A long-distance call with the Mercury All-Star

Dialing Diana

By Vince Kozar, PhoenixMercury.com
Posted: April 3, 2007

The 2007 WNBA season is still a month away, but Phoenix Mercury guard Diana Taurasi is already in mid-season form. The WNBA's scoring leader last summer is currently in Russia, where she has joined fellow All-Stars Sue Bird and Tina Thompson playing for Spartak Moscow Region. With the 2007 WNBA Draft set to take place on Wednesday, PhoenixMercury.com called up Taurasi, the Mercury's last No. 1 pick in 2004, to get a report from Russia and her thoughts on the draft.

PhoenixMercury.com: How has Russia been treating you?

Diana Taurasi: Russia has been great this year. We just finished the EuroLeague Championship, which we won, so that was very exciting. Our team came together at the right time and that was a very fulfilling feeling. Next year we hope to have the same group and do it again.

Now, we have a month left of the Russian League Playoffs, which we’re fighting to win also. Being overseas has been great. It really helps you stay in game shape because you’re playing against great competition every day.

PhoenixMercury.com: Earlier this week, the Mercury acquired New York center Kelly Schumacher, who you played with at UCONN. How do you think that move helps the team?

Taurasi: Schuey is going to help our team tremendously. She fills that center spot, which was left vacant by the great Kamila V., since she is pregnant with the next great Czech Republic center (laughs). Kelly can defend the amazing centers in the west and also extend the defense with her ability to shoot the basketball. Welcome home, Schuey!

PhoenixMercury.com: You set just about every offensive league record last season. What are you expectations for yourself this season?

Taurasi: Individually, I never set standards. Every season is different with different players and different events that happen. One thing I can control is to be a positive teammate no matter the circumstances.

PhoenixMercury.com: Wednesday is a big day here in Phoenix. Any advice from one No. 1 pick to another?

Taurasi: Being picked No. 1 comes with a lot of obligations and pressures — from the media to people expecting you to bring Jesus back. The only advice I would offer is to just enjoy it! One life!

PhoenixMercury.com: Lastly, what would you like to tell your Mercury fans, who are anxious for the 2007 WNBA season to tip-off?

Taurasi: Can’t wait to be back in Phoenix! See you at the opener!