Wonder From Down Under: Q&A With Tully Bevilaqua

May 19, 2006
Tully Bevilaqua is in her second season with the Fever after leading Indiana to the Eastern Conference Finals a year ago. Bevilaqua, a native of Australia, quickly emerged as a fan favorite during her first season with the club, earning respect from the home fans and her teammates alike as a result of her hard-nosed and selfless play. A seven-year WNBA veteran, Bevilaqua won a WNBA Championship as a member of the Seattle Storm (2004) after stints in Cleveland and Portland. Bevilaqua recently took the time to answer a few questions from FeverBasketball.comís Rachel Turner as she prepares for the Feverís season opener on Saturday night versus Detroit.
Feverbasketball.com: How do you feel about being one of the primary ďfacesĒ of the Fever?
Tully Belivaqua: ďItís very nice. Iím a little embarrassed to see my face out there. Itís just weird. Iíve never had that kind of attention before. At the same time itís nice to get that recognition.Ē
FB: A lot of people come to support you and to see you play. What do you think about having so many fans?
TB: ďItís awesome. The more people we get to the games, whether they are screaming for myself, Catch (Tamika Catchings) or anyone else on the team, itís just awesome that we get people into the stadium. We are certainly always looking for more. If we can put ourselves out there and attract more people, then it will obviously work to our advantage.Ē
FB: Did you know you had an unofficial Web site and fan club?
TB: ďI heard about it. And I get a little embarrassed that people go to those lengths. I just go out there and do what I do on the court. If that makes people happy and they like to show their appreciation for how I play on the court, then thatís awesome.Ē
FB: Will you play on Australiaís national team this year?
TB: ďThis year we had the Commonwealth Games and I was a part of that. We won the gold medal. Then there was a Foreign Nations tournament with the U.S. and China and I participated in that. The next big event is the World Championships in September, and I donít have anymore preparations to do with the team. There are probably about eight Australians in the WNBA. So, pretty much we just have to perform in the WNBA and then come August, wait and see what the Australian coach decides to do in terms of selections. I think I had a pretty good tournament at the Foreign Nations. What I did against the U.S. will hopefully hold me in good standing.Ē
FB: What was it like to win the gold medal at the Commonwealth Games?
TB: ďIt was awesome! Obviously itís not the Olympics, and we were expected to win, but I guess we were just able to go out there, relax and just have some fun. You donít take if for granted that you are representing your country. It is a huge honor, so you want to do the right thing. It was just unbelievable. The opening and closing ceremonies were in front of 100,000-plus people, and that was just an unbelievable experience. We had a great group of players to share that with so that made it even more memorable.Ē
FB: Does it surprise you that you are getting so much recognition at this point in your career?
TB: "Yes. I mean, any recognition kind of surprises me. Iím not a flashy player. Iím just a hard-nosed go-getter. It doesnít bother me if I get recognition or not. Itís just all about winning.Ē
FB: Do you like it here in Indiana?
TB: ďItís great! I mean, it was a tough decision to leave Seattle after we won the championship. And Iíll admit I did shed a few tears once I made the decision because I was venturing into the unknown. It was another challenge and I have no regrets. I certainly felt that I eased into the situation very quickly. And what made the move easy was the fact that my teammates were just awesome, and the organization was so welcoming. I didnít have any problems from the get-go. It was a great move for me.Ē
FB: Is there anything about Indianapolis in particular that you like?
TB: ďThe good thing is that when I get lost I can easily find my way back. Itís not as big as Seattle. I just love going out to dinner and trying new restaurants. In general, the city is pretty easy going, and itís like a big country town. I think the reason I enjoy it is because I grew up in a big country town. Indianapolis is pretty laid back and that is nice.Ē