Q&A With Lindsey Harding

WashingtonMystics.com: You just finished up the†first set of practices in D.C., how much does it help you comfort wise to start the practices in D.C.?
Lindsey Harding: The good thing is I can stay in my same apartment and I donít have to stay in the hotels.† I think Iím also more comfortable because I trained with Geno (Auriemma) last year and a lot of it was review from last year. †But the best part of playing in D.C. is coming home to my own apartment.

WM.com: Have you noticed a difference in your game and confidence since your all-star nomination and appearance, and does that sort of accolade help you when you come to a tryout like this?
LH: Every player here is an All-Star.† To finally be named to one of them was great for me and it has always been a goal of mine to become an All-Star in this league.† It definitely gives me confidence.† But being around these great players you have to bring it at every practice.†

WM.com: You mentioned Geno earlier, when you were at Duke you helped the Blue Devils end one of the great Connecticut home-winning streaks. They had won 69 straight home games and along with your current teammates, Monique Currie and Alana Beard you helped end that streak.† Has there been any sort of trash talk on your end to remind Geno of that?
LH: I will tell you what, because of the success that he has had at UConn he is a very confident guy and he likes to throw that out to some people.† He hasnít thrown anything at me about that yet, but if he does I will have that win in my back pocket..

WM.com: Along with the coaching staff, four of the 11 players participating went to Connecticut. Is there an overly Connecticut feel to practice right now?
LH: They do have a lot of Connecticut people here.† But as far as athletes and coaches go it is all very deserving.† They are all great players and heís a great coach and I look forward to every practice to be coached by him.†

WM.com: Have you talked at all to the coaching staff in these practices about what they are looking for out of you to help this team?
LH: I actually did talk to Geno one-on-one and asked him a little bit about what I can do to help the team.† Basically it is a lot of things that Iím already doing. Iím a great defender.† I need to be more consistent with my shooting, but we all have our strengths and weaknesses.† In the end it is just working hard.† It is really hard to see if you are going to make this team or not because we are all good enough.† It is all about helping being a piece of the puzzle to help the team move on and win.

WM.com: You will play Australia on Friday and again in Spain later this month. Considering that they won the World Championships in 2006, what importance do you place on those games in terms of making a statement to them?
LH: This is what Geno said to us about that Ďthe more a team can beat you the more confidence they get.í This is a very very important game because we canít give them confidence.† We canít let them come into the World Championships thinking about how they beat us.† We need to get them down and make them second guess themselves.

WM.com: Moving onto the WNBA, the Finals tip-off on Sunday, did you have the chance to watch the second round and what are your thoughts on the Finals?
LH: I did.† I actually watched the game last night between Atlanta and New York and it was a great game.† Angel McCoughtry and Cappie Pondexter just went at it.† It was one of the best offensive games Iíve seen by those two teams.† As far as Seattle and Atlanta I think it is going to be a great series.†† I think Seattle has proven †to be the best all-around team all season.† I think they maybe have more pressure on them because they have been the favorites all year.† Atlanta is kind of coming in as the underdog, but they are rolling.† They are playing extremely well like they did at the beginning of the season.† I think it is going to be a great series and I think it might go to five.†

WM.com: Does it help you mentally at all to see that the Dream swept the Liberty and went on to the Finals?
LH: You know what, the playoffs are a different level and you can see that out of Atlanta from the regular season to now.† They are playing at a totally different level.† Iím watching the playoffs and I'm learning. You look and realize that the regular season is all great but we have to step it up to a new level in the playoffs in order to compete for a championship.†

WM.com: In January, you had the chance to play in Lithuania.† What was that experience like and will you play overseas this fall/winter and if so do you know where you will be playing?
LH: I had a lot of fun playing in Lithuania.† Great team, great coach and a great organization. I loved it there.† I learned a lot, but I was ready to come home after three months.† This time, I have signed with a team in Russia called Dinamo Kursk.† Michelle Snow will be on that team also, she played there last season.† It is a good experience and I donít know how much longer I will want to play overseas but right now it is fun.† I am actually signed for the whole season and will be heading there in mid-October.†