayne Stehlik is no longer with the team. Your impressions of him? Wayne is a great guy. He kept in touch with my while I was overseas and was always encouraging me. I hope he lands on his feet somewhere, in fact, I know he will.
You know these girls through two years of camp. How do you think they'll react to everything?
I honestly don't know, but in this case I believe change is good so I'm sure they'll react in a positive manner.
With all the changes in Tulsa, tell us your thoughts of Nolan Richardson. As a person? A coach? His style?
Nolan gave me a chance by bringing me into camp both years so I truly appreciate him for giving me this opportunity. I was a little disappointed with the explanation I was given for being released because it gave me the impression that Tulsa didn't really know my true position or true height. I don't know how this could be considering this was my second year in camp, but it is what it is.
I'd like to extend our sincere thanks to Juanita for giving us the opportunity to catch up, and we hope to bring you more from Ward in the future!