Q&A with the Seattle Storm's Camille Little
|Camille Little secured her first championship with the Storm in 2010|
Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE/Getty Images
Winning a championship with the Storm in September, having her number retired by North Carolina in January and joining up with Ramat Hasharon in Israel for overseas ball has no doubt made for an exciting (and busy) couple of months for Seattle's Camille Little. While enjoying some down time in Israel, Little caught up with WNBA.com to chat about the 2010 season, some of the horrors that come with playing on the international circuit and what to expect from the Storm in 2011.
WNBA.com: There�s really no shortage of things to talk about. You�ve had a pretty great few months, to say the least. Let�s start with the most recent event. North Carolina just retired your number. How did it feel to be honored like that?
Camille Little: It was really good. It�s crazy because you think of all the things that you did there and you can�t go back and you miss the things that you did, so it made me realize that my career there is over, that it�s done with. You always wish you could go back and do things. That�s why it�s wonderful to be honored like that, to see my teammates and my coaches and my family was there. To experience something like that was really, really good.
WNBA.com: You�re overseas now in Israel. What has that been like so far?
CL: I�ve played here before so it kind of feels the same as when I left. I played here after my rookie season and I went to Turkey and I played in Cyprus. It�s cool because I think it�s one of those places where it�s easiest to get along in. A lot of Americans are here, men and women, the city is really nice and I�m close to Tel Aviv. They have great food, we can go shopping here. There�s some great sights, so there�s plenty of things to do. Not to mention that we�re all close together, all of us Americans, so we get together and go to dinner and stuff like that. It�s kind of laid back actually. I only play once a week, so I�m just trying to enjoy the time here and play well while I�m playing.
WNBA.com: Who do you meet up with regularly? I know you�re playing alongside players like Chante Black, Tiffany Jackson and Ivory Latta, but you also have a few teammates in the area as well.
CL: Tanisha [Wright] and Le�coe [Willingham] are here, so I see them quite a bit. I think I see Tanisha the most. We hang out and go to movies and stuff like that. I had dinner with Tiffany Jackson [last Tuesday] night. I talk to Ivory all the time. Just around the city it�s not that hard to run into people. Most of the time we all keep in touch with one another, so when we get time to all get together we usually do. We had a great Thanksgiving dinner this year. Le�coe, T and I all made dinner. We had about 16 people over so it was nice.
WNBA.com: A lot of players say playing overseas and playing back in the WNBA can put a lot of wear and tear on the body, but you just said you�re playing one day a week. Is it different for everyone?
CL: This is where I�m playing. Like, Tanisha�s team, they play once a week but they also play in the EuroCup. So she plays twice a week sometimes. It�s not the same, it just depends on where you go. In my circumstance, I�m lucky to play once a week but once the cup games start, I�ll play twice a week. But you still have to worry about the practicing every day. Some teams practice twice a day, some coaches are a little more strenuous than others, so it depends on what team you�re on and what coach wants you to do. When you�re playing EuroCup and you�re traveling a lot, the travel is not the same. You have eight-hour layovers in the airport, you�re taking eight-hour train rides, the hotels aren�t very nice, you don�t sleep well, so it can definitely put some wear and tear on your body if you let it.
WNBA.com: Do you have any horror stories from the road overseas?
CL: I�ve been in some pretty bad hotels. I was in one hotel and I pulled back the covers and there was the biggest urine stain I�ve ever seen in my life (laughs). I had to go downstairs and get new linens and even then I didn�t want to sleep on it. In Russia, we were in Kursk one year, and the heat in the hotel wasn�t working at all. And you know, Russia is very cold, so I didn�t even get out of the bed because you�re so cold. I�ve played in places where you can see your breath literally while you�re playing because it�s that cold. It just depends. Everyone�s situation isn�t the same. Some people are in great situations and some people have to go through things that I think is a learning experience and something you can learn from and you have to appreciate the luxuries that we do have at home.
WNBA.com: Is there a bigger concern and higher risk for injuries playing in those cold gyms?
CL: For sure. Once you start playing you take your mind off of it. You know, you�re playing and you�re warmer to a certain extent, but what can you do? You sign a contract to do a job and you have to do your job. So you just try to play through those things and be safe at the same time.
WNBA.com: No conversation would be complete without some mention of the championship run in 2010. Are you still feeding off the vibes and excitement from that?
CL: Definitely. People talk about it all the time. My team here, they love to bring it up. It�s just great. I�m going to run it until I can�t anymore. It�s my first championship and it�s something that I�ve always wanted to do. I�m so happy and I�m so excited. I think I picked up another picture this week, actually. Sue [Bird] had it on her BBM and I took it from her. It was really exciting. I look at the pictures all the time. I have it as my screensaver holding the trophy. My pictures and my profile pictures on Facebook is me holding the trophy. Everyone keeps saying don�t take it down yet, so I�ll keep it up as long as they let me keep it up.
WNBA.com: Hey, you�re going into the 2011 season as champions. I don�t think you�ll have to take it down any time soon. Obviously you�ll want to repeat too, but what�s it going to take to make that happen?
CL: Oh man. I think it�s going to start with the same things it started with this year. It�s going to be the foundation. We�re definitely going to have to have some good camp and make sure that we all com back healthy and that we have the right mindset to know that it definitely won�t be the same as last year and it definitely won�t be easy and we have a target on our back. I think once we all decide that we�re going to be a championship team again and we have all the things that it takes to do that, I think we have a good shot at trying to repeat.