Catching Up with ... Camille Little
All offseason long, StormBasketball.com will help you keep in touch with your favorite Storm players with regular Q&As. We're already charting all the stats in StormTracker. Here, we'll try to learn a little bit more about what life is like off the court overseas. This week, we catch up with forward Camille Little, who has joined teammate Swin Cash as one of a handful of WNBA players in China. Little is playing for the Shanghai Baoshan Octopus.
StormBasketball.com: What went into your decision to play in China?
Little: It seemed like a good situation and, after weighing out all of my options, it was the best choice for me. I got to spend a little more time at home between seasons and the season here is shorter, so I'll be home sooner and have some time to myself before the WNBA season starts.
Scott Cunningham/NBAE/Getty Images
After playing in Israel last winter, Camille Little is spending this offseason in Shanghai.
How much did you talk to Swin about her past experience in China?
I talk to Swin regularly anyway, so when I found out I was playing in China she started to throw out ideas and gave me a lot of pointers on what to bring and what to expect about the league and China's culture. She also gave me a heads up about how cold the gyms are and to make sure I packed lots of long sleeve shirts and dri-fit leggings to practice and play in.
What is Shanghai like? Are you staying near downtown or more toward the suburbs?
Shanghai is a very nice city. I'm definitely surprised how comfortable I am. The hotel that I live in is very close to the practice facility but the overall area is in a small town. When I have time I just take a quick taxi ride downtown where all the shopping malls and restaurants are that serve Western (American) food.
How different is living in China than somewhere in Europe, especially someplace Westernized like Israel?
I definitely got really used to Israel since I've played there so much. I could go there years from now and still know my way around. Since I don't have a car here I don't venture out alone much, and the highways and streets are somewhat confusing. Also, since most teams only have one American and the teams are not very close in distance, I only see other Americans when we play each other. In Israel the teams are much closer so the foreigners get together more often for dinner or just to hang out.
How much have you tried the authentic local cuisine?
I'm a really picky eater, so trying the local cuisine is not something I do often. My teammates always ask me to taste things and my answer is always the same, "No, thank you!" (with a smile).
What has surprised you the most about China?
The thing that most surprised me about China is how much food they eat but the people stay so small. They eat a lot of carbs like rice and noodles at every meal (breakfast, lunch and dinner) but I haven't seen many overweight Chinese people.
How is the competition on the court?
The games are very intense and the competition is pretty good.
Are you working on anything in particular with your game?
Sometimes it's hard to work on what you want overseas because teams bring you in to play a certain position. I'd like to work more on my three-point shooting, but I'm playing the five here so I'm in the paint a lot. For now, I'm working on my patience and letting the game come to me--basically playing at my own speed, polishing my post moves and concentrating on reading the defense and making good decisions when I'm being doubled in the post.
How nice is it to meet up with the other WNBA players in the WCBA, especially Swin?
It's so refreshing to see other Americans, especially when you hear people speaking Chinese around you 24/7. I was really excited to see Swin and I'm glad that we had time to sit and have dinner the night I came to town and after the game. She's one of my closest friends so we took full advantage of the time we had and talked until the restaurant closed, and for a few more hours after that, lol. I'm sure we'll do the same thing when she comes to Shanghai!