Jayco Australian Opal Tess Madgen checks in from Arizona in her first update from her debut season in the WNBA.
Madgen joins a host of other Australians including Cayla Francis, Leilani Mitchell and coach Sandy Brondello at the Mercury, who in 2015, will be defending their WNBA Championship title.
I have been in Phoenix, Arizona for three weeks now. Cayla and I stepped off the plane and were hit with the instant heat. Coming from Melbourne’s winter it was a bit of a shock and it is only getting hotter. It is 40 degrees Celsius this week and it is meant to get up to 50 degrees Celsius soon.
To cool off from the heat one of my teammates took us to ‘The Salt River’ and we spent the day tubing down the water, which was beautiful being surrounded by the mountainous desert scenery. If anyone gets a chance to come to Phoenix, you should definitely give it a crack.
However, there was an extreme downside to this trip. Coming from Australia I was a little bit arrogant about the American sun not burning me and was caught off guard when I came home looking like a lobster. Sandy quickly reminded me that we are in the middle of the desert and to slip, slop, slap so I won’t be making that mistake again…
To the business-side of things now, the first three weeks have been spent in training camp, which has been intense and tough – but I have loved every minute of it.
It is a dream come true to be playing alongside some of the best players in the world and I am learning new things every day. The players over here are longer, faster and more athletic, which is challenging but it is definitely going to make me better, and I am very excited about that.
I go to training at 8:30 every morning, get taped, go to the gym to lift weights or do injury prevention, then hit the court at 9:30 for pre-practice, which is all skills work. The coach that takes this is Diana Taurasi’s personal coach so I am learning a lot from him. We then train for two-and-a-half hours. That time is being cut back now coming into season, which we are all thankful about (hahaha).
We have our first game this Friday night, which I am very excited about! I’ll check in again in a couple of weeks.