Five Questions With Chay

Chay Shegog is a 6-foot-5 rookie center out of North Carolina who is trying to make the Connecticut Sun roster. Drafted in the second round with the 21st overall pick back on April 16th, Shegog had five points and five rebounds in her first preseason game against the New York Liberty on May 7th.

Following shoot-around prior to Thursday night’s preseason game with Minnesota, Shegog took a few minutes to talk about her training camp experience with the Sun.

Q: What were your expectations about the competition you would be facing at your first WNBA training camp?
A: “My expectations were high. I knew I would definitely have my work cut out for me. The WNBA is a lot different than any other team I have ever played on because obviously everyone here is a great player. Everybody has their skills sharpened. But I was really excited just to come in here and be able to see where I stood among everybody.”

Q: As an athlete, you get used to making transitions. You go from middle school to high school, high school to college and college to the pros. Are the steps similar or is this a much bigger step?
A: “It’s a much, much bigger step because in high school and AAU, those are teams where almost anyone can make it, especially where I came up from. My high school wasn’t in a big basketball county. So pretty-much anybody could make the team. From high school to college was a smooth transition. But college to the pros – high school to college, everybody is around the same age, but you come here and you have people who have been in the league for eight or nine years. They’re seasoned veterans, and you come in and you are a raw basketball player. That’s really the biggest jump. You have skills, but then you have to start being able to read the game and everything. It’s not all about your physical ability.”

Q: When you are playing in college, is there any awareness of what the professional game is like?
A: “I had heard how intense it is. In college you will have some players who will put everything out on the floor, just one or two players. But in the pros, you have everybody giving 110 percent. Eveyrody is going beyond the level they’re expected to go and you just have to really push yourself to match their intensity because it’s not like college where you could get away with slacking off.”

Q: With (All-Star center) Tina Charles sitting out at times during camp (because of a groin injury), you have probably gotten a little more opportunity to play. It seems like that would make it a little easier for you to get a grasp on everything.
A: It’s definitely made it a little bit easier, but there have been times when Tina has practiced and she is also very helpful. She helps show me the ropes, especially because we guard each other. When we’re playing, she’ll give me tips. Her sitting out has been helpful, but also her playing has been very helpful.”

Q: What did you think of your first WNBA game (against New York on May 7th)?
A: “It was exciting. I was happy to play New York the first scrimmage game. We were able to work on a lot of the things we had been working on (in practice) and sharpen it. And tonight’s game, I’m excited too. It’s always different looks in the post. You have teams throwing different stuff at you. In college, teams scouted differently. Here, everybody knows everybody because it’s a job and a profession and you have to know everything. I’m just really excited to get out there again.”