The 2012 Minnesota Lynx training camp opened last week with eight rookies vying for possibly two spots on the 11-player regular season roster. Only one of these first-year players — Devereaux Peters, the club’s 2012 top draft pick — is all but assured one of the spots.
That leaves just one spot still to fill.
Guard Porsche Poole, who just a couple of months ago completed her four collegiate playing years at Michigan State, is one of those remaining rookies in the “longshot” mix. A 5-8 shooting guard who set career highs in points, rebounds, assists and steals in her senior season, Poole is competing for a backup point guard spot.
We asked Poole, who was not drafted and signed a free agent contract with the team on April 25, why she would come to a camp facing such unfavorable odds. “I just want to get better,” she admits. “I feel that I have the talent to either get the coach’s attention this year and hopefully make the team, or be on their radar for next year. That’s the only thing I can control.”
One of those “I can control” things she learned from day one is how to change speeds on the court: “I was trying to go too fast, and they were telling me to slow down. I got to learn to slow down and run the offense — there are so many plays that I got to make sure that I get the plays down right.”
Training camp is like a job interview, only a bit more taxing. But the main premise is the same: hoping to impress your future employer enough to hire you. As a result, Poole’s main goal is to have the Lynx coaching staff keenly notice “that I work hard, and I am willing to learn whatever [the coach] wants me to do, and I am willing to do it. No matter what it is — I want to do whatever it takes to win a championship here in Minnesota.”
Poole is three classes away from completing her sociology degree at MSU. “If I can do coaching, that would be great,” she said, adding that she loves working with children. But first, she wants to get her pro basketball career started.
Where was the color?
Last Tuesday, at the final game played at U of M’s Siebert Field this season, there were more Blacks (three) in the press box than on the field or in the stands. There was no Black player on either the Gophers or the visiting St. Thomas baseball teams, nor any Blacks among the 1,421 people in the stands, save for one: Gopher Basketball Coach Tubby Smith.
“I love baseball,” Smith said when he stopped by briefly to speak with reporters.
Charles Hallman welcomes reader responses to firstname.lastname@example.org.