Back to Basketball?

Megan MahoneyAfter a 10-month break from basketball, Sun draft pick Megan Mahoney has returned to the court playing for a team in Iceland. The Kansas State star sat out her rookie year with the Sun after rupturing her Achilles tendon during the Big-12 Championship game last March.

Q: Is the Achilles tendon still bothering you?

A: My Achilles is doing pretty good. It still gets pretty sore after games and some practices, but overall it feels good and feels like its getting stronger. They told me it usually takes a year to completely heal, and I'm at about 10 months post-surgery now.

Q: How does it feel to be back playing competitive basketball?

A: It feels great to be back on the court playing in a team-setting again! It's been a gradual, slow process of recovery, so it's been nice to get back into some action.

Q: When did you start to feel like you were back to full speed, or do you yet?

A: I was cleared to start playing about three months ago, and I just started with some light one-on-one and two-on-two stuff. Then I gradually got back into playing five-on-five, but I don't think I'm quite at full-speed and strength yet. I'm hoping that this overseas experience will give me the chance to get back into basketball shape and get my body ready for training camp.

Q: Was that the longest you have ever had to sit out from basketball?

A: This has definitely been the longest I've had to sit out. I was pretty fortunate all through college (until my Achilles rupture, obviously) with staying clear of any serious injuries. So, needless to say, it was a long seven months of rehabbing and going back to the basics again.

Q: What did you do to try and maintain your fitness level and skills while you were injured?

A: In the beginning of my rehab process I did a lot of simple things like balancing, calf raises, and the hand-bike. From then on, it was, again, just a gradual process of what I was allowed to do. I progressed from riding the stationary bike and doing light lifting, to doing agilities and shooting. I had a very good doctor and an amazing trainer back at Kansas State who worked with me every step of the way in getting me healed and back in shape.

Q: Does going through that kind of an ordeal make you appreciate being healthy out on the floor again?

A: Sitting out definitely made me appreciate the smaller things, in basketball and just life in general. As an athlete, especially in college, you're always "Go, go, go." When you get injured, you're forced to take a step back and really chill out. Plus, sitting out and having to watch your teammates compete is difficult.

Q: How tough was it to have to watch the Sun last season without being able to help, especially in the postseason?

A: I had a chance to meet the team and staff early on in the season, so it was fun to follow them throughout the summer. When I watched, I tried to envision myself out there and put myself in game situations. But yes, it was very hard watching and not being able to be a part of it. It was also hard because three of my former teammates at K-State were either in their rookie or 2nd year, and I wanted to experience that with them.

Q: What is the competition like in Iceland?

A: The league in Iceland isn't one of the top leagues overseas, but they have girls who work hard and make you work for your money! It should be a good opportunity for me to get into game shape and work on my game while I'm here.

Q: What is your overall impression of the country?

A: My first week here, it was freezing and snowed almost all the time!! Another thing I donít like is that they only have daylight from about 10am-5pm. So it feels like itís nighttime all the time, and it makes me sleepy! It's been an adjustment, but I'm starting to feel a little more at home, and I'm starting to know my way around, so hopefully I'll get a chance to play tourist a little bit.

Q: What are your feelings about the upcoming WNBA season? Excited? Nervous?

A: Well, probably like all rookies, I'm a little nervous and just not sure what to expect. But Iím also very, very excited to get an opportunity to play alongside some great players, and hopefully help contribute to a championship-caliber team.