On Sunday, WNBA training camps start throughout the league, but many players reported to their teams early to get a head start on what should be an exciting WNBA season. We reported on the WNBA stars who participated in USA Basketball’s training camp last week. Now, here is a glimpse of what each team did last week before the WNBA Draft.
Yesterday, Head Coach Nikki Collen helped start the Girls on the Run Atlanta 5K with Star, the Dream’s mascot.
Just like at every practice, stretching is key to a good workout. Thank you @AtlantaDream Head Coach @NickiCollen for helping us stretch and warm up before the race. #runwiththedream #GOTRATL5K pic.twitter.com/wWZtw50DPV— Girls on the Run (@GOTR_ATL) April 28, 2018
Layshia Clarendon was part of Team USA’s training camp and also played in the game against China. In a tweet, Clarendon said she was “just so grateful.”
Surreal to be out there last night. Chasing your dreams is terrifying but totally worth the journey! I’m just so grateful pic.twitter.com/xwNfAAk1MU— Layshia Clarendon (@Layshiac) April 27, 2018
Last Friday, Gabby Williams, Alaina Coates, Linnae Harper, and Amarah Coleman were at Wrigley Field to watch a Cubs baseball game.
Lexie Brown, the Sun’s first-round draft pick, arrived last week and gave her welcome video via the team’s Twitter account:
And several players were hard at work all week long.
Finally, the team took a group photo at a team dinner on Saturday night.
Azura Stevens, the Wings’ first-round pick, met her favorite NBA player, Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant, in San Antonio, TX on April 23. On that night, the Warriors were facing the Spurs in Game 4 of their first-round playoff series. In their brief exchange, Durant pledged to go down to Arlington to watch a Wings’ game this summer.
And here is Stevens’ reaction after meeting Durant.
On Friday night, most Fever players watched the Indiana Pacers play against the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 6 of their first-round playoff series.
The Fever also released a behind-the-scenes video of rookie guard Victoria Vivians as she reported to Indianapolis for the first time.
Las Vegas Aces
On Thursday, the Aces attended the Golden Knights’ first game of their second-round NHL Stanley Cup series against the San Jose Sharks. The Golden Knights won, 7-0.
A’ja Wilson and Moriah Jefferson joined Vegas’ drum line as well.
Besides watching playoff hockey, the Aces practiced a great deal as well. Take a look at Sequoia Holmes in this snippet below.
Los Angeles Sparks
Last week, Candace Parker appeared on KG’s Area 21, a show hosted by former NBA star Kevin Garnett. While on the show, Parker talked about the rivalry between Fenerbahçe and Galatasaray, two of the top clubs in the Turkish KBSL. The rivalry is more intense than any professional or college sports rivalry in the United States!
Many of the top players from the WNBA Championship-winning Lynx were in Europe last week, including Maya Moore, who competed with the UMMC Ekaterinburg team that won the EuroLeague Women championship. Some of her teammates, like Seimone Augustus and Sylvia Fowles, were with Team USA. Fowles led the USA to an 83-46 win over China on Thursday in a friendly. She was named Player of the Game.
Finally, Rebekkah Brunson donned a Timberwolves’ jersey in support of the team’s first NBA playoff run since 2004.
New York Liberty
When the Liberty’s training camp opens on Sunday at the MSG Training Center in Tarrytown, NY, eight players from last season’s roster will be absent due to overseas commitments.
Kia Nurse wrote on Wednesday that her “parallel parking” skills would be tested in New York.
My parallel parking skills are going to be seriously tested in the next couple of months ♀️— Kia Nurse (@KayNurse11) April 25, 2018
Finally, 2014 WNBA All-Star Game MVP Shoni Schimmel will return to the Liberty after taking the 2017 season off.
Brittney Griner was part of UMMC’s EuroLeague Women championship team, along with Moore. Yvonne Turner played against Griner on Sopron Basket, the EuroLeague Women runner-up.
Meanwhile, Diana Taurasi was with Team USA in Seattle. As noted in a piece on Friday, Taurasi’s switch to a vegan diet may help extend her career. By all appearances, something is working well for her.
As for other players who weren’t EuroLeague Women- or Team USA-bound, Sancho Lyttle took to the court and got some shots up.
We have a Lyttle arrival! pic.twitter.com/ddqPYI8Wu4— Phoenix Mercury (@PhoenixMercury) April 27, 2018
Seattle hosted the USA Basketball Women’s National Team’s training camp. Sue Bird, Jewell Loyd, and Breanna Stewart all participated for the national team and played in Thursday’s scrimmage at KeyArena.
Besides that, Loyd was also interviewed on KING-TV’s New Day NorthWest earlier in the week, where she talked about her winter, her diet changes to get ready for this season and how Sue Bird has been a mentor for her.
@jewellloyd stopped by @NewDayNW this morning to talk hoops, including what to look forward to on Thursday when the @usabasketball Women's National Team takes on China at KeyArena!— Seattle Storm (@seattlestorm) April 23, 2018
WATCH the interview here! ▶️ https://t.co/dmFPW2G0G3 pic.twitter.com/rmimmQV8Rz
In addition to Emma Meesseman, the MVP of this season’s EuroLeague Women Final Four, Kristi Toliver and LaToya Sanders, were also part of UMMC’s run to the championship last week. Elena Delle Donne went to Seattle to practice for Team USA, but she did not play in the friendly against China due to a neck strain.
The Mystics will not start training camp practices until Monday. However, many of the Mystics’ players were already in Washington, D.C., including rookies Tierra Ruffin-Pratt and Natasha Cloud. Both women trained extensively at Capital One Arena throughout the winter.
The 2018 WNBA season kicks off on Friday May 18 with the Phoenix Mercury hosting the Dallas Wings at 10 p.m. EST!