Diana Taurasi Answers Fan Questions

If Mercury All-Star Diana Taurasi thought a run to the 2007 WNBA Championship was going to result in some off time, the sharpshooter had another thing coming. The offseason has been a busy one for DT, one filled with commercial shoots and, of course, playing some international hoops.

Now back in the United States for the 2008 WNBA season, Taurasi recently took time out of her schedule to answer some questions submitted by you, the fans.

John- Akron, OH: Weíve had the chance now to view a couple of your Nike SPARQ Training commercials. What was it like doing those and are there any more to look forward to? Best of luck on the í08 season and in the Olympics.

Diana Taurasi: It was a great experience to do a Nike Commercial with amazing athletes. It was also an actual workout. The sweat was the real deal. I was pretty sure it was going to be a cake walk when, next thing I know, they had an actual SPARQ trainer there stretching. I taped it during NBA All-Star weekend in New Orleans this past year. Hopefully there are more to come!

Akiya- Queens, NY: Hey, whatís up DT? Coming off a season in which you guys won a WNBA championship, what position do you think yaíll need to improve to repeat as champions? Also, who do you see you guys selecting with you first pick in the draft? Too bad Candace Parker is going to be taken first because she would fit into the Phoenix system perfectly.

Taurasi: It was a great í07 summer for sure! Iím pretty sure Coach Gaines will have a check list of improvements for the summer. LaToya Pringle from UNC was the player management picked out during their recruiting process so Iím happy. Welcome to the desert!

Kelly- Southington, CT: Which was sweeter, winning a WNBA or an NCAA Championship for the first time?

Taurasi: I really donít like to compare the two. Each one has its own flavor! The WNBA championship was hard. So many great players and tough teams in a grueling summer schedule is a great feat for any team, especially for little olí Phoenix!

Nicholle- Owatonna, MN: Who are some of the college players entering the draft that you think will have an immediate impact on the WNBA?

Taurasi: The obvious: Candace Parker, Wigs, and Big Syl are going to be immediate impact players like the Cappies, Simones and yours truly! A sleeper whose versatility I enjoy is Tasha Humphrey from Georgia. Thatís all the league needed, for Detroit to have another beast in the paint!

Christy- Pompano Beach, FL: What music do you like to listen to and if you could play an instrument what would it be?

Taurasi: My musical preference is all over the board. Thereís the constant Tupac thatís always on the playlist. Iím a big rock fan: Metallica, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Gun Ďn Roses, Nirvana, White Zombie. Then thereís my European playlist: The Italian, Eros Ramazzotti, and plenty of others!

Kris- Southington, CT: Hey Di. You rock! The CT Sun are acquiring more former UConn players such as Barbara Turner. Do you think you would want to be traded there as well or is Phoenix your new home? Good luck this year!

Taurasi: Coach Tibaugh is a thief. He got two amazing players for his team. I mean, Tamika is a proven WNBA veteran. Iím sure a new look is going to get her career back on track. Then BT Express, who I think is just waiting to get the chance to show how skilled she is. Not too many players have her skill set and strength. Throw Asia Jones in there, oh baby. CT fans will enjoy!

Casey- New Martinsville, WV: Hi, Diana. Iím a huge fan! I was wondering, since you have an Italian background, if given the chance, would you like to play on a team in Italy in the offseason?

Taurasi: Being a proud Italian with a legal passport, I would love to play in Italy eventually in my overseas career. Right now Russia has been very good to me and Iíve been privileged to play with some great players and win Euroleague titles. In my dreams I see myself playing in Milan, feasting on the finest wines and pasta in the world!

Karen- Seattle, WA: I was wondering if youíve ever played Sue Bird one on one and if so, who won?

Taurasi: Believe it or not we have never played one on one. It would be an even matchup. Speed goes to Sue, strength goes to Dee, height goes to Dee and shooting is even. If celebrity death match ever comes knocking I will be ready!

Sammie- So. Elgin, IL: Congrats on the title. You all did great. So I was just curious, when you retire from playing do you think you will get into coaching? Iím wondering because Iím a sophomore in high school and have decided to stop playing to get into coach/managing. I mean, thereís more to it, but anyway, what things do you recommend to accomplish that?

Taurasi: I think coaching is a very fulfilling career. I have learned many things from coaches in my basketball years. My AAU coach Big Lou, Coach Auriemma, and most recently Coach Westhead have all taught me so many things beyond basketball and I am thankful to have them in my corner. My only recommendation would be to always have your players enjoy the game!

Nick- Houston, TX: Hey Dee, how was Russia? Also, did you finally settle the debate with Sue Bird over who is the best bowler?

Taurasi: Russia was very nice! We defended our Euroleague title with a huge win over BRNO on the home court. Sue knows who the best bowler is. She finally admitted it!