Training Camp 2008
Harper is Here
Laura Harper Q & A

After being selected by the Monarchs with the 10th pick in the 2008 WNBA Draft, rookie Laura Harper joined the USA Women's Team in China for the "Good Luck Beijing" Tournament. Now, Harper is in Sacramento for training camp and she recently sat down with for a quick Q&A.

How different is the dynamic playing against opposing countries compared to playing in college?

Laura Harper: "You have to use your mind as opposed to a lot of colleges that have raw athletes that are just slashing and playing. These players are a lot smarter, they know where to cut, where to move and where to go. For players that don�t have as much structure, you have to be more [precise] offensively and defensively."

Do you have a favorite moment from your time in China?
Harper: "I really enjoyed climbing the Great Wall. That is something I never thought I would experience at the age of 22. To be able to do it and to say I have been to China and played with veterans, All-Stars and future teammates, it was really cool."

It sounds like that is a "pinch yourself" type of experience. Would you agree?
Harper: "Yeah, you think you might fall off playing with them and not look at them play like other WNBA players, so it is a reality check. Today was the first day I was here, so it�s real now. It's time to buckle down and get playing."

How was your first day of training camp?
Harper: �It was great, getting up and down [the court]. I didn�t play 30-35 minutes in China, so it was really good to get out there and get a feel for the coaches and the plays. Northern California is different. I�m really glad I got this day and I have two more days until Friday's game. It's like I'm in another preseason. Two preseasons in one year is a lot to handle, but, at the same time, I am excited now because this is what I dreamed of doing."

What�s your first impression of Sacramento?
Harper: "Sacramento is beautiful and hot. My family is at home where it is 40 degrees and raining and I am able to experience the beauty of Sacramento. I did get lost a few times, but it's all about getting a feel for things. Now it's hot and I�m playing basketball, I can't ask for a better combination."

When did you get into town?
Harper: "I got in Monday, now I�m just trying to get used to the time. I am not sleeping. I�m just trying to get a feel for all of this. The time difference is 15 hours, you can't really replicate it or try and say you have been through it, unless you've done it. I don�t play overseas every season, so I haven�t had to make the type of transition to being overseas to coming back and playing. I usually do overseas and then I am off."

Did you eat anything exotic in China?
Harper: "The food was not really good over there. It is something you have to get used to and eat enough just so you can get enough protein and play."

You didn't get to have Oreo milkshakes?
Harper: "No, I was so disappointed [laughs]. There was nothing for me to really splurge on. They did have Snickers, so postgame was always a Snickers bar, so that was pretty cool."

What would you like to say to Monarchs fans?
Harper: "It is going to be fun and I am going to be putting in just as much energy and passion as the fans do. I am sure they are going to enjoy watching the team this season. I definitely won�t skip a beat. The same energy I brought last year, I�m going to bring just as much and more."