Fullcourt invited players from around the WNBA to blog periodically throughout the 2014 season. In Sun rookie Alyssa Thomas' first entry, she talks about the transition from college to professional basketball.
When I get asked about how I am adjusting to the WNBA, I guess the easiest thing would be to point to a couple of recent games.
The other night against Chicago, I had the best game of my rookie season in the WNBA. I finished with career-highs of 23 points and 11 rebounds. A few nights later, I had six points and two rebounds against San Antonio.
Playing at this level is an amazing challenge. In college, everything is so fast-paced. Here, it’s about reading your opponent and learning how to play without the ball. And you have to do it while playing against veteran players and against teams that you face more than once.
It’s not an easy adjustment. Right now, I am trying to find where I fit in, and I am trying to do it while playing the same style I played at Maryland, which is up-tempo, pushing the ball and trying to get in the paint.
But I have been through this before, in high school and college. Everybody goes through it, going from the top to starting all over again and figuring out how you’re going to be successful at the next level.
Two things have made adjusting to the professional game easier.
The first is that I am not the top rookie pick on my team. Chiney Ogwumike was the number one overall pick and she has gotten a lot of attention this year. This is fine with me, because it allows me to focus on myself.
The second thing that has made this adjustment easier is that we are a very young team. Besides me and Chiney, there are four players with just one year of experience, one player with two years and one player with three years. It helps to know we are all young and going through the same thing.
It also helps that I love this team. We all get along really well and I am just enjoying the process. It’s everything I expected it to be.