Checking in Tangela Smith

Posted: April 12, 2010 recently caught up with Tangela Smith, who has been playing for the Turkish team Pankup Kayseri during the WNBA offseason. We had a chance to talk to Tangela about the recent WNBA draft, UConn and Stanford game as well as the men the Mercury will be taking on in practice when they return. Hereís what Tangela had to say:

How has your season been treating you?
My season here in Turkey has been good. My team is currently in 4th place with two games left before the playoffs. My teammates are great and everyone is just looking forward to the playoffs.

What are you doing to stay busy in your downtime?
I have a little bit more downtime over here because my team only plays once a week. Sometimes I travel to Istanbul the day after a game because we usually have a couple days off. My team is in a smaller city that doesnít have much going on, so hanging out in Istanbul is always better. The food is better and there is great shopping!

Other than that, I'm just home playing with Jade, my doggie, watching movies and catching up with all my American TV shows. I also love to read. Talking to friends and family back home via Skype is something I'm always doing as well. Whoever invented Skype and Slingbox are geniuses!

What are you most excited for in the 2010 season?
I'm most excited about the ring ceremony for this upcoming season. Many of my family members and friends will be in the building to see me get my second ring and also to see us beat the Sparks! Also I'm never excited about our long East Coast road trip, but I'm sure we will be traveling to the White House to see Obama and I'm super excited for that!

The team recently held tryouts for an all-male practice squad. How do you feel about taking the men on in practice? What do you think will surprise them most about the Mercury?
I feel great about our male practice squad. I'm not sure how Coach will implement them into practices or if we will scrimmage them most of the time, but it can only be a good thing for us. Most men are bigger and stronger, so they will definitely make us better and we will also make them better. I'm sure there will be a couple guys who will have that ego thing going on and will try to do whatever it takes to not let us get the best of them, but for the most part I think itís a great idea. They will mostly be surprised about how much running we do in practice. They will be very surprised!

Were you able to catch any of the UConn vs. Stanford game?
I had to stay up late to watch the UConn/Stanford game, but it was worth it. I wanted to see if anyone could actually hang with UConn and Stanford definitely did. I love rooting for the underdog, so secretly I wanted Stanford to win, but I'm also proud of UConn and what they accomplished. It was a great effort on both teamsí part and I have to congratulate them both.

What advice would you give to the rookies coming into the league this season?
The advice I would give to the rookies this year is to make sure they come to training camp mentally and physically prepared for a battle because itís not going to be easy. They will have to fight with everything they have for a spot because the league is getting much more talented as the years go by. Anything worth having is going to be hard, so they should just come ready and focused and good luck to everyone out there trying to make a roster.