Shay Doron Q&A
Shay Doron is back in New York City. The Israeli-born guard starred at Christ the King High School, where she was the first girls basketball player from New York to be named a McDonald's All-American. She spent the next four years playing at the University of Maryland, where she helped lead the Terps to the 2006 National Championship. On April 4, the Liberty selected Doron with the 16th overall pick in the 2007 WNBA Draft. WNBA.com's Brian Martin spoke with Doron during the second week of Liberty training camp to discuss her return to New York and her progress at training camp.
Q. How are things going at training camp?
Doron: Things are going really well, picking up on a lot of new things, learning a lot of stuff, so Iím just trying to be really patient and the coaches have done a great job of doing that with me.
Q. What kind of stuff have you had to learn and pick up on?
Doron: The thing is Iíve been doing something for four years and now all of a sudden itís different. Even if itís something simple like running a wider lane, Iím just so programmed to do something else, that I just donít do it. Itís just training your body to do some new things. The coaches have been really patient and weíve been watching a lot of film just learning a lot from things that Iím not supposed to be doing, that I did in the past that I should have been doing.
Q. What position do they have you playing Ė the one or the two or a little bit of both?
Doron: Starting out a little bit of both, now Iím leaning towards the one more. I think honestly they just donít want to confuse me too much at this point.
Q. Letís go back to the draft, what was the atmosphere like at the draft?
Doron: Everybody was pretty nervous where I was. We were just stuck in this one room for about three hours. There was nothing to do but to think about ďAm I going to get drafted?Ē ďWho is going to draft me?Ē All of those things. So it was nerve-wracking for me and my family. But once your name gets called, itís a huge sigh of relief. For me, I was relieved but also so happy to be in New York. To get to come back and be with my family and obviously play for the team Iíve been rooting for years before this.
Q. Has to be nice to come back home and not have to get to know a new city?
Doron: Itís very convenient for me. I fell into a great situation.
Q. Other than getting used to the new system, have there been any interesting stories in training camp so far?
Doron: Honestly, Iím really luck to have some great teammates that have really helped show me the way. Whether I need help going to the supermarket or finding a mall or whatever, all the veterans have been really helpful. Itís great; you can laugh with all of them. Iím having a great time with all of my teammates. So itís not something that sticks out, but Iím just having a great time getting to know new people and luckily Iím getting to know some nice people.
Q. The core of this team is very young. What is it like playing with such a young team?
Doron: Weíre young in the league, but weíve all been playing basketball for so long. I think it can be to our advantage; our youth, the energy that we play with; I donít think anyone can match that. Weíre getting better every single day and weíre very hungry and I think thatís a really big advantage that we have over a lot of teams.
Q. What will you take from your experience at Maryland that will help you with the Liberty?
Doron: Iíll take a lot. The game experience; playing in the ACC; playing in humongous games on the biggest stages there are in womenís basketball. Just that feeling; knowing that Iíve been there and knowing that Iíve done that and not putting any excess pressure on myself. I think all of that will help me with being poised playing here and getting through the ups and downs of the rookie year. All of these things Maryland has prepared me for because itís a long college season and you go through a lot. And Iíve learned a lot in my four years at Maryland and Iím going to use all of that on the court, off the court and use it to my advantage.
Q. Do you think youíll be nervous the first time you play at the Garden?
Doron: I donít know if Iíd call it nervous. Iíd probably be really anxious and excited. I think those would be better words to use. When I think about it, itís basketball and Iíve been playing it for a long time and I know it, I know what to do, I know when it comes down to it just follow my instincts. Iím not going to think too much about being nervous.
Q. What adjustments will you have to make to your game to make the transition to the WNBA?
Doron: I think the biggest difference right now for me is the speed of the game. The 24 second clock, the eight-second backcourt, I think thatís the biggest difference for me right now is just getting used to playing at that fast pace and its one that I really like to play, so Iím going to have to get used to it, but I like it. I think Iím at my best when Iím in the open court, making decisions with the ball and playing a fast paced game. Iím looking forward to it.
Q. Will you playing a run and gun style this year?
Doron: We always want to push the ball and get easy layups if you can. Weíre a young team so weíre going to live off of scrappy plays; weíre going to live off of easy buckets and camaraderie. All these things that other teams donít have to rely on because theyíve been there, done that. We have to do all the little things and have them help create big wins for us.
Q. You said you like to bring the ball up, push it up and make decisions. What other strengths will you bring to the team this year?
Doron: I think Iím another shooter on a team, which you can never have enough of, especially with the good defenses. I can pass the ball just as well as I can shoot it. Weíve got some great post players and some great other shooters that I can distribute the ball to really well. I can drive, collapse the defense and get some open shots for my teammates. On the defensive end, over the last year I really improved my on the ball defense and thatís my main focus. When my offense isnít working, I want to bring my defense; I want that to always be something that people are like, ďMan, she shut her down.Ē Thatís definitely something that is in the back of my mind at all times.
Q. Is there anything else that you are trying to improve during training camp and preseason?
Doron: Just trying to get a lot of shots up. For me the best way to learn is to just play, to scrimmage as much as possible, to play with your teammates, to understand your personnel, who does what best, put them in a position where they can be at their best and thatís what Iím learning right now. The bottom line is its basketball. You just have to learn your personnel, you have to get to know your teammates, get to know the plays, get to know the system, and its smooth sailing from there.
Q. Have you set any specific goals for this season that you want to accomplish?
Doron: Good question, I havenít yet. I want to when things kind of die down. My first goal is obviously making the team. Weíre still in training camp so Iím working on that. Thatís the only thing Iím worried about right now is making this team. Once we get there weíll think about the future.
Q. Is that part of your personality? Are you a goal driven person? Is that something you do at the beginning of each season?
Doron: I donít really sit down and do it, but this is a pretty major leap. My goal, my dream was to play in the WNBA. Iíve always had that, thatís never changed. Thatís always been in my mind and always been driving me since I had that dream. As for little goals, I never set those like ďI want to be MVPĒ, blah, blah, blah. I just want to be a team player and help my team. Thatís really all I care about.
Q. Have you thought about playing overseas as well?
Doron: I try not to think about that too much right now. Thereís a lot on my plate as it is. Iíve got a great agent, who Iím sure going to put me in the best position overseas. Heís taking care of all of that, Iím not even thinking about that yet.
Q. Is there anyone specifically on the team that youíre looking forward to playing with?
Doron: Janel McCarville, Iím kind of happy to be playing with her. Iíve heard a lot of great things and Iíve seen her play over her college career. I think sheís an unbelievable player, an unbelievable passer and a great teammate. Iíve gotten to know Ashley Battle really well. Sheís just one of those all out hustle players. I really enjoy playing with her. Going in everyday knowing that sheís going to work hard and push this team and try to make us all better. Iíve gotten to know that about her in the last couple weeks that weíve been practicing. Itís very easy to know what she brings as a person and as a player to this team.
Q. Is there anyone specific that youíre looking forward to playing against? Any games you have circled on the calendar?
Doron: Iím going to be excited. Theyíre all going to be new; theyíre all going to be different for me. Iím just ready to play. I donít care who it is. All that hype, all the what ifs, what ands, once that ball jumps up, I donít care who you are, I donít care where youíre from, I want to win.
Q. Is there anything Liberty fans should know about you that they donít already?
Doron: I donít know. Iím sure thereís a lot. Hopefully Iíll be around long enough for them to find out all there is to know about me.