Stacey’s Blog #4

Hey Sky Fans, welcome back! As I write this blog, I sit in my apartment full of pancakes and coffee, exhausted from a long road trip that saw us fall in Phoenix to the Mercury and overcome the Silver Stars in San Antonio. I have been pondering what to share with you in this next blog and I've decided that there''ll be no definitive point-it'll be a scattered run-down of the recent goings-on within our franchise, and a few of the things that you may not know about our new coaching staff.

Most of you are aware that I slightly strained my left hamstring a few weeks ago. It was nothing major, but very frustrating since it occurred at the highest point of my hammy where the muscle connects to the 'sit-bones,' as our astute Licensed Physical Therapist, Amy Malone, would tell you. I'm forever learning from Amy and our entire medical staff about the way that our bodies physically respond and why things function the way they do. Amy informed me that my hamstring is, in fact, a two jointed muscle, because it connects at two joints and makes other muscles react below and above the knee-hope I got that close to accurate Amy!

Because the strain happened in such a vulnerable area, we had to be extra cautious to ensure that it wouldn't worsen at such an early stage in the season. Between therapy throughout the past couple of weeks, rest and ice, I've seen drastic improvement and I'm elated to say it's back to work on the court full throttle. After my best ever off-season of training, minor setbacks like muscle strains are incredibly frustrating. At the same time however, such shortcomings are a natural part of sport and something that you must endure from time to time, with a positive and optimistic mindset.

In my short absence, I had a chance to sit back and really get a good look at our team, and I truly couldn't be more excited for the direction in which we're headed. As you know, we recently acquired savvy veteran Chasity Melvin in a trade with Washington. I'll tell you that although we do miss Mo Currie, Chas has made a substantial difference in the shape of our team. With her size and stature, she demands the ball on the low block, and alongside Kayte Christensen, will really take some pressure off of Candy-Jo Dupree making life easier for those of us roaming the perimeter.

In my last blog, I spoke of some of the personality traits of my mates. Having played with Chas in D.C. a few years back, I knew that we were getting "quite the silly character." Now the oldest player on our team (I know Canty must be hiding a big grin at the thought of this ;-)), Chas sits directly in the corner of our locker room, closest to the stereo. I'm sure it can't be her age, but she listens to that stereo as if it's stationed overseas in Russia where she played during the off-season. I walked into the locker room one day to find Chas, alone, trapped in the corner with that darned stereo blowing out her ear drums. Chas pretty much laughs at everything and when I finally got her attention after numerous tries, she cracked up laughing and said, "I like the music loud Staaaccce." Chas is already a compatible fit, and I know I speak for all of the players when I say, we're fortunate to have her experience and skill.

In my last blog I told you all about Kayte Christensen and her adorable pups Hektor, Ella, and Misha. I explained to you that the very charming Hektor is, "quite adept at opening doors." Well, when the team traveled to Washington, D.C. last Friday to play the Mystics, I eagerly jumped at Kayte's request to dog-sit. All was seemingly fine and dandy throughout the course of the day. I picked them up early Friday morning, took them to the park, and spoiled them with love and treats like a good dog-sitter should. Well, apparently in this short 10 hour time frame, Hektor developed quite a crush on me-it was obvious by the way his eyes melted into mine and the way he growled when seven month old Misha demanded too much of my attention. He saw destiny when he saw me, and he was bound and determined to make his presence felt.

That evening, I listened online as my team defeated the Mystics. After the game, I headed to dinner with one of my friends. As I proceeded to pick my friend up and push on to the restaurant I got a startling, frantic phone call from none other than...Kayte Chris! Kayte said to me, "Stacey, where are you?!!...I just got a phone call...my dogs are roaming the hallway!" I was clearly shocked! I responded to Kayte, "NO WAY...are you playing a joke here?!!...number one, your dogs are in MY apartment and number two, they couldn't possibly be loose because I DEAD BOLTED the door!" Kayte told me she had received an inordinate number of phone calls from my neighbors who read Kayte's cell phone number on the dog tags and called immediately.

So, I worriedly headed straight home to investigate. No sooner did I step off the elevator, when I heard my neighbors giggling down the hallway. I walked to my door to find a gigantic, very heavy planter duck-taped to the handle, thereby preventing it from turning-and of course, I could hear the dogs scratching incessantly on the door from within! Yes, a paint job may be in store. Truth be told, Hektor had found a way to escape. He was bound and determined to rescue me in his shining armor, and make me his. Poor little Ella and Misha were merely victims of his passion. Long story short, I figured out a way to tuck the dogs away safely in my bathroom by moving a very large object in front of the door on the inside. Finally, I was able to continue on to dinner. Needless-to-say, I have been giggling about that night ever since!

Surely at some point you've wondered about our coaching staff. I'll preface what I'm about to say, by telling you that I don't share this to earn any reduction in floor sprints-just the truth. Head Coach Bo Overton is a no-frills kind of guy. He brings a wealth of basketball knowledge to Chicago. He has developed a team that, surprising to some, is playing like a team. Why is this important? You know as well as I do that the best teams are those that co-exist with chemistry and exude an ego-free persona. This goes for sports at every level, and in every arena. LeBron James and Tim Duncan are good, but their respective backdrops have been amazing in the playoffs. You've got to admire guys that trust in their teammates to make plays regardless of the outcome. We've got a star in Candy-Jo, but never have we felt an attitude of "me, me, me" from her. Bo's system only compliments this. Coach Overton is witty, easy-going, yet equally demanding of our effort. He expects us to buy into his selfless style, and rightfully so. The only thing you really need to know about Bo when it's all said and done, is that he loves coaching. He loves coming to work everyday, he loves the team he has put together, and he believes in us completely and unconditionally. It's good to have a leader that cares.

Many of you remember Assistant Coach Steve Key from a season past and we players were so comforted to have him return in 2007. Besides being maybe the nicest guy on the planet, he is skill driven, detail oriented, and his passion for basketball is resolute. Steve handles the post players in practice and the bulk of our film work-the man is on top of things! The thing I love most about Coach Key is that he's always available to advise, listen, or teach. When I'm out of position or miscue on a read, Steve knows exactly how and when to address me. His positivity runs deep.

If you don't know who Assistant Coach Stephanie White is, allow me to enlighten you. She is only one of the best to ever play the game, a high school player of the year, national college player of the year, and five year WNBA vet. Coach White works with us, the guards, and she has been a powerful influence-always calm, always poised, and always in teaching mode. Steph has been particularly important to me because of her experience in the backcourt and the composure that was a staple of her game. She stays on me about being a consistent leader and she really expects nothing but the highest degree of standards from all of us. Steph's work ethic as a player is no different as a coach-she's a blessing for the Sky.

Last but certainly not least, we have Assistant Coach Roger Redding. You need a laugh? You need a pat on the back? You need a friendly reminder to get focused? You need a stern cue to get yourself ready? Roger is the man behind it all. He is absolutely, utterly, one of the most positive, most jovial, most natural people I've ever met. Roger reigns from the heart of Texas and boy do you get some Texas from him. If we come into practice a little groggy on occasion, all we need to hear is one of the following Rogerisms: "common maayn," (translation-come on man) "get ur mynds raiiight,¨ (translation-get your minds right) "it's gotta be importn to ya,¨ (translation-it's got to be important to you) "common na,¨ (translation-come on now)...this spelling of course is my attempt at speaking in Roger's Texas accent. Make no mistake, Roger Redding is, the "mayne."

As always, I hope to have given you a quick flash of life within our organization. If you have any requests for stories or info, please contact me at, askstacey@chicagosky.net, and thanks to all of you who have been in touch. In the meantime, enjoy the summer weather and as always, go Sky!

Yours in sport,
~Stace


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