Posted at 8:30 AM on August 30, 2008
by David Zingler
It's nearly two years into Lindsey Harding's WNBA career and Lynx fans still haven't seen all the point guard has to offer. The No. 1 overall pick in the 2007 Draft was leading all rookies in scoring and assists when a torn ACL ended her season last July. She healed quickly enough to play with Team USA this spring, but then suffered a stress fracture in her left knee cap on April 24 and didn't return to action until July 27.
Now, the 24-year-old is finally at full strength and ready to help the Lynx during their playoff push. The former NCAA Player of the Year took some time out to chat with me following Friday's practice.
DZ: You are coming off a month long break (for the Olympics), does it seem like you are starting a new season right now?
HARDING: It's tough coming back and getting out of vacation mode, but I still think we are ready to play. We've practiced too much now (laughs), so we are ready to get the games started.
DZ: How about you personally; you had the injury, came back, got your starting role back, were starting to play a lot of minutes and then, all of the sudden you have to stop - was (the break) bad timing for you?
HARDING: Rest is just as good as working hard. I think we all used that time - me in particular - to rest my body and work on individual things. It was good, it was fun - I am ready to go.
DZ: You were in the running for the Olympic team, but things didn't work out, did you get a chance to watch (the women's team)?
HARDING: I was actually there for the medal round. It was great to be there, although I didn't play. Just working hard, competing against those players in tournaments, helping prepare them, was good. Hopefully I can make the next (Olympics) - it would be a dream come true if I could make it.
DZ: What did you think of China?
HARDING: I liked it. It wasn't what I expected it to be, but it was nice.
DZ: You came in here as the No. 1 pick - with a lot of expectations - got off to a good start and then the injuries happened. Do you feel like we haven't seen your real game yet?
HARDING: I don't know. I still think it's a learning process. You see rookies come in and then a few years later, they are unbelievable. They just get used to (the league). The injuries were unfortunate, but they will, in the long run, make me a better player and a stronger player.
DZ: With Seimone (Augustus) playing in the Olympics and not getting the break, do you guys feel like you have to step up to help her out?
HARDING: She got a few days off (laughs). You know what, you feel that too, but she hasn't put any pity on herself. She knew what she was getting into, going to the Olympics and coming back. She knows this is the last run, she came down here everyday while we were practicing and she's looking good. So, we are expecting the same Seimone that we are going to need to win.
DZ: The playoffs are the goal, right?
DZ: Are you planning on playing in Europe this off-season?
HARDING: Yeah. I am not sure where yet, but I am planning on it.
(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)