March Madness in full swing and the WNBA Draft is mere weeks away. Some top college prospects have already hung up their high-tops for the season, while for others, each NCAA Tournament game could be their last as an amateur. What will these soon-to-be draft picks have to know to make a solid transition to the pros? We asked several WNBA stars and some relatively recent draftees what they have learned since their draft day.
Baker, New York Liberty
"After one game, (I learned to let it go) if I had a bad shooting night because there was another game the next day. That never happened in college… you wouldn't play in a back-to-back unless you were in a conference tournament. In the WNBA you just have to let it go, keep shooting and keep your confidence up."
Swin Cash, Detroit Shock
"As a player starting out, you have to realize that you are going to get better every year, but so is the competition. People like to say how the league is bigger, faster and stronger, but it really is true."
Tamika Catchings, Indiana Fever
"I haven't thought about it in those terms. I think every year you learn something different. But the biggest thing I've learned in transitioning from a rookie to a veteran player is being available to your teammates… doing things for your teammates, putting the team before yourself both on the court and off the court."
Candice Dupree, Chicago Sky
"I think the biggest thing I've learned is you see these players on TV before you join the league and you are like 'Wow!' But then you get to know these people off the court at various functions and you get to see what great people they are. That's probably the biggest thing that I've learned."
Temeka Johnson, Los Angeles Sparks
"I knew coming in that this was a business, but I don't think I realized just how much of a business it becomes. Every year you will become more business-like about your approach to things and appreciate how hard you have to work to get better. In the first year, you are just trying to take in as much as you can. By the time the second and third year rolls around, different and new challenges start to come at you."
Shona Thorburn, Minnesota Lynx
"Let's come back to that question."
Kendra Wecker, San Antonio Silver Stars
"The league is tough. The WNBA has a whole different feel. You do learn that this is a business, but it's a process that everyone has to go through. But it is, far and away, the best league in the world. With my experience playing overseas, it is apparent just how good it is. The competition is as tough as it gets every game in that you are going against the best players in the world each night. They are big, strong, athletic and talented, and it's tough. But it is fun to know that you can compete with the best in the business."