Ask Stacey...

Hey Sky fans! Thank you so much for taking the time to send in your thoughts and reflections. I will look forward to continued communication in the near future!

Courtney asks:

1. How did you get into playing basketball?
2. Do you have any advice for an inspiring player that would love to be in the NBA some day?
3. Is Candice Dupree shy because I would really love to play basketball with her one day?

Hey Courtney thanks for checking in! I started playing organized basketball when I was about nine years old. As a youngster growing up in Canada, the operative sport was always hockey, and I played plenty of it on the road in front of our house with my brother and boys throughout the winter months. I also spent plenty of time in hockey rinks watching my brother compete on the ice. With so much attention placed on hockey, a few people came together to start up a girls’ basketball house league entitled, the Brockville Blazers. I loved basketball and was fortunate enough to have parents that invested the time and energy to give me the opportunity to play. Further, I immediately signed up for the league and quickly became a part of the traveling team. I continued with Blazers Basketball for several years, and really credit both my parents and the Blazers organization for giving me the chance to pursue the sport that I love.

If you’re an aspiring player that would ultimately love to compete in the WNBA or NBA, I would tell you to steal your opportunities in life, work hard when nobody is watching, and commit yourself to getting better while developing confidence in the process. I truly believe that confidence is the key to everything that we do in life—it enables us to achieve things that may be perceivably unimaginable. But, I also know that while confidence comes from demonstrated ability, it also comes from hard work when nobody is watching. If you love your sport and you are willing to work at it, great things will happen and your confidence will affect every facet of your life in a positive way.

I would say that Candice Dupree is a shy person, until you get to know her. She’s really a sweet sole with a uniquely sarcastic sense of humor. If you work as hard as Candice has to become a better basketball player, you may just have a shot at playing alongside her. Candice has worked so hard in fact, that she has become one of the best forward/centers in the WNBA despite just being a second year veteran.

Megan asks:

Hey Stacey,
How are you? My name is Megan. I’m 15 (a sophomore at North Grand High School) and have been living in Chicago all my life. I really love basketball and have been playing since the 4th grade. Considering that I have heard of the WNBA, this is going to be the first season I watch and I'm really looking forward to it. I'm hoping that the Sky gets really far this year. I have a question. Exactly what do scouts look for when searching for women/girl basketball players? (Such as skill, personality, etc) I am really hoping to play basketball in college and hopefully making it to the pro level, and I know it's going to take a lot of effort and dedication. Well I hope you write back, that'd mean a lot. Thanks.

Hi Megan. Thanks for supporting the Sky! Scouts/Recruiters are looking for a few key things when they assess basketball players. Of course, you must have skill and talent, but, there are also many intangibles that factor into the mix. Scouts are looking for talented athletes that have a selfless attitude. Players that pay attention and show strong “coach-ability”. Players that are willing to work hard, play defense, and buy into a team concept. If you have these attributes in addition to inherent talent, you may just find yourself earning a scholarship one day. Continue to put forth the effort and dedication Megan, and great things are bound to follow.

Ross asks:

I live in Kingston, Ont. Basketball pretty much runs my life, and always has. This is a big reason I enjoy following your career because I know how hard it is in a small town to make it out. I came to Kingston after high school in Perth and went to St. Lawrence College. I played 3 years of basketball there and was pretty successful. I took the past year off and like you, I am returning to SLC in September to finish out my 2 years of eligibility remaining. So this summer is the get back in shape time which I am looking forward to the challenge what kind of meals do you eat on the "healthy side"? I am finding it hard because of how much I eat. I can eat a lot and it is hard to limit myself when I know I should be eating healthier. Now, I am not overweight or anything but the good old metabolism is starting to slow down, and I will just feel better knowing I am eating healthy.

Ahoy to a fellow Canadian! Thanks for checking in Ross and I hope that your quest to return to the court is a successful one. You are already one step ahead of the game Ross, because you realize just how important diet is in performing at an optimum level. I have always eaten very healthy, but now even more so because I am a veteran in the WNBA and sustaining one’s body is sustaining one’s career. As a rule of thumb, I look to eat foods that are low on the glycemic index—that is, foods that don’t try to trick my body. For instance, if you eat a candy bar, you will instantly feel full and happy because it’s a quick sugar fix that satiates the appetite. Basically, blood sugar levels spike and you find yourself on a bit of a “high”. But, because the blood sugar is spiked, it also drops extremely fast, thereby making you crave more of the bad—and let’s face it, the bad sometimes just tastes so good! So, instead of allowing food to play these tricks on my body and in fact drain my energy (although I do splurge on occasion), I eat foods that are sustained in my system and provide fuel for my muscles. I eat foods that are wholesome or all natural, foods that are abundant in fiber and whole grains. In most cases, if something is listed as 100% whole wheat and brown in its appearance, it is considered a good carbohydrate and low on the gylcemic index. These fibrous carbs make us feel full and they give us more energy because they are digested at a slower speed and they don’t make our blood sugar levels go haywire. Other good carbs include fruits and veggies, especially in their rawest form. I also consume plenty of protein, which includes a variety of fish and meat, natural protein powder, and nuts. The protein of course is a huge key to rebuilding muscle after it has been worked. Ultimately, between eating good carbs, those which are natural and whole in their composition, and solid proteins, your body will be able to work longer, harder, and more effectively. With all of this said, you won’t need to overeat or fill your stomach with garbage. Your appetite will be in check because the foods you consume no longer play “tricks”. If you can eat good carbs and proteins periodically throughout the day, you’ll be ready to go for hours! Finish a good food diet off with loads of water and you’ll find that you’re traveling down a road to gold. Best of luck and thanks again!

Leigh asks:

How do you think the rookies are adapting to life in the WNBA?
My family is from Oxford, MS and we are huge Armintie fans.

Hi Leigh! I love that you asked about our rookies so thank you! Each of our newcomers, including Carla Thomas, Stephanie Raymond, Claire Coggins, and your favorite Arminite Price, has adapted very well to the rigors and changes of playing at the pro level. I can tell you in complete honesty that each has a super attitude and each is committed to helping our team get better. Carla is smart and steady, Steph is a natural leader, Claire is incredibly skilled, and Armintie is gifted beyond description. I will definitely pass along your sentiments to AP and thank you again for supporting all of us Sky players!

John asks:

When you're not doing your ESPN thing during the women's college season and not doing your Sky thing, what are you doing? If you were not doing the ESPN thing would you be playing overseas and if so where would you like to play at?

Hey John! Appreciate your interest and questions. When I’m not working on an ESPN assignment or playing in the summer, I’m finding the very best way to be bored, which I say with the biggest of smiles! In truth, I don’t believe in boredom—I believe that if you are bored in life you are either lucky, or, unappreciative. When I’m not working on television or running around on the court, I’m listening to music, cooking, sketching, or simply reading a book. I love hitting a café for a coffee and quiet time, or, enjoying dinner with friends. I’m grateful for the great work that I have in my life, and equally grateful for my downtime. If I weren’t working for ESPN, I would most definitely love to go overseas to play. Although I’m unfamiliar with life across the waves, I have always wanted to visit Italy and learn about the Italian culture. So, if I had to choose a destination right now, I’d say Italy. Thanks again John for contacting me and have a great summer!