Q&A with Alysha Clark
Catching up with WNBA player and former All-AmericanAugust 8, 2012 · @MTAthletics
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - Recently, GoBlueRaiders.com had a chance to speak with former Middle Tennessee women's basketball All-American Alysha Clark, current member of the WNBA's Seattle Storm. Clark, in her rookie season with the professional league, averages 3.1 points and 2.1 rebounds in 8.5 minutes per game for the squad, which is 9-10 on the campaign before resuming play next week after the Olympics have concluded.
Below is a series of questions asked of Clark on her thoughts on playing in the WNBA and a retrospective of playing for the Blue Raiders during the 2008-09 and 2009-10 campaigns.
1. How has your rookie season in the WNBA gone so far?
Actually, it has been really good. I have been learning a lot from the vets on the team, coming in and working hard every day, seeing what it take to compete with some of the best players in the world on a daily basis and that is something that you don't get a chance to do every day, and I am very thankful to have this opportunity to learn from people on the team
2. What has been your best memory or biggest moment in the season so far?
I would have to say scoring my first WNBA points here in Key Arena before the home fans. It was a great feeling, not only to get your first points, but to do it in front of your home crowd and have that much support behind you. It was a memory that I am never going to forget. I am just glad that I got to do it in front of our home crowd.
3. What is it like to play on a team that has so many great players like Sue Bird, Tina Thompson, Katie Smith and others?
It is amazing. These are some of the best women to play the game and to come in and learn from them, to hear what they have to say and have them give me pointers, not just about basketball, but off the court as well. They are some of the most humble, down to earth, sweetest people I have ever met in my life. I am thankful that I have had the chance to know them because they are amazing women.
4. What have you learned from them that you can apply to your game?
How to get my shots, different ways to use my strengths to my advantage, how to run the floor, different pointers on defense, keeping contact with them, just the little tricks they have learned through the years that they are passing down to me.
5. What has been your favorite WNBA city thus far, and why?
I really liked when we went to New York. It was my first time to really get around and see some things there. I went to a Broadway show and it was really nice. I enjoyed my time there. It was really busy, a lot different from Nashville, but it was nice.
6. What do you do in the Seattle area to enjoy your time off?
I have had dinner in the Space Needle, got to go to the antique and music museums. We drove down to the Nike store and did a little shopping. I want to go see some shows that they have here. We have been on the road a lot, and now we will get a chance to be at home more for a while.
7. What advice would you give to younger players who have ambitions of playing in the WNBA?
Work hard every day and write your goals out. For me, I never really thought I would have been here, so have confidence in yourself, both as a person and as a player. Work hard every day because some of the most talented players aren't in the WNBA. The ones that are here are the ones that work hard and do the little things and have a good work ethic. I think that's a really important key. When you show up and work the hardest, coaches really notice that.
8. Name some things, on and off the court, that you learned at Middle Tennessee that you were able to carry with you to the WNBA.
On the court, it is attitude and no fear. Coach Insell was great at playing the best teams in the country, and he did a great job of making sure that we weren't afraid to play them. He helped me to believe in myself and believe that I am supposed to be where I am supposed to be. I am not afraid to play with anybody and he did a great job of making sure we were confident in our skills and weren't afraid to go up against anybody. He developed that winner's mentality in us. Off the court, learn to love your teammates like family. It is something that I will do everywhere I go and will never take for granted
9. What have you done during the WNBA's break for the Olympics?
We got a 10-day break to go home and visit our families or go on vacation or whatever we wanted to do and that was nice. But I also have just been working out, staying in the gym, staying in shape, stay ready and take advantage of the opportunities that I am given. Now we are back practicing and that is what I will be doing until our games start back.
10. This is a twitter question from your buddies on the Hillbilly Hilton (@TheHilton_MT). Do you ever get to speak to fellow Lady Raider Amber Holt who plays for the Tulsa Shock?
I spoke to her when we were down in Tulsa and of course she was overseas in Israel the second part of the season. She was my teammate there. We keep in contact. I talk to her on Twitter every now and then, just to see how she's doing.
I just like to say thank you to all of my Blue Raider fans and all of the people that have supported me from high school until now and I am truly grateful for it. And I just hope I can continue to make everybody proud.
Follow the Blue Raiders on Twitter @MTAthletics for continued updates.
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