Plenette Pierson Checks in From Turkey
|Plenette Pierson is playing overseas in Turkey, alongside WNBA players Dominique Canty and Shanna Crossley and Cathrine Kraayeveld for Tarsus|
Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE/Getty Images
The Liberty's Plenette Pierson is currently playing overseas in Turkey for Tarsus. She recently took a few minutes to catch up with WNBA.com to chat about the basketball scene in Turkey, her overseas teammates and the Liberty's expectations for 2011.
WNBA.com: How is the season going so far for you and your Tarsus squad?
Plenette Pierson: My season here in Tarsus started off slow dropping our first two games. Since then we have been on a four-game win streak and looking for more (Ed. Note: Interview conducted prior to the December 5 loss to Galatasaray). My teammates here in Tarsus are Dominique Canty, Shanna Crossley and Cathrine Kraayeveld, all of whom I have played against in the WNBA. But Shanna and I started this past summer off in Tulsa. It didn't take us any time getting reacquainted with each others style of play at all. The biggest transition was getting used to the style of play that our coach here in Tarsus wants us to play.
WNBA.com: What is your favorite part about playing overseas?
PP: My favorite part about playing overseas is learning about different cultures! Just recently here in Turkey they celebrated a holiday called Kurban Bayrami which means "Sacrifice Bayram". This holiday for Muslims is to celebrate Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his beloved son Ishmael at God/Allah's command. In the story God/Allah spared Ishmael and told Abraham to sacrifice a ram instead. So every year the Muslims that are wealthy enough purchase sheep to sacrifice for Allah. They are to keep 1/3 of the sheep for their family, share 1/3 with other family and friends and 1/3 with the poor. Learning new cultures and religions excites me.
WNBA.com: A numbers of players have said European fans love their basketball. Have you experienced a similar love for the game in Turkey?
The love for the game over here in Turkey is crazy. I play in a small city in Turkey and every time we have a game it feels like half the city is in our gym cheering us on. It feels great to know that no matter what's going on in the world that basketball can bring all different cultures together no matter if we are stateside or overseas!
WNBA.com: The Liberty will have a new coach, John Whisenant, and a new arena, Newark's Prudential Center, for the 2011 season. Do you get excited thinking about the road ahead?
PP: I definitely get excited thinking about the upcoming season. I'm excited to have all my sisters around me going to war. Though some things have changed, such as our coach and our basketball [court], that doesn't mean that the desire to "Put On For Our City" has changed. It just adds more excitement around Liberty basketball.
WNBA.com: 2010 was a tremendous turnaround season for the Liberty, who made it right up to the Eastern Conference Finals before falling to the Dream. If the team can experience that much of a turnaround in one season, what do you expect is in store for the Libs in 2011?
PP: I expect for the Liberty to excel once again. The Liberty organization has put all the pieces around the players for us to succeed. This may just be the boost that we needed to make the WNBA Finals. Look out world - the Libs are back and wanting more. The anticipation for the 2011 season started growing in me the minute the buzzer went off in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals.