Getting Chatty With Wanisha Smith

Before Training Camp opens for the Liberty this weekend, is checking in with some players to play catch up before their schedules start to get hectic.

Today, we chatted with a very excited Wanisha Smith, the guard New York selected in the second round of this yearís Draft. While strolling across Dukeís campus in Durham, NC, Smith took a few minutes to let us know about wrapping up her college life and getting ready to embrace her new one in the WNBA.

So what are you feeling before coming to New York this weekend for Training Camp?
Iím extremely excited, and I have to say, a tad bit nervous about it.

Have you ever been here to visit?
Yes, I have been to visit Ė when we played at Madison Square Garden [for the Maggie Dixon Classic]. I havenít visited the sights and scenes, though.

Have you been working out and staying in shape since your season ended?
Yes! Iím working out more. I took a day or two off, but typically everyday now Iím running a couple of miles, and taking about 500-600 shots a day.

Are you still working out with your Blue Devil team-mates or alone?
No. Iím trying to get my classes and things together before I leave, so my schedule has been a bit off from theirs.

Whatís it going to be like to say goodbye to the Cameron Crazies?
Iím not going to be at our banquet to really say goodbye to everyone, itís going to be sad. They were great for us; Iím really going to miss them.

With all this excitement on the horizon, are you going to even miss college life?
I donít know [laughs]. I will miss campus life and my teammates. I think life after college will be stress free Ė no more papers, but Iím excited to start another chapter of my life.

So letís talk about Draft day, where were you when you found out you were selected by the Liberty?
I was in our athletics offices on campus. We had a conference room full of people watching [the Draft broadcast]. I was getting very anxious and to hear my name, I was in shock, just so happy. I just sat there in disbelief almost. Iím just really happy to get the opportunity to be selected to a team.

With this franchise having so much history as one of the charter members of the league, what did that mean to you coming into a team that has been there since the beginning?
Itís beautiful. To be a part of it just slightly is exciting. Iím just so happy to get to have the experience.

Did you grow up watching the WNBA, whatís been your experience with it?
I did grow up watching it. I had been to games in high school, with my AAU team. And I ran into many of the players at the Nike camps I went to. Living in Maryland before college, I had been a couple of times to see the Mystics, and even saw the Orlando team play once.

What do you think the biggest difference will be from North Carolina to New York?
I think itíll definitely be more upbeat, a lot of excitement and lots of things to do.

Being from the Midwest originally, has that infamous southern hospitality rubbed off on you by spending four years in North Carolina?
Definitely. People are really nice and polite here. And especially with the team and the behind the scenes staff at Duke. They make a very fun family environment.

Lastly, we drafted a UNC player [Erlana Larkins] Ė so we all want to know, what will it be like for a Blue Devil to be playing with a Tar Heel?
[Laughs]. Itíll be fun. We had the opportunity to play together for Olympic Games in Colorado Springs for the east squad. We were not in college yet, but we see each other now in area and things are cordial. Itíll definitely be fun.

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