HOW EXCITED ARE YOU TO BE JOINING THE MERCURY?
Nia: I am beyond excited. When I found out, I don’t even know how I reacted because I was so shocked about it all. I’ve played in front of Sandy Brondello, obviously in the WNBA, but also a couple times in Australia. I always thought, ‘Oh, it would be cool to play for her,’ and it actually happened. To be surrounded by players like Diana Taurasi, Brittney Griner and Skylar Diggins-Smith, that’s amazing. The organization has already won championships, so I’ll be able to learn from them and see how it is to be on a winning team, no shade or anything. I’m excited to be a different position. I feel like it’s good timing in my career because I know I was drafted off of potential. I’ve been able to develop my game, learn the game and gain more expertise and experience. So, now I feel like I’m able to produce in a different way and be a little bit more effective. I’m just excited to take on any role the team needs me to.
WHAT DO YOU HOPE TO PROVIDE FOR THIS TEAM?
Nia: I really take pride in being a versatile player, whether you want me to guard, to rebound, to score, to push the pace, to be physical. I believe I can do all of those things. If there’s a specific area you want me to focus on, I’m just excited to do it. Whatever my coaches and teammates need me to do, I’ll do it. I’m just hoping I can be a positive force to help the team.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE BASKETBALL MEMORY WATCHING THE SPORT?
Nia: So, my family, we were really big Tar Heel fans. That’s kind of where my parents grew up. If a basketball game was on, it was pretty much a Tar Heel game. I don’t have a specific memory of a game, but just the fact that we’d always come together as a family and watch the Tar Heels. Just having that be a part of our family dynamic was always kind of cool for me to remember.
WHAT PUSHED YOU TOWARDS BASKETBALL GROWING UP?
Nia: So, my dad played. He was in the Army and played for the Army team. He went to the University of Minnesota and played professionally a little bit. Initially, my parents were like, ‘We’re not paying for college so you guys need to get scholarships.’ So, I started off running track. My younger brother and older sister started training for basketball with my dad. I kind of always felt left out. To be a part of the basketball crew, I switched over when I was in the fourth grade.
WHAT DOES A DAY IN YOUR LIFE DURING QUARANTINE LOOK LIKE?
Nia: I try my best to wake up at a decent hour. Sometimes it doesn’t go as planned, but always try to get a good breakfast in. I try to get a home workout in five to six times. I’ll try do a good workout whether that’s weights, stretching, dribbling or a shooting drill. Just somehow getting my heart rate up and staying in shape and getting prepared for whatever timeline is ahead. A lot of eating, a lot of reading and just playing with my puppy. He’s three years old. And then just hanging out with my sister.