Pettis Looking Forward to Anniversary Game

By Andrew Nicholson, PhoenixMercury.com
Posted: June 6, 2006

The Mercury takes on the Sacramento Monarchs tonight for the second time this season and once again it will be nationally televised on ESPN 2.

The game will feature a half-time celebration of four of the original Mercury members: Michelle Timms, Jennifer Gillom, Bridget Pettis, and former Head Coach Cheryl Miller. The celebration is in honor of the 10-year anniversary of the WNBA.

Pettis recently rejoined the Mercury and is honored to be a part of the celebration.

“I still feel like a kid amongst them,” Pettis said following Monday’s practice. “They are big time players to me and I have always looked at them like that.

“It’s great to be a part of it.”

Pettis is among the few players that have lasted 10 years in the league and feels lucky to be a part of the Mercury again with the new young players.

“It’s a great experience to be a part of 10 years,” she said. “And then to see the young players, play now, the whole experience is just overwhelming.”

Pettis’ 10th year in the league has started a little slow this season, but she and her teammates are confident that they are learning from their losses and will be a tough challenge for the Monarchs Tuesday night.

“Our mindset is the ‘never die’ attitude,” Pettis assured. “Just because we have lost to a team doesn’t mean we’re going to lose to them again.

“How we played against Seattle the other night is proof of that, so hopefully we will turn it around and start winning.”

The Mercury hasn’t started out the season with much luck. The beginning of their schedule is probably the toughest stretch and they are without their leader at point guard in the injured Kelly Miller.

While injuries and late arrivals to camp aren’t excuses, they are realities that make it harder for the team to gel. With the recent string of bad luck it is easy to get bogged down by the Mercury’s start. But one very bright spot is the Mercury’s second overall draft day selection of Cappie Pondexter.

“Cappie, most definitely,” Pettis said of who she has been impressed with. “I mess with her every day because it’s like she shows herself more and more.

“She’s a great player. I always knew she was good, but now she is turning into a great player.”

Pettis has not only been impressed by the Pondexter’s ability to fill up the stat sheet, she is also impressed with her leadership ability.

“She is for sure a leader,” Pettis said. “Her actions are making her teammates wanting to follow her lead.”

With the fantastic play of Pondexter and the excitement of the 10 year anniversary celebration, Pettis isn’t shy about saying that the Mercury look to get a win on ESPN 2 Tuesday night. At the same time they aim to get their first victory, the Mercury still shoot to make the playoffs, just as they had as a goal prior to the season opener versus the reigning champs

“We’ve lost four games,” Pettis said. “If we win the rest, it would be no question that we would be the No. 1 team.

“We’d rather go through what we are going through now and then get it together.”

If history is on their side, they will get a good win Tuesday night. Last season the Mercury lost to the Monarchs by 12 in their first meeting in Sacramento and then turned things around in their second meeting and won by 14 at home.

History does have a way of repeating itself.