Q&A With Janeth Arcain | Part II
Editorís Note: LynxBasketball.com had a chance to sit down with WNBA legend Janeth Arcain during Training Camp this week. Arcain, a native of Brazil, is in town helping translate for Lynx rookie Damiris Dantas during her first weeks with the organization. She was part of the leagueís inaugural season in 1997, and she won four WNBA championships during her career with the Houston Comets from 1997-2000. In Part II of this two-part series, Arcain discusses her own playing career, her four titles with the Comets, what she sees in the Lynx organization and gives advice to young girls hoping to one day make it to the WNBA.
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Mark Remme: You were part of the lone dynasty of the WNBA, so you know what itís like to be part of that winning culture in Houston. Being on the inside of Lynx camp, have you developed an appreciation for what theyíve grown here?
JA: Yeah, I think theyíre very good, they do something the way like the Comets did in the beginning. The coach, sheís very nice. I like the way she teaches the team, how she tries to build the team in Training Camp and how she treats the players. This makes the younger players with the talent and experienced players, I think this is successful for basketball. The other thing I think she told to the team: You have to be a team player. Itís not just for yourself. This is the success in the WNBA because every team has good talent, the Lynx have good talents, and thatís why you guys won the two rings. But the difficult time right now is to keep winning. This is the most difficult. Every time you put something in the minds of the players, they have to be better than they were before. And this is the most important time and difficult time for the coach. If the players understand that, that they have a job to do on the court, each has to do the best they can in their position, this will be a success.
MR: How did you guys in Houston continue winning year in and year out when it gets harder every year?
JA: Think like that, do the best that you can in your position. Donít be a post who tries to be a point guard or a point guard to be a post. Do the best you do and help the team. If I had to be a good pick for the wing to go out and shoot, if she makes the shot, I have to do this. This will be a success. If I have to get a rebound and make my ball, I will do this, because everybody will believe in me. This is what coach [Van] Chancellor told us if we won the second, the third rings in the Comets.
MR: Do you have an appreciation for what the Lynx do given the league has grown over time and the talent is coming in to play from everywhere?
JA: Yeah, I think this is very nice for the league and the players because if the United States has the best basketball in the world, itís here where everybody wants to be. And the WNBA, to me, is the best league in the world. Everybody wants to be here, especially the young players. This is nice, because they can learn a lot and when they come back to your country, they can try to be a star there and make more women to play basketball. Because we know it is difficult, womenís basketball is not everywhere we can see the championships. But I think this is the way. I think this is how theyíre building so strong in this league.
MR: Do you look back at being in the first season of the WNBA and feel proud you were part of it?
JA: Yeah, when I first got here I was talking to Maya and she told me, ĎJ, I remember when you were playing. I was so little and I saw you play.í I said, ĎYeah guys, we built this league for you. And itís so nice to see you enjoy this moment.í And thatís what I feel. I hope to be here in the first game to see they receive the ring, and to me this was a very good moment because I remember my first ring, my second, third. And right now they enjoy this very moment of the league.
MR: How often do you wear the rings, or do you keep them put away?
JA: No, I have one on right here with me. This was the fourth one. This one, to me, was the most important. The fourth one. And It was so different because I hadnít played point guard in my life. In this fourth ring, I was the starting point guard. I like this one. I like this one, to me, is very special. I hope the Lynx can get more than two, get three, four, five, and do the best they can.
MR: Did you see back in 1997 the league becoming what it has become today?
JA: Yeah, because when we started, we started with the eight teams. And then it was 10, and other years 12. So itís nice. I hope they can build more teams in other cities and make this league strong like they did with the NBA. And this I want. This I hope, and I hope to be alive to see one. Like 20 teams, I think this is going to be great because in the United States you have a lot of very good players, and I hope the owners can see how nice it is to see the womenís basketball and I hope they can do the best they can to make this league a successful 18, 20, 30 years and be like the NBA.
MR: What advice do you have for young girls today who hope to one day become a WNBA player?
JA: Dream, and practice hard every day to make this dream come true. And donít give up, just practice and believe in yourself.
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