In just her second professional season, Cappie Pondexter earned her second straight trip to the All-Star Game and has helped earn her Phoenix Mercury their first playoff berth since 2000. Now having dispatched Seattle in the first round and having swept San Antonio in the Western Finals, Pondexter is ready for her first trip to the WNBA Finals.
Check out Cappie's first set of responses to your questions below. You can still send Cappie an e-mail, question or comment by submitting it here.
How does it feel to be in your first WNBA Finals? I know your emotions are running wild, with both excitement and nervousness.
- Miss-Blessed1, Whatley, AL
“It feels great just to be on this level playing against a great Detroit team with my teammates, who I love so much. We’re just embracing the moment. It’s big for us. We’re just gonna have fun.”
It is known that defense wins championships and offense wins games, do you think that your team has the type of defense and depth off of the bench to win the championship this year?
- Tracy, Laurel, MS
“I think so. We’re here for a reason. We came out of a very tough Western Conference. We’re prepared, we have a great coach and we have a great group of players. So we can definitely turn it up on both ends.”
It was amazing to see you and the Phoenix Mercury win the Western Conference Championship! Did you party as hard as you played?
- Sarah, Los Altos, CA
“We really didn’t celebrate as hard as we played. We’re waiting for the big one. Hopefully after three wins we’ll be able to party hard.”
How comfortable are you in the Mercury style of offense? You ladies are definitely some gunners.
- Ernesto, Brooklyn, NY
“I’m very comfortable because it’s a lot of fun. I get to play with a lot of great players, such as Diana Taurasi, Penny Taylor, Tangela Smith and Kelly Miller. So it’s pretty fun.”
Hey Cappie, I've been following your playoff run and I noticed that you had your nails painted black and then read an article on PhoenixMercury.com about the whole team doing their toenails and fingernails black before each game. Who came up with the idea? And how come in some pictures some players don’t have it like Diana Taurasi and Kelly Miller. I was just curious because I think it is a cool idea and I’m thinking about doing that with my H.S. team! Hope to hear back from you. Thank you and good luck in the finals!!
- Lauren, Pennsauken, NJ
“Some people don’t have it because it’s on their toes in black. So it was a choice of black toenails or black fingernails. It’s "Fade Into Black," a little concept that I came up with, but it wasn’t my idea to paint my nails black. It was actually Tangela’s idea for everyone to paint their nails black.”
Go Phoenix! I'm still predicting you guys over Detroit! Cappie, in your past seasons, you've seemed remarkably poised and confident. Is there anything special that you do to achieve that calm focus when needed?
- Howie Philadelphia, PA
“Just competing. I’ve played with the best athletes in the world for a long time and I played at a high level in college. It’s definitely prepared me for moments like this. I just focus on the court.”
I saw that the Mercury had a promotion in which they discounted tickets for people who shared first names with one of the starters. How many Cappies turned out for that?
- Kevin, Macon, GA
“I doubt any did. I know one other Cappie and that’s my aunt (laughs).”
Hello, firstly I want to say good luck in the finals! My question is do you have any pre-game rituals or superstitions?
“Yeah, I have pre-game rituals. After shootaround I like to have a nice little meal and just nap for the rest of the time until it’s time to go. Also, I take a shower, too, after I wake up.”
Cappie, first of all, congrats on some great basketball in the playoffs. My question is how do you feel about guarding the Shock's Deanna Nolan? How do you defend against a shooter like her? Thanks and best wishes bringing the championship to Phoenix!
- Niki, Phoenix, AZ
“She’s a tough player to defend because she’s so active. Her leaping ability is incredible. You just try to focus on taking away the things she does best. And it’s a team effort. It’s not just me trying to stop somebody. It’s going to take the whole team.”
Cappie, you seemed like a confident player at Rutgers, calm and driven. Did Coach Stringer lay the foundation for your confidence, and what part of your game do you isolate alone to improve?
- Mick, Fayetteville, AR
“While I always like to improve aspects of my game. But for the most part Coach Stringer definitely laid the foundation for me being mentally tough, so I credit her for that.”
I saw you play at Rutgers (I live near the RAC) and always admired your all-around game. I am also enjoying watching you play as a pro in the WNBA. You have such great endurance, strength, and you have good elevation on your shot. So, my question is: what is your exercise program? Please be as exact as possible. If it works for you, I might be able to get some tips. Good luck in the Finals!
- Will, New Jersey
“A couple jumping jacks, two minutes on the treadmill... no, I’m joking. I play basketball all year round, so that allows me to stay in shape. On days off I like to get a lot of shots up, I like to lift weights. But I did that mostly overseas. I’m really not in the weight room as much as I should be, but usually it’s the weight room and getting conditioning on the basketball court.”