Reflecting on a Memorable Summer
I usually end my WNBA season with a post on some form of social media, but this time that just didn’t seem like enough. This was one of the best summers on the court I’ve ever experienced individually and with a team. We exceeded everyone’s expectations including our own. Now, as I prepare to head overseas for the “off-season” I feel it’s only right I take time to truly reflect.
“Squaaaad” (Courtney Williams’ Voice)
The main component that made this season special to me was the incredible people in the Connecticut Sun organization. We returned a strong core, each one of us came back having improved parts of our game. Each of the new additions fit perfectly with the character of the team. We also returned our great coaching staff led by 2017 Coach of the Year, Curt Miller. Saying that he works really hard is an understatement. Curt’s staff is a direct reflection of his passion and competitiveness. We definitely benefit from the sleepless hours they put in to scout opponents and create thorough reports and film sessions. As a unit, we quickly became focused on our goal to make the playoffs. This added an extra challenge to the season considering that the preseason predictions had us at the bottom of the league. We had fun and exciting chemistry on the court. I feel we accomplished that by spending off-court time together in Connecticut and on the road.
I witnessed good players make sacrifices for the success of the team. Some by playing little to no minutes while proving extremely valuable for their basketball IQ and positive attitudes. Some were taken out of the starting lineup. Others were playing out of position because they didn’t want to throw off what was working. As a result, we finished the regular season in fourth place. Our finish secured a first-round bye and a home game in the second-round of playoffs. It was incredible watching my teammates develop and assert themselves as great players in our league. As uncomfortable as it is, I can’t neglect to acknowledge how honored and grateful I am that this season was full of career firsts for me. I made the All-Defensive First Team and had an incredible experience being a first-time WNBA All-Star alongside two of my teammates — All-Defensive Alyssa Thomas and All-WNBA, 2017 Most Improved player, Jonquel Jones.
Having been on two other teams in my six prior seasons, I realized that what we were experiencing this summer was rare. It only made me want to prolong the season as long as I could. As I felt the season slip away on our home court, the disappointment came rushing in. Selfishly, after recently losing my aunt and grandmother within weeks of each other, I wanted the season to keep going. Being around these good people and battling on the court with them helped me cope. I wanted to keep enjoying this game with them while we continued to prove people wrong all the way to the Finals — but who wouldn’t want that. Having that taste of the playoffs come to an end so abruptly left us hungry for 2018. As we all disperse around the world, we are looking forward to an even better season next year with new goals and even higher expectations.
For the next several months, I’ll be playing in Turkey and I’ll be celebrating my birthday (September 30th) in a foreign country for the first time. I wish I had more time to spend with family and more days to live in my new house but duty calls. I’ll be blogging more consistently while I’m overseas so make sure you SUBSCRIBE. My next post will be about how I furnished and decorated my home, you won’t want to miss it!!
Thanks for reading!