Recent free agent signing speaks out while playing in Poland

Q&A: Dominique Canty Reaches for the Sky

After averaging a career-high 10.9 points per game in 2006, highly coveted free agent point guard Dominique Canty left the Houston Comets this offseason to sign with the Sky in her hometown of Chicago. This winter, she's playing on a team in Poland with fellow WNBA player Anna DeForge.

Free agent Dominique Canty signed with her hometown Chicago Sky this offseason.
Bill Baptist/NBAE/Getty Images's Adam Hirshfield caught up with her over the phone recently while Canty was on her way to practice.

Q. So you're playing for Wisla Can-Pack in Poland. What's the reason so many WNBA players are heading overseas? Is it working on a new skill? Is it keeping in shape?

A. "I'm just trying to stay in shape right now. That's the reason most players come overseas in the offseason. You want to stay in shape, keep your timing and hopefully not lose anything before the season starts.

"I am also trying to work on my jump shot. That's something everybody knows I need to work on (laughs). I'm not ashamed of it. I know that my strength is penetrating and driving to the hole, so I feel I'll be a lot more successful if I can also shoot the jump shot consistently."

Q. Your team was eliminated from the EuroLeague in the Round of 16. How is your team doing in the Polish league?

A. "Right now, we're No. 1. We have two more games left in the regular season and then the playoffs start. Time is winding down. We're the favorites, because last year the team won the championship."

Q. What are your plans for coming back to the States and getting ready for the WNBA season with the Sky?

A. "I'm coming back to a new team, so I'm trying to get a feel for the team, get a feel for the coach and see the things that he wants to do. I know we're all on the same page with wanting to win, so whatever I can do to help the team win, I'm willing to do it."

Q. What made you want to make the move to Chicago?

A. "Getting a fresh start. There were a lot of things going on in Houston that I wasn't too sure about, so I wanted a fresh start. And I'm from Chicago. They're a young team and they needed a veteran, so I felt like I'd be a good fit because they need a strong guard who can penetrate and get other people the ball. So I went ahead and decided to make the move."

Q. How do you feel about the opportunity to play with Candice Dupree?

A. "I think it's pretty cool. She's a young player. She's very talented. Personality-wise, I don't really know her, but from what I hear, she's a sweet person. I think it's gonna be fun."

Can Canty become a floor leader in Chicago? "It's going to be weird at first," she says. "I'm used to being more of a role player. ... It'll take some getting used to, but it's not totally new, because I've done it before. I'll be alright with it."
Allen Einstein/NBAE/Getty Images
Q. What will it be like becoming the veteran floor leader for a team that had such a rough go last year?

A. "It's going to be weird at first, because I'm not really used to that. I'm used to being more of a role player, at least in the WNBA. When I come overseas, I'm more of a veteran… more of a leader. It'll take some getting used to, but it's not totally new, because I've done it before. I'll be alright with it."

Q. Will it be difficult coming to a new team? What will you need to improve on as a group in Chicago?

A. "It'll fall into place once we start practicing with each other and get that chemistry. Last year, they were a young team… a talented team, but they needed a couple of veterans and a strong, solid post player. I think things will fall into place."

Q. With all of the talented players in this year's draft, who would you most like to see the Sky go after?

A. "I haven't really been able to follow the college game over here, so I really don't know. What I do know is that in the guard position, we're great. I think we'll be a better team if we can get a strong post player. That's not to say that the post players we have aren't talented, because they are. But a big post player, a physical presence… that would complement the scorers we already have in the post."

Q. What are your expectations for the Sky this coming season?

A. "I think that if we work hard and work together and everybody's on the same page, then we're going to win. We're going to win more ballgames than they did last year, hopefully go to the playoffs, then go from there."

Q. You played in college at Alabama. Is there any rivalry in sports like the Alabama-Auburn football rivalry?

A. "(Laughs) I don't think so, because they take that rather seriously! It's almost scary!"

Q. What was the one thing you learned in college that has helped you the most in the WNBA?

A. "I had to wait my turn playing at Alabama. When I first got there, I wasn't the go-to player, and that taught me patience, both with people and on the floor."

Q. You served as an assistant coach at Chicago State a few years ago and were a criminal justice major in college. Do you see yourself heading in either of those directions after your playing career has ended?

A. "It's kind of funny. I majored in criminal justice because I wanted to be an FBI agent. And that's kind of out of the question now, because I play basketball and everyone's seen my face. When I get a little bit older, I might want to get back into coaching, but I'm not sure. I'm trying to get into other things, too, like real estate."

Q. If there's one thing you could change about the game of basketball, what would it be?

A. "I don't think I would change anything. I like the game the way it is. I like the physical playing, I like the running and jumping and all of the fundamentals and techniques that are involved. I wouldn't change anything."