She wasn’t completely changed by her time in Australia with the Perth Lynx, but Courtney Williams definitely returned home with some noticeable differences.
To start with, she has a better appreciation for the need to recover after games.
“They emphasized it so much,” said Williams, who was named MVP of the team after averaging 21.3 points, 6.9 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 2.2 steals over 22 games. “You have to really take care of your body because the season is so short. You know me. That’s not really something I did a lot of, but they definitely emphasized it, and if I take anything away, that is the biggest thing. Doing a lot of recovery and making sure I take care of my body.”
That includes postgame massages.
“We got so many massages,” Williams said with a laugh. “I have to think I’ll probably start — probably not as often because it was mandatory for us to get massages over there and it’s not really mandatory with the Sun – but I will probably dip and dabble with the massages now.”
Then there was a change in diet. From the time she arrived in Australia, Williams found herself eating healthier.
“Actually, it was the first day I got there,” she recalled with a laugh. “This is going to sound so crazy, but it was a bacon, egg and cheese sandwich. I never really ate that. The closest I ever got to eating that was the McGriddle, but they had a healthier version of the sandwich out there, so that was something that became a part of my diet. You know how you go overseas and the food is just different? Like it’s the same food, but there’s just a different type of twang to it. It wasn’t a huge one but it was definitely different. It wasn’t what I was used to.”
And then, of course, there was a new clipped hairdo.
“I was like, ‘Man I’m sick of getting up and doing my hair,’ ” Williams explained. “I was overseas and didn’t have anybody to do my hair. I was like, ‘I’m just going to cut it all off. By the time I get home, I’ll have time for it to flourish a little bit.’ ”
Williams flourished more than a little bit in Perth, one of the most scenic cities in the country. She quickly fit in to the system run by head coach Andy Stewart, and established herself as one of the top stars in the Women’s National Basketball League.
She scored 20 points or more in 13 games, including an epic 41 points on 19-of-25 shooting against Adelaide in December.
“It wasn’t hard to adapt,” Williams said. “My teammates and the coaching staff, especially coach (Stewart), made me feel so welcome. He threw the game plan right at me and asked me how I felt about it and my teammates embraced me with open arms…I loved the team and the coaching staff and the people I was around every day. It was definitely a cool vibe there.”
Williams is back in Georgia now, beginning preparations for the 2018 WNBA season. As a member of the 2017-20 USA Basketball Women’s National Team Pool, she will participate in three days of practice at the University of South Carolina from February 9-11th.
When she does arrive back in Connecticut for the start of training camp, Williams will have a new addition to her traveling party. She recently acquired a six week old American Bulldog puppy she has named Dub.
“He’s the cutest little fella ever,” said Williams, who laughed when asked about his name. “People call me ‘C-Dub’ so he’s little Dub.”