A familiar scene unfolded on Sunday after practiceone that we hadnt seen yet in 2013 due to her overseas commitments in the Czech Republic. Forward Rebekkah Brunson, accompanied by assistant coach Jim Petersen, worked her way around the half court attempting mid-range shots from the left, middle and right.
She rallied off shot after shot, alternating swishes with banks from each side. There are so many reasons why Brunson is touted for her energy and work ethic, and this is one of those routines that emphasizes her dedication to the sport. Not a practice or shootaround goes by where she doesnt put in the extra time working on her mid-range game.
And thats just the tip of the iceberg. Try facing her in action. With so many new, young faces in camp, Brunson is a player who can change the aggressiveness of camp.
She just changes thingits contagious in such a great way, coach Cheryl Reeve said. Her activity, shes on go. Her hands are on go. Her feet are on go. She gets rebounds. For young players, when they hear about Rebekkah Brunson, thats one thing. But then you actually see it, and youre out there with it. Its a whole other world.
Brunson spent the offseason playing for the same Prague-based team, USK Praha, that Lindsay Whalen played for in the past. She helped them win the Czech League title as she produced 16.3 points, 9.0 rebounds and 1.6 steals per game while shooting 53.8 percent from the floor during ZBL play.
Although shes joining the Lynx a week after Training Camp started, she didnt exactly get a lot of time to rest. Brunson played her last game on May 2, returned to the U.S. on May 3 and flew into Minnesota on Saturday.
But she didnt waste any time making an impact on Sunday, bringing that constant energy thats made her such an important part of the Lynxs front court. It doesnt matter if its her first day of Training Camp or Game 5 of the WNBA Finals, Brunson brings that same intensity every single day.
For her, the biggest part of Sundays practice was getting re-acquainted with her teammatesand acquainted with some new faces.
It felt good to be back around the girls again and see what theyre doing, see how theyre progressing, she said. It felt good to be back out there. Everybody looks good, I think everybody feels good, theyre playing well, competing.
Even with the quick turnaround, Brunson said this teams core makes it easy to come back and jump right in.
It was a short time off, but the good thing about having teammates youre used to is it doesnt take that long [to get on the same page], Brunson said. Coming in, you have the same personality, the same tendencies. Of course there are kinks to be worked out, but jumping into it felt good.
Brunson said she was excited when she learned about the Lynxs trade that brought Janel McCarville to Minnesota, saying she didnt know her closely but she knows the type of player and person McCarville is. I think with J-Macs, she makes other people around her better.
Brunson also said with Taj McWilliams-Franklin gone there will be an adjustment in the leadership department, but one that veterans like herself are prepared to handle. I think she groomed us very well. For us to be able to know what we have to do and know what to say to each other to help each other grow and help each other be successful. She did a lot in her time here to help us take over that leadership role. Of course well miss her voice, but were able to do it ourselves for sure.
Reeve said there will be more scrimmaging this week in an attempt to see which players have the best shot to make this 2013 roster. Unlike the past couple years, when the Lynx essentially had their rosters set prior to camp, there is room for a player or two to sneak onto this regular season roster. The coaching staff will need this week and the preseason games to help make some determinations, and Reeve said there isnt any rush on making cuts. This year is going to be a little bit different. I think were going to have to give them that opportunity in a game to determine who makes the final cut.
McCarville has been sidelined off and on throughout camp, and Reeve said it has hindered what she hoped to have accomplished so far implementing McCarville into the teams reps. On Sunday, Amber Harris was taking reps with the first team at the end of practice during half-court run-throughs.
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