Catching Up With Shannon Bobbitt
When she was selected in the second round of the 2008 WNBA Draft by the Los Angeles Sparks, Shannon Bobbitt had no idea that she would become the starting point guard for a team touted by many as the preseason favorite to win the WNBA Championship.
While the Sparks were one of the hottest teams in the league to begin the season Ė with a league-best record of 10-3 at the end of June Ė they posted a 5-8 record in July and entered the Olympic break in the middle of the tight Western Conference playoff race.
Bobbitt recently took part in a conference call with the media along with her former college teammates and fellow rookies Alexis Hornbuckle of the Detroit Shock and Nicky Anosike of the Minnesota Lynx.
WNBA.comís Brian Martin spoke with Bobbitt during the call to discuss her transition from college to the pros, her unexpected role with the Sparks and her teamís preparation during the Olympic break to get Los Angeles back on track to secure a playoff berth.
Q. How has the transition from college to the WNBA gone for you so far?
A. My season is going well so far. Weíre fighting to get into the playoffs. My transition from college to the Los Angeles Sparks has gone very well. It hasnít been a hard adjustment. Iím enjoying it as well. Iím loving the weather out here in California. The team has been good to me.
Q. What has been the most difficult adjustment from college to WNBA?
A. The most difficult transition for me with the L.A. Sparks would have to be the IQ of the game and the change in speed and just having to work and know every position on the floor. To this day Iím still learning that and getting better at that.
Q. What about off of the court? How is the professional lifestyle treating you?
A. The lifestyle and the living conditions out here in California are great. This is a great state, itís good out here. Just playing every day or every other day has been really hectic for me. Thatís been the most difficult problem Iíve had but Iím adjusting to it pretty well. The traveling as well. Iím not used to going through security and Iím used to being spoiled by the University of Tennessee.
Q. Speaking of Tennessee, how much has it helped your transition to have two of your college teammates playing with you in Los Angeles?
A. It helps me a lot, especially coming in and Sid (Sidney Spencer) giving me a heads up on the ropes and how practices are and what things that I have to start working on and what to expect for the point guard position, so she did a great job in that aspect.
Coming in with Candace, neither of us knew anything. I didnít know anything, so it feels real good to be with someone else that didnít know anything either.
Q. Coming in as a second-round pick, not only were you able to make the team, but youíre now the starting point guard. Do you feel pretty good about what youíve been able to do with the Sparks thus far this season?
A. Iíve been pleased with what Iím doing so far. I know I can be a lot better and I will get a lot better. I jumped into this position so early, I didnít expect it. As a rookie you just want to learn the ropes, learn from all of the veterans, but I have been put in a position to contribute very early and now I have to live up to it and Iím going to do the best I can and finish out the season strong.
Q. What kind of things have the Sparks been working on during the Olympic break?
A. Iíve just been working on running the team better, learning players' strengths and weaknesses and learning how to get the ball to players in good spots.
Q. It has to be difficult from a team aspect with Lisa, Candace and DeLisha gone during this time, youíre missing three of your best players. Does it make it tough to get ready for the stretch run without having them around?
A. Actually this has happened the way we expected it and the way we wanted it to happen. Weíve just been working hard and we know that other players have to step up and play an important role. It's been great for us so far. Weíve gotten better and weíre learning and weíre doing well. Weíre happy that it worked out this way.
Q. The Sparks struggled during most of July after having a great start in May and June with a 10-3 start to the season. What things are you working on get back to playing at the level you were at earlier this season?
A. The things weíve worked on are rebounding the ball and committing fewer turnovers; that will help us a lot. Also, itís everybody stepping up and playing their role and not looking for Lisa or Candace or DeLisha to always make the great play for us; everybody being accountable and everybody making big plays of their own. Itís going to take everybody working together with great chemistry. That is what we need to get back.