Unlike the NBA, the WNBA doesn’t have high-end entertainment to keep players entertained while living in the league’s bubble.
That said, WNBA players have found plenty of ways to relax and bond while stuck at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla. for the few months.
From hanging out poolside to playing card games like UNO, the Connecticut Sun have done a good job of staying occupied, per The Athletic’s Charlotte Caroll. And doing so has helped rekindle the teams’ relationship after a busy offseason left the Sun with just six players from their 2019 roster.
Building team chemistry isn’t anything new for Connecticut, however. In fact, as captain Jasmine Thomas noted, it’s been one of the squad’s biggest strengths, and for good reason.
“I think that’s one of the unique and cool things about Connecticut is there’s not that much to do there compared to some of the other bigger markets, so we’ve always been a team that uses our apartments, uses our clubhouse, our living situation to try to do team things,” Thomas said, per Carroll. “We always have cookouts all year. We usually use the pool to do stuff as a team. This is just something we do here. We try to go to meals as a team, we usually try to spend a lot of time together so it’s normal.”
Even newcomer Jacki Gemelos is feeling the love, and she’s only been with the team for a few days.
“It has a good energy about the team, the girls, and I think a lot of us get along well,” Gemelos said. “We vibe well. We have fun together. We work hard together, we hold each other accountable. It’s just, like, the first four days and I already feel in sync with them. I’m sure a lot of the girls probably feel the same. I think that’s going to be an advantage that we’ll have going into this short season, is just trusting one another and feeling good with one another … I think that that’s going to carry us a long way.”
The Sun kick off their regular-season slate Sunday against the Minnesota Lynx at 12 p.m. ET.