Tuesday, July 28, 2020

On the Beat With Phoenix Mercury 7/24/2020

The Phoenix Mercury held their last media session on Friday, before they opened their season on Saturday. This session featured coach Sandy Brondello, along with players Shatori Walker-Kimbrough and Bria Hartley. I wrote about that session at Phoenix Mercury Media Session 07/24/2020 for Global Women's Sports Radio. 
Guard Walker-Kimbrough starred at Maryland, before being selected by the Washington Mystics in the first round (6th overall) in the 2017 WNBA draft. After three seasons with the Mystics, she was traded to the New York Liberty, who traded her two days later to the Mercury. In her career, she has played 80 games and average 5.2 points per game.
This was my second time with questions for Hartley. This time, I asked about her young son, who had some fun as a "photographer" for the team. The point guard is a product of UConn. After she was selected by the Seattle Storm in the first round (7th overall) in the 2014 WNBA draft, she was immediately traded to the Mystics. Hartley played three seasons with Washington, followed by three with the New York Liberty. She signed as a free agent with the Mercury after the 2019 season. Hartley has played 175 games in her six seasons, averaging 7.9 points per game.
Born in Australia, Brondello is one of that country's all-time best shooting guards. She appeared in three Summer Olympics, earning one bronze and two silver medals.
She was selected by the Detroit Shock in the fourth round (34th overall) of the 1998 WNBA draft. After two seasons with Detroit, she was picked by the Miami Sol sixth overall in the 2000 WNBA Expansion Draft. She played two seasons in Miami and one final season with Seattle before ending her WNBA playing career. In her five seasons, she played 155 games and averaged 11.4 points per game.
Her WNBA coaching career started in 2010 with the San Antonio Silver Stars.  After that one year stint, Brondello was an assistant with the Los Angeles Sparks for three seasons.She became coach of the Mercury in 2014 and has been there since. She is 132-106 overall in her WNBA coaching career. Brondello was named WNBA Coach of the Year in 2014 after the Mercury won the title.
I had some fun with Brondello in the session. She has a bobblehead figure and she was happy to talk about it, getting a break from the usual basketball chatter.
Unfortunately, the Mercury lost their season opener 99-76 to the Los Angeles Sparks. Their next game is Wednesday against the Indiana Fever, who are also 0-1.
Check GlobalWomensSportsRadio.com for my recurring WNBA coverage. Also, go to WNBA.com for more info on the league.

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