Just under 100 miles away where Game 4 of the 2017 WNBA Finals will be tipping off at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, USA Basketball opened their Women’s National Team Training Camp in Santa Barbara in California.
Before getting started with day two of camp, the Women’s National Team got started with some obligatory team photographs before getting to work.
The National Team has a new face at the helm, with Dawn Staley taking the reins as head coach. After running drills with her team on Saturday, Staley felt right at home on the court after serving as an assistant coach in various tournaments since 2006.
“It feels natural,” she said. “For me, I don’t change my approach because what it is [USA national team training camp]. I look at it as basketball. Some [players] I’ve played with, a lot of them I’ve coached in some capacity. It’s just like putting on an old shoe. We’re going to coach up the players that are here. I like to dwell on who’s here and concentrate on them and not worry about who or what is not here.”
Another big facet of camp is to see who emerges as the on-court leaders, and one of those players is Seattle Storm and WNBA all-time assist leader, Sue Bird.
Sue Bird told USAB.com that as she’s progressed onward in her career, she simply adapts to keep her game consistent with age.
“There’s an evolution that happens in a player’s career. As you get older, you have to look in the mirror and decide what you want things to look like and how you want to go out,” Bird explained. “There were things that I needed to change from a workout and nutrition standpoint. The best way to sum it up is that as you get older, you can’t just rely on your youth and physical attributes. You have to dot every I, cross every T, and control everything you can. I just try to control all that I can control and just see how it goes.”
The camp concludes tomorrow, October 2nd.