2009 WNBA Pre-Draft Conference Call: Draft Prospects


Chante Black
Duke - Center

Kristi Toliver
Maryland - Guard

Kia Vaughn
Rutgers - Center

Ashley Walker
California - Forward

Q: Ashley, with the roster size being cut down, Houston Comets folding and the coaches saying it will be tough to make a team, has it changed your perspective on entering the league this season?

AW: “Not really, I have talked to my coaches and we made a plan that I will work my tail off in the off-season and do as much as I can to put myself in a position to make a team.”

Q: As a follow-up, has there been any talk between you and the other players about not going into the WNBA, simply because it’s too competitive?

AW: “No, I definitely think that anybody that has the chance to play in the WNBA would love to play in the WNBA, and no one would give that opportunity up.”

Q: Kristi, where do you see yourself being drafted? Has it always been a goal of yours to play professionally?

KT: “I am not sure, I know where I want to be, and I think things will play out. I would like to play with an up-tempo team. I have always had the intention of playing professionally. When you are a little kid and watch Lisa Leslie and Diana Taurasi on TV, you dream to be able to do the same.”

Q: What’s it like to have Marissa (Coleman) as a teammate and both possibly go in the first round?

KT: “Marissa has definitely elevated her game and taken it to another level and it’s great that the both of us are wanted in this league. We both have made each other better on and off the court.”

Q: Kia, have you talked to Essence (Carson), Matee (Ajavon) or Coach Stringer on what you can expect at the next level? Have they given you any advice?

KV: "The only person I have talked to is Coach Stringer; I will be talking to Matee and Essence in the next day or so. Coach Stringer just said to work hard and keep my skill up, I have always worked hard and will continue to do so. I am an intense person.”

Q: The Connecticut Sun is picking 10th and will need a front court player; do you see yourself fitting into their style of play?

AW: “They do play the style that I like and can fit into. I will do whatever it takes.”

KV: “They are a running team, and I like to run, it’s who ever could use me at the time.”

CB: “I know that Lindsay Whalen is looking for a big to dish off to and I love those opportunities when you have a guard looking to pass off the ball to the post.”

Q: What position do you see yourself playing and how hard was it to get back on the court after your loss?

CB: “It took me a while to wake up from the loss to Michigan State, it still feels like we should be in it. I got back on the court on Monday and have been just doing cardio and weight lifting. I am a versatile post player and I am still looking to improve my game and expanding it to the perimeter.”

Q: What is your workout/training right now?

KV: “I am not taking a break at all, I am getting up in the morning and doing cardio and lifting weights.”

AW: “I am taking a few days off to let my legs relax. Monday I will start individuals with my coaches to get game-ready.”

KT: “I am taking a few days off as well, just keeping busy with traveling to the Final Four in St. Louis. I am very mindful of lifting weights again and getting my strength back as well.”

Q: Is there any particular team that your game would be best-suited to?

KT: “I would say the Phoenix Mercury. They play up-tempo. Cappie Pondexter and Diana Taurasi love to get up and down the floor.”

KV: “I think Connecticut would fit me well, running the floor and they are a defensive team. Coach Stringer’s system was defense and that’s my passion.”

CB: “I would say Connecticut as well, they have a great veteran post player and I would fit alongside her well.”

AW: “I like Phoenix and the up-tempo. I also think Los Angeles, they have dominant players and they could use someone that can just come in and contribute more points.”