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.

Monday, May 25, 2015

A Decade Later in the WNBA, Penn State Grad Tanisha Wright Returns to NY Roots


by ROB KNOX (@knoxrob1)

NEWARK, Del. –
Tanisha Wright is returning to her roots.

The white New York Liberty uniform felt foreign to Wright, a Penn State graduate who spent her first 10 years with the Seattle Storm before signing with the New York Liberty this summer.

Wright was born in Brooklyn and spent plenty of summers in the Big Apple after moving to Pittsburgh and while attending Penn State.

While Wright had plenty of wonderful memories in Seattle, she is embracing the change of scenery, different time zone and playing for the Liberty.

“I have a lot of love for Seattle,” Wright said before the Liberty’s preseason opener against the Chicago Sky at the University of Delaware’s Bob Carpenter Center Friday night. “However, this is part of a business.

"I spent 10 years and built relationships there. But you grow, get older, move on, and priorities change. Change is inevitable and you just have to embrace it.”

Wright’s presence also reunites her with former Storm teammate Swin Cash.

They were members of the Storm’s 2010 WNBA championship squad, one of the best teams in the history of the league.

That Storm team won 28 games and swept the Atlanta Dream in the Finals.

Now, they’ll be counted on to provide wisdom and leadership to a very young Liberty squad that will be exciting to watch on the floor this season especially once rookies Kiah Stokes and Brittany Boyd get adjusted to the faster pace of the WNBA and veteran guard Epiphanny Prince returns from her overseas obligations in June.

“Being in the league for 10 years, my role is to give them some insight that I’ve learned over the years,” Wright said. “I played with one of the best point guards (Sue Bird) in the world for the last 10 years.

"I learned how to run a team. I believe my experience and leadership style will affect and influence the team in a positive way. Of course, I want to contribute on the court. You want to be as effective as possible if you’re still playing.”

During her solid career, Wright has been durable and reliable.

She averaged 8.0 points per game in 29 games for the Storm last season. It was the first time in her career she hasn’t played at least 30 games during the summer in the league.

Two seasons ago, Wright averaged 11.9 points per contest. Third-year head Bill Laimbeer is happy to have Wright on his team.

“We went out a pursued her for a couple of reasons,” Laimbeer said. “She’s still a great player, very tenacious and has a high basketball IQ which our team needed.

"Also, her leadership was key for us. She can lead by example and our team needed that especially trying to get Tina Charles up to speed in the leadership department. She’ll be a good player for Tina to follow.”

Wright is still adjusting to the Liberty and learning the new terminology, offensive and defensive sets as well as Laimbeer’s personality.

She sees a side of him that many people don’t or didn’t know existed if they just went off of the “Bad Boys” 30-for-30 documentary about Laimbeer's playing career with the NBA champion Detroit Pistons under Chuck Daly.

“He’s a pretty funny guy,” Wright said. “As much as he is about his business, he’s pretty lighthearted during practices.

"He jokes with us which helps.

"You’re able to come in and do your job and not feel as intense. He already has that winning pedigree and he has those high expectations. So when you step onto the court, it’s about your business. Not about these little things that don’t matter. It’s about what it takes to win.”

- Posted using BlogPress from the Guru's iPad

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