Stars Rookies Making Immediate Impact
In the early start to the season, the San Antonio Stars have gotten production from all aspects of their team. In just two games, each player has contributed on some level to the team’s success on and off the court. Along with the seasoned veterans and experienced players, the two rookies on the Stars roster have joined in on the act.
Rookies are never necessarily expected to come in and immediately produce for a WNBA team, but the Stars’ duo have impressed their coaches and teammates alike in their first few weeks with the organization. Heather Butler and Kayla McBride are already making their presence felt around the team.
“They’re bringing a lot of energy every day and they’re picking up on things quickly,” said Jayne Appel. “Having our veterans back – Becky and Sophia – who have been our main scorers for a long time, along with that youth has been good for us.”
A potential upside to last year’s finish was the ability for the Stars to draft Kayla McBride with the third overall pick in the 2014 WNBA Draft. A Notre Dame alum, McBride has started the first two games of the season and immediately contributed. Along with averaging 8.5 points, she has knocked down nine of her 10 free throws.
“Kayla (McBride) is giving great minutes,” said Becky Hammon. “She’s still learning, but she has a competitive chip in her.”
Head coach Dan Hughes added that McBride appears well-prepared for the professional level.
“One of the highlights for me has been watching, Kayla McBride for example, and that’s a testament to the way Kayla was coached and to her desire to be good,” Hughes said. “We got a player who kind of understands how we want to play. She’s really been taught well and she’s invested herself in ways that are pro-like.”
Despite not seeing much playing time during the first two games, Heather Butler has made her presence felt among the team as well.
“Heather, our other little point guard – she can really shoot it,” said Hammon. “I’m really pulling for that kid. I like her energy. I like her presence. She seems like a good kid and she has a little bit of that eye of the tiger piece to her for the underdog or the little guy.”
Butler made the most of her first piece of WNBA action Saturday night against Tulsa at the AT&T Center, knocking down both of her free throw attempts in her one minute of play.