Tamika Williams Training Camp Interview

How does it feel to be back?

It feels good just to be around the girls again. We have so many new faces and to get back into the flow of things is exciting. We have some odds against us this year. We were playoff bound the year before last, so we’re just getting there and building on it. This year we’ve added new players, we’re the youngest team in the league, and now it’s just like we gotta fight for everything and I like being in that position.

How does it feel to bring in the new players?

We’ll be making our restaurant stops, our grocery store and convenience store outings; all that stuff. Maybe we’ll take them to Lake Calhoun next weekend. But they’re a fun group. Everybody has personality and nobody’s got attitude. Usually there are a couple players that are trying to make it so bad. There are no egos right now and I really like that. You shoot when you’re open, you defend, you’re positive, so I really like it.

How do you feel about the talent you got from this year’s draft?

We got a lot of talent coming in. I think all of them are really good in their own ways. They’re going to have to step up. This is not a situation like when I was a rookie where I was around older players, more experienced and better players. Now they’re coming in and they’re young, I’m 26 and that’s probably the middle to average age of players in this league, so they’re going to be thrown into the fire. Seimone Augustus is going to have to guard Sheryl Swoopes, Mwadi Mabika and Chamique Holdsclaw and all these players that have been playing for a long time. I think she can handle herself just like everybody else.

Does playing overseas in the off season give other players and advantage?

For me, since I was coaching at Ohio State, I would come in late at night. I had a group of guys that I played with three to four times per week; once per weekend and three times during the week. So keeping in shape is usually not a hard thing for me, getting up and down the floor, it’s just the touch. I shoot with a girls ball and when I play in the off season I always have to play with a boys’ ball. It’s just those small adjustments of playing with a girls’ ball. Now, just finding touches and getting a feel for the game, I think they have an edge over me with that. But I’m just talking my way through and playing hard and I think that makes up for it.

How did the first day of camp go?

It felt good. I think everybody looked pretty good. To have a young team with five point guards who are pretty young too, I think everybody looked good. I think everybody’s going to take their role and run with it. Additionally, the coaching staff is great. Our new coach; coach Yow has a lot of energy and I like her a lot. She’s working a lot of away from the basket type situations, but I think we’ll be more open with the offense. I think everything’s coming along, everybody’s positive and everybody wants to win. It’s time to get some competition in here and we’ll see how we look against the guys a couple times.