There is much to be excited about right now in the WNBA, and possibly no team has more to be amped up for than the New York Liberty. The Liberty made an early exit from the playoffs last year but made a big push this offseason, acquiring two first-round picks and signing former WNBA champion and Coach of the Year, Bill Laimbeer. All of these pieces were bought in to complement the Liberty’s superstar Cappie Pondexter. The Chicago native is coming off a huge year last year, averaging 20.4 points, 4.5 rebounds and 4.3 assists and will be keeping a diary throughout the 2013 WNBA season here on SLAMonline. Check back throughout the year as Cappie gives us an insider look at the life of a professional basketball player.—Ed.
As told to Christian Mordi / @mordi_thecomeup
Hello SLAM Magazine fans! My name is Cappie Pondexter and I am a guard for the New York Liberty. I will be checking in with you guys twice a month to share my journey throughout this WNBA season!
Over the WNBA offseason, I had a great experience this year playing overseas in Turkey. Fenerbahce was one of the best teams in Europe. We lost in the finals of the Euroleague Championships, but it was a big year for us because we were the first team, male or female, for this franchise to play in the final game. We may not have taken the Euroleague crown, but we did take the top spot in the Turkish League Championships. I had an amazing season over there and I am excited and hopeful it carries over to the Liberty season.
There has been a change in the culture here for the New York Liberty this year with the arrival of Coach Laimbeer. We all know he knows the game and how to win. He expects us to play at a high level and demands a lot. I have been here maybe a week, and I have already learned a lot of great things from him. The system is a little challenging as a whole, but I love what we are running and I am excited to put these plays in action come regular season.
The pre-season has been great. Coach Laimbeer expects us to have a high basketball IQ. He makes us study a lot more than I have since I began playing professionally, which I think is great. When you understand the game at a high level, it makes you a better overall player. He told me from day one when he came to visit me in Turkey about the system and I am doing my best to make things happen.
So far, I think our energy level can be down sometimes, but I think that’s all due to us learning a new system and we will get better with time. On a positive side, we have great depth, especially in the post. I am excited to see our growth from now to the end of the season.
Every year it’s something new as each team has new people and personalities. We really enjoy being around each other.
Off the court, I have been putting a lot of time into my company, 4 Seasons Style Management, a firm which focuses on fashion styling and image consulting for many models, actors and musicians. Every year we throw a big party and invite all of the taste-makers, and show everyone what we have done in the past year. I also have been doing a lot of reading. Right now I am reading The Fault in Our Stars, it is a pretty intense book. I was never a really big reader, mostly magazines when I was younger, but this offseason I have really taken on a lot of reading. I also recently read the Pat Summit book, Reach For The Summit, which had a lot of inspiring moments in it.
‘Til next time,