Womhoops Guru

Mel Greenberg covered college and professional women’s basketball for the Philadelphia Inquirer, where he worked for 40 plus years. Greenberg pioneered national coverage of the game, including the original Top 25 women's college poll. His knowledge has earned him nicknames such as "The Guru" and "The Godfather," as well as induction into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in 2007.

Thursday, July 03, 2014

WNBA Feature: Sydney Carter Has Found a Home in Indiana

By Rob Knox

Sydney Carter never doubted she belonged.

Carter’s WNBA journey during her short career has tested her faith and steeled her character. Despite being waived as a rookie and playing for her fourth team in three years, the jovial 5 foot, 6 inch Indiana Fever guard has remained positive.

In finding a home in a city that will always hold a special place in her heart, Carter’s patience and perseverance is inspirational.

As a junior at Texas A&M, Carter helped the Aggies win the 2011 NCAA title at Banker’s Life Fieldhouse, the place where she now plays her home games.

Now, in her first year with the Fever, the 23-year-old Carter is again providing the little things to a talented team that’s looking to add a matching championship banner to the one it captured in 2012.

“I’ve always believed that to every no there’s going to be one yes,” Carter said. “I can be knocked down five times, but I’ll get up the sixth time. That’s something I’ve always taken pride in just always having confidence in myself that I can play in this league so I am glad to be getting this opportunity with Indiana and I am trying to make the most of it.”

A pleasant package of electricity, excitement and elusiveness, Carter is taking the chance she has this season and literally running with it.

She was in the middle of everything as the Fever swept a grueling back-to-back road set with a 77-70 win in Atlanta Tuesday and an 80-77 triumph in Washington Wednesday night. Carter averaged 8.5 points per game in the two games as the Fever (8-9 overall) got their winning groove back and moved into fourth place in the Eastern Conference.

The Fever will go for three straight wins when it hosts San Antonio Saturday.

Carter was large and in charge in fueling the win over the Dream by scoring nine of her 11 points in the fourth quarter.

Against the Mystics, she played 30 minutes and did plenty of small things like blocking a shot to help the Fever win. She converted an old-fashioned 3-point play during the Fever’s 20-5 run to close the first half that helped give it the separation needed to beat the Mystics for a second time this season.

The bumpy road to being a key contributor for the Fever has made Carter appreciate the success she’s experiencing this year.

Drafted 27th by the Chicago Sky in 2012, Carter appeared in one game where she played nine minutes and recorded four points and a steal. Last season, Carter played briefly for Atlanta and had two-stints with the Connecticut Sun in which she averaged 4.1 points in 15 games.

“Playing in Connecticut last year gave me more experience and a little more confidence that I can play in this league,” Carter said. “Before that, I was playing in preseason games and that wasn’t like playing a regular season game.

"I didn’t have enough games under my belt, but with Connecticut I got a chance to play in some big games and make an impact. That’s where it hit me that I can be really effective in the league and I just carried it on from there.”

Carter has earned the trust of her teammates as well as Women’s Hall of Fame coach Lin Dunn. In both of the last two Fever wins, she was on the floor during winning time.

"My teammates have encouraged me to continue to do what I am good at,” Carter said. “They’re always telling me to attack the basket and telling me ways I can get on the court. They’re uplifting and confident in me making decisions and knocking down shots in crunch time.”

Carter’s improvement has given the Fever another guard to throw at opposing teams along with Briann January and Shevonte Zellous.

“She severely sprained her ankle three or four weeks ago, but she has slowly, but surely come back from that,” Dunn said. “Now, she’s back at full speed.

"You don’t see her limping or favoring it. Watching her play, you wouldn’t know which ankle it was if you didn’t see that brace. Her speed and quickness and ability to get to the rim really make us a better team.”

- Posted using BlogPress from the Guru's iPad


Anonymous cameron said...

I have only watched the NBA during the season together with some of my American friends who are visiting, but recently I caught WNBA and to see women playing like men, it is amazing! I don’t really love playing basketball as much as football, but at the storage office, we installed a hoop to provide some a ‘healthier form’ of entertainment to the staff. And sometimes some women staff join in on the fun.

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