Susan Joy "Sue" Wicksis a former basketball player in the Women's National Basketball Association. She played with the New York Liberty from 1997 to 2002. She currently serves as a collegiate basketball coach...
I was very pleased that the positive things about me and my game outshone the aggressive style of play I use. I would never tone that down, because I believe in that style of play, and I believe that you can play rough on the court and still be a good sport.
Players should know that if you can't make the contribution of the winning shot, that your attitude every day when you come to practice, or the positive contribution you make through cheering and keeping up team morale, is just as important in the overall picture.
I think sportsmanship is knowing that it is a game, that we are only as a good as our opponents, and whether you win or lose, to always give 100 percent.
I try to never lose sight of what a special time it is to be a women's basketball player.
To be on television and have my nieces and nephews see me, and seeing them wear my shirt to the games and be proud, it's so sweet. Sometimes it feels like it's just a dream.
I even believe if you're killing a team, you shouldn't stop. You should respect your opponents enough to play 100 percent the whole time. And by the same token, if you're getting killed by the other team, you should never quit.
When I come off the bench, I'm looking to add energy, and then I play defense and rebound. Also, at the end of the game, I have the experience to go out there and help us win.
For me, being a starter doesn't matter. Of course, I'd like to be in at the end of the game, to be a big part of the team, and to play as many minutes as I can play. But starting and coming off the bench are two different challenges.
You shouldn't just work on your jump shot. You should work on being a better person, a better teammate, and a better friend.
When I see these young girls who are dreaming the dream that I'm living, it's very very exciting and it puts a big smile on my face.
It's not to hurt anyone, but basketball can be rough.
In preseason camp, there are no friends. when newcomers arrive trying to take not only your job, but maybe your best friend's job, you work together to try to help each other. Everyone is an outsider until you're given a uniform.
For me, the money isn't a big issue. I'm at the end of my career and I'm just happy to play.
There's a lot of room to grow, and the women who believe they're worth it are the ones who are going to make good things happen during the next period of WNBA growth.
As far as starting or not starting, that means more to some players than others. And if it means more to someone else, I think you should let them start and just go out there and do your job when it's your turn.
You have to demand things and believe you're worth more. And once you do demand them, you're usually going to get them. The players who first came in were very humble because we came from obscurity. Today's players, on the other hand, have a sense of entitlement.
Being from New York, if you're gay, you're gay. I think it's important that if you are gay, you not be afraid to say who you are.
It's funny, 'cause it seems like just yesterday that I was the youngest player just starting out. But now there are young players all over the league, and they'll ask me questions about playing overseas or finding an agent.
When I went to college, we had a very good local following, but stations only televised two or three NCAA games a season. And when I went to Europe, once in a while we had a good crowd, but usually not.
Every year I try to keep in excellent shape and improve some part of my game. I play in the offseason overseas to keep my game tuned up and hopefully improve a little in some area.
I was surprised I won the award because I've always been a very aggressive player and I earn my share of fouls on the court. I play rough, and because I'm an older player, of course I use tricks on the younger players.
Once you know what to expect, it gets easier and easier. And now I know what I have to do to prepare for each season and what to expect through each season.
Rookies are also coming in from college programs as big stars, whereas when we came in, we were just happy to be there. We were happy to be playing in a big gym, to be on television, to be playing in America.
Sometimes people think that if you're always helping people up and never hit someone with a hard foul, you're automatically a good sport. I don't believe that.
There's lots of charity stuff that I can do. There are actually a million things to do here, but it would be very hard for me to stop going overseas, because I've been doing that for longer than I've been playing in the WNBA.
I think it's good to talk more about the team atmosphere, chemistry, and leadership, because not everyone is cut out to be a star.
Your role changes as coaches ask you to increase your role or diminish it. And depending on how you look at it, either can be a positive.
It's just like Magic's or Sugar Ray's or Michael Jordan's. It's this cute, gorgeous smile, but then you push any of them too far and watch out -- an animal's released.
I'd like to coach the Liberty. That's my dream. But maybe I'd coach a college team. Either way, I'd like to stay involved in sports and to coach.