One-on-One With Temeka Johnson

By Ben York,
Posted: April 28, 2010

Temeka Johnson is a perfect fit in Phoenix.

Sure, she facilitates the high-octane offense perfectly, provides a veteran leadership presence on the court, and boosts the teamís attitude defensively. But, she also is one of the most active and dedicated professional athletes in terms of giving back to the community Ė and as a resident Phoenician I can undoubtedly say we can never have too much of that. recently had the chance to speak to Temeka about her return to Phoenix. Temeka has been playing in France this off-season averaging 15 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 3.6 apg, 63% FG, and 87.4% FT.

What is the one thing you are most excited about in your return to Phoenix?
The fans!!!!! We have the best fans in the league, and coming back to see them and play for them makes a BIG difference. Thank you, Phoenix!

How key is it that you've had a full year under your belt running the point the Mercuryís high-powered offense?
Itís really important. Weíll be able to do more with our sets (even with the new additions to the team), as both myself and Ketia [Swanier] have a year with Coach Gaines. Weíll be doing it more off of instinct, which as a player, is key.

Youíve been something of a mentor to fellow point guard, Ketia Swanier. Are you excited to continue that relationship as a person and a player?
Ketia is great, and I know sheís been working hard all off-season. This season will be a bit different, as Iím thinking that you may see more of our individual talents than you did last year. Ketia is a quick learner, though, and weíre ready to repeat!

There is little doubt that you have a profound desire to improve the lives of children wherever youíre at. Does it help that youíll now have multiple years to make your mark in the Phoenix community?
This is what Iíve been hoping for with my team (FAM). We wanted to make our mark in Phoenix, but we also didnít want to just start and leave. We have some exciting things in store for Phoenix this year from HOPE Ė some clinics, galas, meet-and-greets, everything. Stay posted on twitter for more details. But, again, knowing that Phoenix is my home, means that HOPE has another place to call home as well!

Does it provide some sense of security for you being signed for multiple years?
It definitely does. Itís the most secure Iíve felt since being in the WNBA. We never know what will happen in the future, but this has felt like home since last year. I love my teammates, the ownership, the coaches, the staff, the fans, everyone