Fever building around three rookies
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – The Fever took a break from training camp Tuesday morning to pose for pictures and chat with reporters at the team’s annual media day at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
After finishing 9-25 and missing the playoffs for the first time in 12 seasons last year, Indiana is rebuilding around a trio of rookies.
The Fever selected Ohio State guard Kelsey Mitchell with the second pick, Mississippi State guard Victoria Vivians with the ninth pick and then Mitchell’s college teammate Stephanie Mavunga in the second round of this year’s WNBA Draft.
“I’m very excited,” said Mitchell. “It’s a new experience for me and I’m just taking everything one day at a time. It’s different, but I like different.”
“To come in and just get the energy and the young vibe going,” explained Vivians about her expectations for the team. “I feel like we’ve shown what we can do. I feel like the whole season’s going to be a turnaround season for us.”
“Trying to get it back to the standard that was already set,” said Mavunga about her hopes for the season. “‘Catch’ and the rest did a really good job of leaving a great legacy here. We play really competitive basketball here. Indiana’s a basketball state.”
Mavunga would know about the quality of basketball in the state. She’s from Brownsburg and won the 2013 Indiana Miss Basketball award.
“I’m just really blessed for the opportunity,” Mavunga said.” I’m ecstatic. To leave these gym doors and see the city I grew up in is just unbelievable. I can’t really explain it.”
Head coach Pokey Chatman expects the three rookies to make an impact, but knows there will be a learning curve.
“The growing pains come in practice,” Chatman said. “They come in games. They come with the whole process of scouting and learning the league, but they come from storied programs, so they’re ready for that challenge.”
The Fever open up the season Saturday, May 19th against Chicago at home.