By Ben York
After five years with the San Antonio Stars, veteran forward/center Danielle Adams is looking at her opportunity with the Connecticut Sun as something of a rebirth.
“I haven’t been this excited about a WNBA season in a long time,” Adams said. “It’s been a while. Actually, I feel the same way I did during my senior year at [Texas] A&M.”
That’s a bold statement considering Adams led the Aggies to their first NCAA National Championship that very season.
But there’s a reason she feels more motivated than ever.
“Not being in the WNBA last year ,” she said before quickly adding an important point. “I know I belong in this league.”
In three preseason games for the Sun, Adams is off to a blistering start.
She finished 12-of-20 from the floor (60 percent) and 8-of-14 from beyond the arc (57 percent). In fact, her eight three-pointers are the most in the WNBA during the preseason.
Even more impressive, her true shooting percentage (an advanced stat that more accurately measures a player’s efficiency at shooting the ball) is a team-leading 76.6 percent. The next closest player on the Sun is Morgan Tuck (61.6 percent).
“After the first few I made, the crowd really started to get behind me,” Adams said in reference to her three made three-pointers in her first game with the team on May 2. “People stopped to congratulate me in the hotel – it was crazy. Sun fans were definitely excited.”
Adams, though, is quick to point out that her role on this Sun team involves much more than just her stellar outside shooting.
“Curt [Miller] and the coaching staff are putting me in great positions offensively,” Adams said. “They are amazing. But I’m working hard on my defense and setting screens. I want to be better at being in the right position to help my teammates in the paint if they get beat off drives – things like that.”
For a young, upcoming team, Adams’ role could prove to be invaluable. She understands the grind of the season, has appeared (and excelled) in the playoffs and returns to the WNBA with a proverbial chip on her shoulder.
So far, her game has seamlessly fit into Miller’s fast-paced system.
“I really think we could make some noise,” Adams said with confidence. “We have great young players – super athletic. As a team, our work ethic is where it should be and the coaches are doing a good job of holding us to that. The next step is getting things going early in the season and picking up some wins right away.”
The biggest surprise during Adams’ short time in Connecticut has been how well everyone gets along. From the moment she arrived, she was blown away by how tight this squad is and how much chemistry they’ve already developed.
And although it sounds cliché, Adams feels that bond can propel a team to the next level.
“We’re constantly high-fiving each other, picking each other up,” Adams said with excitement. “It’s definitely rare for that to happen so fast. Everybody gets along great and that is huge. Having that connection this early on helps a lot more than people think.”
As far as goals for the 2017 season, Adams has just one.
“Get better every day,” she said. “I’m grateful to the Sun for this second chance. “I’m going to prove that I belong here.”