WNBA Training Camps Open Sunday
New York, May 15 – The WNBA offseason officially ends this weekend as training camps across the league open on Sunday, May 17 in preparation for the WNBA’s 13th season.
There has been plenty of player movement this offseason – from free agent signings and trades to the Houston Comets Dispersal Draft and the WNBA Draft – where the team you knew a year ago could come out of training camp looking much different.
There are a few new wrinkles in this year’s training camp to keep in mind as well. The first is that with the season being pushed back to a June 6 start, training camp is starting about three weeks later than it has in previous seasons. The greatest benefit of this change is that it allows players to fulfill their overseas commitments and still make it back in time for training camp.
In previous seasons, many players would miss training camp altogether after arriving back in the United States just days before opening day. They would have just enough time to take their physical, get to the game, put on a uniform and get out on the floor. There was little to no time to practice or completely recover from the jetlag from such a long trip.
In a recent interview with PhoenixMercury.com, Diana Taurasi said: "This is finally going to be a regular WNBA season, I feel like. Everyone is here three or four days before training camp, instead of the first day of a game. And I think that’s key for us – and for all of the teams – to get that rhythm, to find what we’d like to do on the court when its practice, where you can make mistakes and fix them.”
While training camp should be more productive with a full allotment of players on hand, the duration of the camp has been shortened from four weeks to three, with the first preseason games beginning next Thursday, May 21.
However, the biggest change of all is in fact the end result of training camp and that is the final roster that a team’s general manager and coaching staff choose prior to the season opener.
With rosters being trimmed from 13 players to 11, the competition for those 11 spots will be as fierce as ever, and the corresponding decisions that the front office has to make will be as difficult as ever.
Team Training Camp Previews