The New Kid on the International Block
This is not the first time Dupree will compete for a spot on a US National team. In the summer of 2005, Dupree was selected as a member of the US team that competed in the World University Games.
Despite her international experience, she’s approaching camp like a rookie at her first national team training camp.
“To be honest, I don’t feel like a returning person,” said Dupree. “A lot of players have had more years of experience. I’ve only had one. I will kind of feel like a new kid on the block when I get there.”
No matter which kid she feels like, Dupree’s competitive fire and expanding skill set has the four-year WNBA veteran expecting only one outcome from competing with and against the league’s best.
“The ultimate goal is to try and make the final 12 and make the trip to Russia,” Dupree said. “I won’t be intimidated with the level of play. I just have to be ready mentally and be physically prepared to make the team.”
Dupree has acknowledged the roster spot opened by the retirement of Lisa Leslie and another possible opening if Tina Thompson retires. She’s also made sure she’s headed into camp as prepared as possible to fill either spot, trying to balance staying at a high fitness level while making sure to be rested coming off the WNBA season.
“They’re looking for players to fill those shoes,” said Dupree. “I’ve extended my shooting range which has helped me a lot. I’ve been making sure to stay in shape, running on the treadmill every day, lifting weights and shooting in the gym.”
Dupree will head into camp prepared and confident coming off her best all-around WNBA season yet. She averaged team-highs in points per game (15.7) and rebounds (7.9) and grabbed a league-best 192 defensive rebounds. She was second in the WNBA with 268 total rebounds and sixth for forwards in 3-point field goal percentage at .387 (min. 25 attempts).
The opportunity to play with some of the best basketball players in the world doesn’t present itself every day and it’s something even the new kid can’t wait for.
“I’m looking forward to playing with the best in the world,” said Dupree. “It’s not often you get to have an experience like this with so many talented players on one team. I’m excited to push myself to maintain that high level of play for all of camp.”
Even if she starts off feeling like the new kid, she hopes to end up one of the regulars.
HEY SKY FANS PLEASE BE SURE TO KEEP TRACK OF CANDICE DURING USA BASKETBALL TRAINING CAMP – SHE WILL BE POSTING A BLOG THROUGHOUT THE WEEK.