Despite averaging over 10 points a game for four of her first six seasons in the league, Connecticut Sun guard Katie Douglas hadn't made an All-Star Team until last year. So when she was chosen as a starter for the 2006 midsummer classic in New York City, she didn't want to let the situation pass her by.
In just 17 minutes on the court, Douglas scored a game-high 16 points and took home the All-Star MVP honor as the East earned its first ever All-Star win 98-82. Douglas was also named to the WNBA All-Defensive First Team at the end of the year.
Now in her seventh season in the WNBA and despite the Sun's troubles -- including a recent stretch that saw them lose nine of 11 games -- Douglas has kept up her torrid pace at both ends of the court and has averaged 16.9 points, 4.5 rebounds, 4.2 assists and 2.2 steals per game through July 9.
These career-best numbers translated into another All-Star selection earlier this week and Douglas spoke with WNBA.com's Adam Hirshfield about what it means to be headed to Washington for her second straight All-Star trip.
Q. How does it feel to be chosen again as an All-Star?
A. "It means a lot for me to be recognized again. When you're selected, it's a tremendous honor to be recognized as one of the league's best. It sounds cliché, but it's really a credit to our team in Connecticut. My teammates have put me the position to be representing them in Washington. It's a tremendous honor, but it should be an honor that the whole team feels responsible for."
Q. Is there any added pressure going back to the All-Star Game after winning
the MVP award last season?
A. "No. I think people will be gunning for me (laughs). I'll just play my role and have a lot of fun. It'll be hard to top last year. Well I guess I could if I won another MVP, but I don't think I'll be able to. Last year was just a great moment that I'll always treasure. If I get another MVP, great. If not, it's still a great feeling to be an All-Star."
Q. Let's talk about the Sun. After a difficult start to the season, you
guys beat the league-leading Fever in Connecticut on June 29 and won in L.A.
this past weekend. To what do you attribute the improvement as a team?
A. "There has definitely been an attitude and an edge about us the last few games that had been lacking both on the road and at home. And that attitude has to come from within. It's been a real gut-check for us lately.
"(Last week) we faced a very good Indiana team with a very good record, and to come away with a win after things weren't going well at the beginning was amazing. To stick together, no matter who was in the game at the time even the people on the bench were jumping up and down it just feels great to know that everyone is behind one another. That's what it's all about right now: sticking together and finding ways to win."
Q. You're a player perhaps best known for your defense. In that game, you
managed to keep Tamika Catchings fairly quiet with only eight points and 11
rebounds. How do you prepare to guard a player of Tamika's ability?
A. "I don't think it was anything I personally did. Tamika Catchings wears me out! She's obviously a premier player in this league. She can do everything.
"As a defensive player, I know my weaknesses. If my opponent even gets the ball, I know that's already a problem, so I'm going to make her catches difficult and do my best to keep her out of rhythm. That's just my philosophy, because I know as an offensive player, if there's no one coming at me trying to knock me off my rhythm, then everything looks great. But when you get out of your rhythm, everything becomes a little more difficult.
"Against the Fever, I had all my teammates talking to me and providing a tremendous amount of help on my weak side. It was definitely a team effort, not just me out there guarding her. She's just a tremendous player and she definitely makes her presence known out there. If it's not scoring, it's getting a lot of rebounds. Tamika is a very unselfish player as well and she's great at distributing the ball."
Q. Was beating Indiana the kind of win that can springboard the Sun into
a more positive second half of the season?
A. "I hope so. I think it will. In the last few games, we've looked more like the old Connecticut Sun of the last few years. I hope we can continue to find that kind of energy, that kind of focus, and keep getting off to better starts on the road. But just to have that kind of mentality an aggressiveness, an edge about ourselves and about our business. It doesn't do any good to get overexcited or overjubilant about the win, but we're going to take it and hopefully roll with it."
Sun guard Katie Douglas is currently posting career-high numbers in points, rebounds, assists and steals.
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