Sports

Draft Diary: Gustafson talks orientation day for the rookies

Hey everyone!

I just wrapped up the WNBA draft orientation day, also (officially. ok not officially) known as, Crazy-Busy, Information Overload Whirlwind Day! We got to wear business clothes, which, by the way, is a nice alternative to my normal everyday athletic gear/sweats!

We started our day eating breakfast at the WNBA offices near downtown. It was a good chunk of time where we just got to relax and get to know some of the other draftees. It was a blast meeting the other girls and hearing about their respective college athletic experiences. After introductions, we quickly transitioned into several meetings surrounding topics of financial planning, personal branding, and social media. I found each of these meetings very interesting, mostly because we were given tips on how to handle the transition into becoming a professional athlete.

Once these discussions wrapped up, we had lunch break. This was my favorite part of the day — and not just because we got to eat good food (although I must admit this girl loves to eat). It was so awesome, because a couple of current players in the league came and did a Q&A panel. The panel consisted of Diamond DeShields (Chicago Sky), Renee Montgomery (Atlanta Dream), Alana Beard (Los Angeles Sparks), Blake Dietrick (Atlanta Dream), and Natasha Cloud (Washington Mystics). We were given the whole room to ourselves where we had honest conversations about what to expect coming into the WNBA as rookies. I loved every minute of the panel, and it was fun to see the players' funny and vibrant personalities shine through!

After lunch we continued with more meetings surrounding the topics of diversity and inclusion, marketing, and media training. Once we finished those we did some media activities for the WNBA social media sites and then hopped on the bus to get to the WNBPA office. This was really cool, because we got a behind-the-scenes look of player representation. We got a tour of the whole space. I was pretty excited about the basketball court, weight room, and lounge area/office that current players are allowed to use whenever they are passing through the area. We concluded our visit to the WNBPA office with a discussion about how players can get involved by representing their teams.

Our night ended with a really nice dinner at restaurant called Tommy Bahama. We had a private dining room, and I ordered the filet mignon — it was delicious (and not just because I love to eat)! While waiting for our food, we all got to know each other better. Honestly, most of the night was spent laughing more than anything!

As I wrap up day two of my draft diary, I can confirm that I am currently exhausted, full of information, and so excited for the draft!

Stay tuned to hear about my feelings heading into the draft, during the draft, and post draft as well as what kinds of activities surround the big day.

Happy Draft Day Eve!!

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