Posted at 7:04 PM on September 15, 2008
by David Zingler
With the Twins in the thick of the pennant race and the Vikings playing their home opener yesterday, you probably didn't notice the Lynx closed out their 10th season with a 96-70 win over the Mystics in Washington. Although the team was unable to turn a 5-0 start into a playoff berth, the Lynx did show a six game improvement over the 2007 showing.
There are plenty of reasons for Lynx fans to be optimistic heading into 2009; Seimone Augustus and Candice Wiggins will return along with center Nicky Anosike, who showed tremendous potential during her solid rookie season. I caught up with the former Tennessee Volunteer late last week to discuss her inaugural pro campaign:
DZ: It's been an exciting year for you; you've won an NCAA title, been drafted and had a successful rookie year in the WNBA, has it set in yet?
ANOSIKE: It's definitely set in. I'd say I had a pretty good rookie season, but I wish we would have made it to the playoffs. That's the one downfall of the season. Other than that, I am pretty proud of myself. I don't think anybody expected me to being doing as well as I am. I am ready to come back and do a better job next year and hopefully get us to the playoffs.
DZ: You had a pretty unique experience this year, playing with Candace Parker in college and Candice Wiggins with the Lynx, talk a little about those two.
ANOSIKE: They are both great players, obviously Candace Parker is different because she plays in the post a lot - they both play two different positions. They are both committed to working hard and they both went top 5 (in the draft), so they are doing something right.
DZ: Will you endorse either one for Rookie of the Year or are you staying out of that?
ANOSIKE: You know, I don't really think about that. The main goal for us coming in was to make it to the playoffs and make it to the championship game - that was my main goal - obviously, we didn't make it. Whatever individual goals people set for themselves is their business, but I don't have anything to do with that - the Rookie of the Year.
DZ: You were a triple major (Criminal Justice, Political Science and Legal Studies) at Tennessee, how did you find time to play basketball and get all of those classes in?
ANOSIKE: I am just the type of person, I like to see how far I can go, how much I can push myself and I thought that was one way I could challenge myself. It was a challenge, but I did it so it must not have been that hard (laughs).
DZ: I read that you want to be a lawyer when you are done with basketball.
ANOSIKE: I don't know about being a lawyer but I know I am going to finish up my law degree and after that we'll see.
DZ: What do you think the team needs going into next year to reach the next level?
ANOSIKE: I am not sure. I definitely think we need more people to get in there and rebound and after that, I really don't know.
DZ: Is that what you take the most pride in - your energy and rebounding?
ANOSIKE: Yeah, that's really me. That's my personality, so I try to bring that into the game.
DZ: How about the WNBA offseason, are you playing in Europe?
ANOSIKE: Yep. I am going to Israel.
(Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
See more of David Zingler's interviews with Lynx players:
August 30: Lindsey Harding
July 11: Seimone Augustus
July 3: Kristen Rasmussen
June 25: Candice Wiggins
June 11: Vanessa Hayden-Johnson
April 23: Noelle Quinn