Elena Baranova Chat Transcript
Helping lead the way for the Liberty at home will be center Elena Baranova, who has been a key player for New York all season. The 6-5 Russian star averaged 10.4 points and 6.3 rebounds per game and led the WNBA in free throw percentage (92.5%). She also shot a career-best 46.1% from 3-point range this season.
Prior to the New York Liberty's all-important game at Madison Square Garden, Baranova chatted live with fans. See the full chat transcript below.
Peter Adams (New York): Do you feel the Liberty can win game three? What do you have to do to help New York?
Elena Baranova: Definitely I think we can win Game 3 tonight. I think I need to grab rebounds, make my shots and play the best defense I can play to help us win.
Michelle (Bayside): What, if any, rituals do you and your teammates do prior to gametime?
Elena Baranova: Hi, Michelle. We usually arrive in the locker room about two hours before the game, then get dressed. Then we have warmups, and then we get taped. Then we stretch as a team. Then we have a final meeting and then we have tip-off for the game. That's the pregame schedule.
Alanna(NYC): Hey Elena, How has the Summer Olympics helped you mentally and physically this season? Good Luck the rest of the season!
Elena Baranova: Thank you Alanna, for the question. The Olympic Games helped me stay in shape...mentally and physically. I played well with the Russian team so I just wanted to bring back that some luck with me to the Liberty team.
Rick, Manhattan: Great job this year Elena!!! How do you think you will change your match up with Detroit starting 3 post players?
Elena Baranova: I don't think we will change much. We just need to play harder and with more passion and effort. And if we do that, we will win.
Alex (Moscow): Privet, Elena! I heard you practice with men sometimes. How does it help you? GO LIBERTY!!!
Elena Baranova: Alex from Moscow! I know lots of Alex's in Moscow. Hi, Alex. You're right, I practiced with a men's team called Bison last year in Mytischi and it really helped me. Men are strong players inside, and quick outside, so it helps me to compete against the woman afterward.
Jessie (Reading): Are there any Russian foods or dishes you particularly miss being here in the States>
Elena Baranova: Hmmm. Actually, Jessie, it's a good question, but here in New York at Brighton Beach you can find any Russian food you would ever want. All you have to do is order it, and 24-hours later, you have. Although, I haven't used this service yet, I know it is available!
BCBG25: What are your plans for the offseason and are you coming back to New York next year?
Elena Baranova: Definitely I want to return next season to play for the Liberty. I love the city of New York and enjoy playing the Liberty and their terrific fans. The fans here are the best in the world, and it's a pleasure for me to play here. I want to play overseas during the offseason, someplace in Russia, but I haven't chosen a team yet.
Kingston: Hi Elena. Who are you closest friends with on the Liberty team? Also... don't let Detroit shut you down... they can't stop your A game... "Liberty 2004 WNBA Champs!"
Elena Baranova: (Laughing) I have Becky Hammon as my roomate and she's a great roomate. I like to talk to KB Sharp in Russian sometimes, because she has played in Russia. But we are all good personalities on our team and we have great chemistry as a team so the entire team spends time together. Everybody on the Liberty is my friend. About Detroit, I think we can beat them tonight.
jerseynu (jersey): Nova, the lib fans love you...we've seen you meet and greet fans after the games at the Garden and you are always very gracious...what is your secret for dealing with all the fame and the NY fans?
Elena Baranova: Thanks for the question Jersey. I love NY fans, they are so nice to us. The give us gifts and support us so much, even if we are having a tough stretch. I really appreciate this support from them. The fans are just terrific.
australia: Hi Elena, Who do u believe is the best player in the WNBA?
Elena Baranova: Hmmm. I don't want to pick one player, because every player is unique and everyone has something special about their game. I believe the WNBA is full of great stars, not just one.
Aarti (North Bergen): Hey Elena! Congratulations on a much improved season and for leading the WNBA in free-throw percentage. What was your personal goal for this season and did you accomplish it? Much luck and love to you and the Liberty as you go all the way!
Elena Baranova: My goal for the season, is the same goal of my life. To win every competition I play in. So, I have not yet accomplished that goal this season, but I think we may be able to do it this year.
Elena Baranova: I would like to say thank you to all the fans for your interesting questions. I had no idea I had fans in Australia, it really surprised me! It shows how great the WNBA is, around the whole world people enjoy our league. Also, I'd like to thank again the fans of the New York. I'd also like to thank the WNBA for bringing this opportunity to me to play in this terrific league. And lastly, I'd like to say, GO LIBERTY!