Fever Q&A With Tammy Sutton-Brown

September 12, 2008
A native of Toronto and a graduate of Rutgers University, Fever center Tammy Sutton-Brown is in her eighth WNBA season in 2008 – her second with the Fever after six years with the Charlotte Sting. Currently sixth in WNBA history in blocked shots, she enters Thursday’s game with New York ranked third in the WNBA in blocks this season, with a franchise-record 54 blocks through 32 games.

She took time from her recent travel schedule to answer some questions for FeverBasketball.com.

FeverBasketball.com: You are approaching the end of your second season in Indianapolis, after so many years in Charlotte, what has been the best part about playing with the Fever?
Tammy Sutton-Brown: “The best part about playing with the Fever has to be the team, all my teammates. I have the opportunity to play with some great players on the court who are also great people off. I would also have to say that Indiana is a basketball state and so we have some great fans here.”
FB: What have been a couple of personal highlights during your two years with the Fever?
TSB: “A couple of highlights during my two years with the Fever have to include going 16-4 last season to start the season, the best start of the season record the Fever have ever had. Also, our run in the playoffs was pretty exciting!”
FB: What are a couple of your favorite hot spots in Indy?
TSB: “My fav spot in Indy has to be the Capital Grille. I love their food, and the atmosphere is great as well.”
FB: I know that you’re a big shopper. Any favorite shopping locations in Indy?
TSB: “My favorite location to shop in Indy is Keystone Mall, particularly because of Saks 5th Avenue!”
FB: For new players coming to the Fever in future seasons, what recommendations would you make in getting to know the city?
TSB: “Recommendations I would make for future players to get to know the city would be to hit the Circle Centre Mall. It is close to Conseco Fieldhouse and shops are aplenty, so one can find pretty much anything you want. Also they can take in the White River State Park on a nice day – there are lots of things to do all around the downtown area and the walkways are all very nice.”
FB: Did you know that you had broken the Fever’s single-season blocks record?
TSB: “I had no idea about the record until I was told after the game. I don’t really think about stuff like that. I just try to go out every game and do what I have to to help the them get the W.”
FB: Does it give you any particular satisfaction?
TSB: “I think anytime you hold a record for something it means you are doing something right. I just try to go out every game and do what I need to help my team win. So if my teammate gets beat on defense, for instance, I take pride in being there to help.”
FB: You are going to eventually finish your career among the WNBA’s top blocks leaders of all time. Besides your height, any special secrets of your success?
TSB: “No secrets, I believe blocking shots is all about timing and reaction. It’s about studying players’ tendencies.”
FB: What is your reaction to learning that you not only own the Fever’s single-season blocks record, but also the Conseco Fieldhouse single-game record for blocks by both the home and the visiting team?
TSB: “Wow, I had no idea!”
FB: How come your native Canada wasn’t represented in the 2008 Olympics?
TSB: “Well, where do I start? LOL…. The world is broken down into regions and the way it works is that every region has a certain number of spots when it comes to the Olympics and the World Championships. With that said, we are in the same region with United States, Cuba, Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, and Puerto Rico. A qualifying tournament is held the year prior to the Olympic games and the top 3 or 4 teams then qualify. Unfortunately, Canada was not one of them last year.”
FB: Seriously … on that topic, is that anything in which you take particular pride? I know that you did not participate in any qualifying tournaments because of your overseas play.
TSB: “It has been an honor to have represented Canada over the years. The thing about playing with the national team is that it takes place during my break between the WNBA and overseas. Last year, I was physically and emotionally drained because I had been on the same schedule for the last six years straight, without a break. I had gone from the WNBA straight to Canada to play with the national team, then from there straight overseas and it just took a toll on me. Some of my best memories have been with the Canadian National Team. For example, playing in the 2000 Olympics, still to this day, has to be my fondest memory.”
FB: The Fever has been “up and down” through much of 2008 with injuries and absences due to the Olympics. What has been the most difficult part of this season for you?
TSB: “The most difficult part of this season has been the inconsistency of our play. Yes, we have had injuries, but every team does. But we have so much talent on this team that we should not let injuries of any players affect what we want to do.”
FB: As the Fever winds toward the playoffs, what is the biggest reason you can see for a productive playoff run?
TSB: “As we get closer to playoffs, the biggest thing we must do is to not look past anyone, focus on taking every game one game at a time. Playing hard every possession, there is no time to relax.”
FB: Will you play in Turkey again this winter? If so, how many years will this be for you in Istanbul, and why has it lured you back so often?
TSB: “I will be going back to Istanbul, Turkey this year again, I actually signed a two-year contract with them. I have had a great time in Turkey both on and off the court. Fenerbahce, the team I play for over there, is a great organization that is very professional. The city is beautiful, and is rich in history and culture. I enjoy the food and the people are so nice, but the music still needs to grow on me. LOL!
FB: As best you can, can you compare and contrast your three most recent cities – Indianapolis, Charlotte and Istanbul?
TSB: “Well Indy and Charlotte are similar in the fact that they are not big cities like, say, a NY or L.A. They are more family-oriented cities. Indianapolis is in the state where basketball is known, and the city loves all its sports. Istanbul is a huge city with so much to do, yet football (what we call soccer ) is the biggest sport. One thing all three cities have is great fans. The support I have gotten over the years has been amazing and I have been very fortunate to have played in all three cities.”
FB: Toronto is where you grew up and where your family still resides. When you are finished playing basketball, is there a particular city that you would like to eventually call home? And why that city?
TSB: “If you had asked me this question three years ago, I would have said Charlotte or Ft. Lauderdale. But the older I get, the more I see myself moving back to Toronto to live when I’m done. I think the only way I would end up staying in America is if my husband (who I have yet to find!) is American, but even then I will have a spot in Toronto.“