Washington Mystics forward Aerial Powers is making the most out of playing the WNBA’s “bubble” at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida.
“I love it,” Powers admitted when asked about team bonding in the bubble in a Zoom media call Friday. “It brings me back to the college atmosphere.”
She revealed that they all live close to each other, making it easy to hang out with teammates.
“With our situation of having several players sitting out and new players coming in, I think it’s gonna be beneficial for us,” Powers added. “It’s been fun.”
Her love for the team and its’ culture is what led to her decision to opt to play. In the call, Powers disclosed that her decision to play was based on what the majority of her team decided on — which was to head to Florida to play ball.
The team is without Elena Delle Donne, Tina Charles, Natasha Cloud and LaToya Sanders this season but it has welcomed Leilani Mitchell, Shey Peddy, Alaina Coates, and Essence Carson.
Powers revealed the team’s biggest improvement over the last week has been its chemistry. The forward said each day there is progress.
She believes everyone on the team has collectively spoken up and assumed their new roles, filling in for last year’s team leaders who are sitting out.
“Everybody knows I have a big mouth on the team, whether it’s on the court or off the court,” Powers said. “So I definitely use that since we unfortunately don’t several players here.”
In addition to know how important it is for her to be a vocal leader on the team, Powers realizes the increased role she has ahead of her.
“Last year I played some big minutes toward the end when KT was hurt,” she said. “For me this is a big year for me to step up as a leader and as an individual.” “I’m just gonna to be here for whatever my team needs,” she added.
Her goal is to consistently see the floor well and make sure to get the ball to whichever teammate is in an advantageous position. Powers, who prepared for the season by riding a bike and working on her ball handling due to courts not being accessible during the start of the coronavirus pandemic, emphasized how she wants to continue to see the court and shoot well.
The WNBA’s setup seems cool but home is where Powers’ heart seems to be.
“I wanna call it home but I miss my DC fans,” Powers said referring to the bubble.