Home For The Holidays . . . Or Not

December 21, 2012 -- Most folks spend the Holiday Season with family and friends celebrating at their homes, hosting dinners and parties with relatives and loved ones. Many WNBA players and coaches, however, are competing abroad in various international basketball leagues during the WNBA offseason, often resulting in some creative play-calling with regards to celebrating over the holidays. Below are the plans of some of your favorite WNBA personalities for the 2012-13 Holiday season.

SWIN CASH, CHICAGO SKY

“The last three years I spent Christmas over in China, where I was playing during the WNBA offseason. Christmas is a different beast over there. I actually played on Christmas Day, and one year I linked up with [current Seattle Storm forward] Camille Little for Christmas Eve in Shanghai. It was really special.

That's the thing about being abroad, there are plusses and minuses. Maybe not being home with your family on Christmas is not ideal, but then again, how many people have the opportunity to be in a great city like Shanghai over the holidays? It's all about experiences.

This year I'll be home in Atlanta and for the first time I'll be putting up the Christmas tree and cooking dinner. All those years playing ball during Christmas and it will be a nice change of pace this year to be home for the holidays with the people who are closest to me.”

ANGEL McCOUGHTRY, ATLANTA DREAM

"Usually, I try to head back home during the holidays, but here in Turkey, they don't really celebrate Christmas, so we have games during Christmas time," said McCoughtry, who along with teammate and fellow WNBA superstar Cappie Pondexter will be leading their Turkish club Fenerbahce, based in the historic city of Istanbul against Edremit on Dec. 23 and will then take on rival Istanbul club Galatasary the day after Christmas on Dec. 26. "So it's a case sometimes of not spending your holiday with your family. I think we're going to try and get my Dad to come out this year so we can spend time over the holidays.”

“And of course, we're going to have New Year's celebrations too. Istanbul is a wonderful city, with tremendous nightlife, it's really great, so we'll be sure to have a good time over the holidays.”

LIN DUNN, HEAD COACH 2012 WNBA CHAMPION INDIANA FEVER

“I'll be back home down in Tennessee for the holidays,” said Dunn, who recently served up some southern fried wisdom when cooking for a holiday dinner for charity. “If you're kin to me or know our family come on over and we can celebrate Christmas and the 2012 WNBA Championship of the Indiana Fever.”

LINDSAY WHALEN, MINNESOTA LYNX

“The thing I miss the most about Minnesota is my family,” said All-WNBA point guard Lindsay Whalen via LynxBasketball.com from Turkey, where she plays for Galatasary, the aforementioned Istanbul-based club which challenges Fenerbahce for city supremacy. “It’s a time for everyone to be around family so that always is a little tough this time of year. That is one of the downfalls of what we do playing overseas. But we make the best of it through lots of phone calls and emails to stay in touch with our families.”

KRYSTAL THOMAS, PHOENIX MERCURY

“We’re in the middle of the holiday season, Christmas is days away, and the New Year is right around the corner,” blogged the WNBA’s fifth leading rebounder from China, where she plays for Jiangsu Phoenix. “Christmas is my absolute favorite holiday. From giving and opening gifts, spending time with family, and making family traditions it is just a special time of year. “

“This will be my first Christmas that I will be spending away from home. While I admit I’m a bit saddened that I won’t get to spend this special time with my family, it gives me the opportunity to reflect on why I enjoy this holiday so much. . . is because it provides an enhanced opportunity to give back to others.”

“Whether it is a small donation or a big gift, any form of giving back can change the life of someone else. I know from first hand experience during the holidays how impactful it can be to have someone lend a hand to help make this holiday special. “

“So, while you are spending time with your families and enjoying the comfort of one another, remember to give back to others who don’t quite have as much.”

SUE BIRD, SEATTLE STORM

“I've been home the last couple Falls. I think it's good for me,” said Bird who has been rehabbing from hip surgery in Connecticut following the 2012 WNBA season, in preparation for reporting to her overseas team UMMC in Russia in January. “It's a good balance between playing my basketball season and also getting some time to see friends, see family. It works.”

“One of the best things about being in Connecticut is I'm very close to both New York and Boston, which are two places that I have friends and family in,” Bird told StormBasketball.com . “So it works out really well.”

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