Sue Bird | Swin Cash | Stacey Dales-Schuman | Asjha Jones | Nikki Teasley | Tamika Williams | Sheila Lambert | Shaunzinski Gortman | Michelle Snow | Hamchétou Maïga | Zuzi Klimesova | Linda Fröhlich | Lindsey Yamasaki
Sue Bird, Seattle Storm
No. 1 overall selection
Q: Are you relieved that all of this is over?
Bird: It's not really over ... but, the whole anticipation part ... I'm losing
my voice, sorry.
Q: Is this a nervous time for you?
Bird: It's not similar, but it is to going into college. You're leaving a
place you're so comfortable with, you have to pack all your stuff, you've
got to say goodbye to your friends and you're moving to a whole new place
by yourself. So it's more of an anxious feeling and an excited feeling than
a nervous feeling. Like I'm really excited to get out there, to move into
my new apartment and things like that, meet everybody and then play
basketball, I guess.
Q: What does it mean to you to be the No. 1 pick?
Bird: It's pretty special. You can't take that away from it ... being picked
No. 1 is something I'll be able to tell my kids, something people will
probably remember. It feels pretty good.
Q: What do you think awaits you in the WNBA?
Bird: Probably a lot of expectations. It's a completely different game,
it's the highest level to be playing at right now, I know it's going to be
a challenge, it's going to be difficult to adjust to, but I hope to go out
there and do whatever my team needs for me to do.
Q: What will be the biggest differences between the college game and the
Bird: I think it's a lot of games in a little period of time. It's probably
the same amount of games I played in college all smushed into a three- or
Q: What does it say that four of you from UConn were taken in the first six
picks of the draft?
Bird: That's probably why we went undefeated and won a national
championship this year. I think if anything can show you, it's that. I'm so
happy for the other girls, I think they're going to great places, Tamika
[Williams] will get to play with Svet [Svetlana Abrosimova], that'll be
exciting. That just shows you why we were such a good team this year.
Swin Cash, Detroit Shock
No. 2 overall selection
Q: What does it mean to have all four of you from UConn go in the first six
picks of the draft?
Cash: I think it means a lot. We've gone through so much together a UConn
and I guess once you get to this plateau, you can finally say everything's
finally paid off -- all the hard work, some of the things you give up of
yourself, or your game, to really fit into a program and win games, and we
had to do that at Connecticut. To get here and have the opportunity to be
in the top six picks is something to be grateful for.
Q: Was that something you had talked about among yourselves?
Cash: We talked about it, and we joked around. Some people wanted to go
lower than where they were going to go. It was actually pretty funny. We
were just really happy to go anywhere.
Q: Did you talk about perhaps some of you being teammates in the WNBA?
Cash: You never know with the draft, so we never really got our hopes up at
Q: How nervous were you this morning?
Cash: To tell you the truth, I was very calm up until they said, "Five,
four, three, two, one," and we were live. And that's when I started to feel
nervous and I started feeling a little bit of tension in the room and
nervousness, and Sue [Bird] was a little jittery. So up until that time, I
was absolutely fine.
Q: Were you surprised to go at No. 2?
Cash: I was surprised, to tell you the truth. I've just been hearing so
many different things, but I was just happy for the opportunity.
Stacey Dales-Schuman, Washington Mystics
No. 3 overall selection
Q: Can you talk about how you're feeling right now?
Dales-Schuman: Well, I'm obviously very thrilled to be headed to where I'm
headed. It's a wonderful place. I haven't been there, but I'm excited to go
and check it out, and there's some very talented players in Washington, of
course, and I've heard wonderful things about their coach, so I'm just real
excited about the opportunity.
Q: What are you most looking forward to in your WNBA career?
Dales-Schuman: What I'm most looking forward to is helping Washington in
whatever way I can. I feel I'm a versatile player and I can help teams in a
lot of areas. Wherever they require that help, I will give it.
Q: This has been an exciting month for you, hasn't it?
Dales-Schuman: It's been an exciting month, very busy. Final Four,
marriage, draft, graduation. Four big things in my life. I wouldn't trade
any of it, though. It's been a lot of fun and just a really special time in
Q: Where are you going on your honeymoon?
Dales-Schuman: In Secaucus, N.J. A lot of fun. We're going to go on one
eventually, not anytime soon.
Q: What will it be like to have Ashja Jones as a teammate in Washington?
Dales-Schuman: Ashja Jones is one of the toughest players I've ever come up
against. Her physical nature, her stature, her mentality of the game, she's
an exceptional player. And I see her as being a tremendous professional
Asjha Jones, Washington Mystics
No. 4 overall selection
Q: Ashja, what does this show about your UConn team?
Jones: This shows why our team was so good this year. Our seniors did a
great job, and the thing is, we were really rewarded in the draft today.
Q: How nervous were you before the draft began?
Jones: I'm still shaking about it. I wasn't really nervous until I got here
and you saw the studio, you saw the podium and everything, you saw the wall
where the draft picks go, and it got worse from there. I was nervous while
Sue [Bird] was talking.
Q: Are you happy about going to Washington?
Jones: I think it's great. It's a perfect area, basketball-wise and a great
fan base and just a great social setting. And I won't be too far from home.
Q: When did you start thinking about the draft?
Jones: Probably a couple of days after we got home from Texas. I went from
settling down a little bit and then going, 'Oh, my God, where am I going to
be?' the whole summer.
Q: Was the time between the end of the season and now hard for you?
Jones: It was kind of difficult. We don't really read the papers and we
don't read the Internet, so I think that helped out a lot. But people will
call you and say, 'I heard this, I heard this,' I'm like, 'I don't care
what you heard. What you hear doesn't matter, because anything can happen
on that day.'
Nikki Teasley, Portland Fire
No. 5 overall selection
Note: In a draft-day trade, the Portland Fire traded fifth pick Nikki Teasley and Sophia Witherspoon to the Los Angeles Sparks for 30th pick Gergana Slavtcheva and Ukari Figgs.
Q: What was it like for you this season after missing the year before?
Teasley: Taking off my junior year was an experience that I needed to go
through for myself. Outside of basketball I was going through some personal
problems, a little bit of depression, and it just helped me grow as a
person, as an individual, and I think that helped me to take on any
challenges that come before me now and the obstacles I have to overcome are
pretty easy now. So I'm ready for this, it's something that I worked for
for a long, long time. So I'm excited.
Q: Were you nervous at all this morning?
Teasley: I was not nervous the whole time, even yesterday and all of today,
until there were about 30 seconds before we were live on the air. My heart
was trying to jump out of my chest, it was pounding so hard. My hands
started shaking. It's so nerve-wracking sitting there, not knowing where
you're going to go, when you're name is going to be called. But when it
happens, it's also very exciting, and you're relieved after it happens.
Q: What do you think about going to Portland?
Teasley: I'm going to love playing with Jackie Stiles. I've played with her
before. It's going to be a lot of fun. It's also going to be very
challenging, but it's something I'm looking forward to.
Q: Have you ever been out there before?
Teasley: No, actually I don't know much about Portland, but I will
Tamika Williams, Minnesota Lynx
No. 6 overall selection
Q: Can you sum up the experience of winning at UConn and now being drafted
with three of your teammates in the first six picks today?
Williams: I think this pretty much sums it all up. Starting with my parents
and what they've done -- I know it's real cliché of me to say -- but my
mother was crying because she came in late. And she was more upset ... she
didn't miss me, she came in on Ashja's [selection] and she missed Swin and
Sue. So she's crying, and it's the probably the third time I've ever seen
my mother cry in my lifetime, so that's very special for me to know how
much of a part she thinks she is -- that she has four daughters, extra
daughters up here.
But we had a perfect season, two national championships,
Final Four, all that stuff is all great. As for the class, everybody's on a
high, and 'You're going to all these different teams,' and 'You're playing
with all these great players,' but we're sitting there in the Green Room,
and Sue's like, 'Dude, we're no longer Huskies. We're not playing for the
same team. You're playing for this team and I'm playing for that team. I
think that's when it hits you that you're no longer a part of that. I don't
have a postseason. Does that sum it up?
Q: What will it be like to be reunited with Svetlana Abrosimova in Minnesota?
Williams: I'm really going to enjoy playing with Svetty. I know going in
she's really going to push me, playing with somebody that I know their
style of play. She has the edge. She knows exactly what coach wants, she
knows my game, she knows exactly what I need to improve on. And playing
with Katie Smith, the leading scorer in the league last year, also from
Ohio, I've seen her mature and grow. She was like my role model, so it's
almost a shock to me, and I'm actually privileged to play with those
players ... a new city that I have no clue about, but I'm sure that as soon
as you call me after a week, I'll be able to tell you everything about the
city and all that's going on there.
Sheila Lambert, Charlotte Sting
No. 7 overall selection
Q: Can you talk about how far you've come to get here?
Lambert: I'm very excited. I'm excited to play for Charlotte, I'm excited
to play with Dawn Staley, I think that's the best for a beginning point
guard, to have that experience out there.
Q: What's your medical prognosis?
Lambert: I'll wear my boot for about three and a half more weeks, and then
have surgery again. They're going to remove a screw, and it kind of depends
after that. Maybe fast recovery, maybe slow, it all depends on how my body
Q: What does it mean to you to be drafted in the first round?
Lambert: I love to play basketball, and I'm happy that somebody had the
confidence in drafting an injured player. That means a lot to me.
Shaunzinski Gortman, Charlotte Sting
No. 9 overall selection
Note: In a draft-day trade, the Charlotte Sting traded ninth pick Shaunzinski Gortman to the Minnesota Lynx for Erin Buescher and Maylana Martin.
Q: Can you sum up what this has been like for you today?
Gortman: It's a pretty exciting day, one of the best experiences I've ever
had in my life. I'm pretty excited about going to Charlotte. I just want to
go out and do my best. I'm excited because it's only an hour away from
home, so that's great.
Q: How important is it for you to be so close to home?
Gortman: It's something that's very important in my life. I really wanted
to be close to my family and I think the support will be there. Knowing
it's not a far drive for them, I think that helps a lot.
Q: How do you feel about the Sting on the court?
Gortman: I expect to be the best player I can be, to play well, wherever
coach wants me to play and just to do a good job. I think I can bring a lot
to this team defensively and more offense, also. I think I'll be a good
asset to them.
Michelle Snow, Houston Comets
No. 10 overall selection
Q: Can you talk about how you feel now, compared to how you felt before the
Snow: I'm relieved, and I don't have to worry about, 'Where am I going,
what am I doing, where am I going to end up, who are my teammates?' I think
I ended up with a great group of young ladies, I'm very excited and I'm
ready to go to work.
Q: Do you think about perhaps becoming the first woman to dunk in a WNBA
Snow: I don't think about it. I'm thinking more so, what can I do to help
my team? I know that [the dunk] is going to come, the Lord is going to
provide me with that opportunity, he's done it before and I have the faith
he'll do it again, so why not concentrate on other things like getting
better and rebounding?
Q: What were you thinking as the draft was going on?
Snow: Where in the world am I going to end up? You start looking at the
list and trying to figure out who's on which teams and you just want to
know where you're going to be at, where you're going to call home for the
next three months.
Hamchétou Maïga, Sacramento Monarchs
No. 12 overall selection:
Q: What's your reaction to being picked in the first round of the draft?
Miaga: It's very special, because there are a lot of girls out there. I
feel very happy and proud to be a part of it and to be here. I'm grateful
Q: What do you know about Sacramento and the Monarchs?
Miaga: I've been watching them for a long time, it's a great team and I'm
looking forward to playing for them. We went to California to play UCLA,
but I've never been to Sacramento.
Q: What will you bring to the Monarchs?
Miaga: My defensive intensity and my rebounding. I can rebound at both ends
of the floor, I can run the floor, and those are the kinds of things I know
I can bring every night.
Zuzi Klimesova, Indiana Fever
17th overall selection:
Q: Have you been able to grasp all this yet?
Klimesova: Definitely bouncing off the walls. English is becoming really
difficult at moments like this, because I feel like I wish I could speak
faster, but I can't, so I'm very excited. I can't believe this moment has
come. When I heard I got invited to come here, and then I went to pre-draft
camp, and we got here and we waited and all of a sudden you're standing
here, you know where you're going and what the next month is going to
bring. It's just exciting.
Q: What has this time been like for you, from the end of the season until
Klimesova: Definitely a little bit of a nervous time, because you're just
anxious to know ... am I going to make it, are they going to take me, where
am I going to go? And time flies by quicker than you imagine. It's just
nice that it's over now.
Q: What will you bring to Indiana?
Klimesova: I am expecting to be a role player, to do whatever it is that
Indiana needs. I'm forward to looking forward to playing with a lot of
great people and for a great coach. I got to meet Coach [Nell] Fortner a
couple of times, and she has always been so nice and so outgoing. I have
only heard great things about her and she's going to be the first female
coach I'll play for, so I'm definitely excited.
Linda Fröhlich, New York Liberty
No. 26 overall selection
Q: How do you feel about coming to New York?
Frohlich: We went to the city last night, and it was just overwhelming. I'm
from Germany. The population of my village is 2,000 people, so I saw the
"New York, New York" Hotel in Las Vegas, so I've "been" in New York before,
but then when I came here yesterday, it was like, "Oh my God, this is
Q: How much do you know about the Liberty team?
Frohlich: To tell you the truth, not a lot yet. I watched them play over
the summers, and I love the way they play, but you just watch the game. You
don't really think, "OK, what can I bring to the team, what is my
position?" So I'm going to do my homework. I'm going to meet the coaches.
That's the advantage of having [the draft] right here. I can just meet them
Q: Have you been nervous leading up to this?
Frohlich: I think the nervousness started after the pre-draft camp, when
there was nothing I could do anymore. I worked hard, I worked out after the
season, I prepared, and all of a sudden there was this dead end where,
"What can I do? It's in other peoples' hands." That was when maybe
nervousness, excitement, all these feelings are with you. I think it's
still ... I can't believe it. I'm talking, but I think I'm not comprehending
yet what it means.
Lindsey Yamasaki, Miami Sol
No.29 overall selection
Q: What do you think about heading to Miami?
Yamasaki: I'm excited. From what I hear, Miami has a great program, and
they really take care of their players. But coming this far in the draft,
it looks like I'm going to have a lot to prove. I'm up to the challenge,
but I wish I had maybe a month to prepare. It's just been a whirlwind since
the end of the season, but hopefully I can go down there and make an
Q: Can you sum up what you've gone through from the end of the season until
Yamasaki: I guess a lot of little things, from relief to a little bit of
sadness leaving college, but to pure excitement. I feel like, what an
opportunity just being here at the draft, being drafted. It's a number of
things. I feel like it's going to take me a few months until everything
really sinks in and kind of figure out what I really went through so I can
Q: Have you had a chance to think about how you might fit in with the Sol?
Yamasaki: I little bit. I talked to them a little bit last week. I don't
know a lot about their team. I know a few of their players, they have some
great players down there. Whatever I can bring to the table, hopefully it's