Behind the Scenes at Media Day
Becky Hammon is "excited about starting a new year and I have a lot of great expectations for this team."
The women come back together from their off-season ventures to re-group and see how they will mesh with the new players. "I am very excited about the young players and the core group coming together," said Vickie Johnson, an original member of the Liberty.
With head coach Pat Coyle leading her first training camp after taking over mid-season last year, there is a lot to learn not only for the newcomers but also the returners. According to DeTrina White, this year's camp is about "learning and breaking down a new offense but still getting in the conditioning and basics in order to better the team."
The Liberty's 2005 draft picks - Loree Moore, Tabitha Pool and Rebecca Richman - have jumped right from the frying pan to the fire. The players left the familiarity of their college campus to come to training camp and play with the pros. The new players have quickly found that the professional level is more physical, quicker and competitive than anything they have experienced in the past. While all three played at high levels in college, all agree this is a whole new ball game. "You really have to pay attention to details and the tempo is at a faster pace," said first round pick Moore. "You learn a lot of the plays at a faster pace, so you really have to catch on quickly."
The rookies have been pleasantly surprised at how welcoming the veterans have been. "They all talk to you and are very nice about helping you out when you need it," said Pool.
Returning players, rookies and free agents all agree on one thing: you must be prepared for training camp. And the best way to do that? Work out and "play as much ball as possible," said third-year player Erin Thorn.
But do not be mistaken: training camp is not all work and no play. There are many different aspects of camp the players enjoy and benefit from. For free agents such as Keila Beachem, it is the simple fact that "it is WNBA training camp and I'm a part of it!"