Last week, Washington Mystics center Stefanie Dolson was named a finalist for the United States Womens National Team. She would be the only member of the Mystics to be selected to the 25 player list. She made huge strides in her sophomore campaign, showing several flashes of the special talent she has at her disposal. Her ongoing development will play a big part in Washington’s future going forward. Similar to her WNBA second year, Dolson is flourishing over the waters in her sophomore season in Turkey for Erdine. She’s currently averaging 13.8 points and 7.7 rebounds per contest alongside fellow Mystic, Ivory Latta. We here at My Mind on Sports are very excited to see her on the court in year three in the WNBA.
Dolson took a few minutes of her time overseas to participate in a Q&A with me for My Mind on Sports via email.
Wilson Tarpeh Jr. (W): You were recently named a finalist for the Womens National Team, what does it mean to you to make that list?
Stefanie Dolson(STEF): It means a lot. I’m proud of myself for how far I’ve come in the last few years and am honored to be named on such a prestigious list of amazing players. I look forward to being able to practice with them at the trials and learn from them.
W: This is your second stint overseas albeit in a different country, how are things going this time around?
STEF: Things are going well this year, I’m a year older and have continued to work on my game and conditioning while over here. Being close to Istanbul has been fun and the competition in Turkey is always the best so I get to play against a good player every night.
W: Last year you had the luxury of playing with your fellow post buddy, Emma Meesseman. This year you have “your” point guard in Ivory Latta; how much of an advantage has that given you and also how much has your existing chemistry with Ivory improved?
STEF: YESS!! It has been great being able to play with Ivory this year! We have learned more about each other’s game and our chemistry has improved a lot!! We got a lot of reps together in practice and in the games so I’m looking forward to being able to play in our next WNBA season.
W: Coach Thibault and family came to visit you for your birthday this year, how much did that mean to you and were you surprised?
STEF: It meant SO much!! I’ve missed my family a lot this year with not being able to go home for Christmas. So when I found out that Coach T and Eric were coming to visit AND it happened to be when my birthday was, meant the world to me!
W: In regards to your development, how has playing overseas factor into it seeing that you don’t really have a true “offseason” since you’re playing competitively?
STEF: I think that depends on the player because some players can just rely on playing in games for their development, which is kind of what I did last season. Not developing my skills as much as I should have. This season, I’ve been working hard to get my conditioning on point by doing my own individual workouts in addition to the team practices.
W: Are there any glaring differences as to how you’re used by the Mystics versus Erdine?
STEF: Not many. As a big post over here, they have me screening-and-rolling a lot and posting up. We try and get me the ball as much as we can on the block, and have me set most of the ball-screens.
W: There’s eight of you (Mystics) playing overseas this winter, are you able to keep up with your teammates? Also, how many have you faced as opponents?
STEF: Yeah, I’ve definitely been able to keep up with the girls. Especially those that are in Turkey, which is almost all of us. So every time we play them, I get to see and catch up with them. Also, whenever a few teams play in Istanbul, we get to meet up and go to dinner together. Like I said, a lot of us are in Turkey so we’re constantly playing one another!
W: We know you to be a lover of music, what are you listening to in Turkey?
STEF: Hmmm, I’ve really been into R&B this season, such as Trey Songz and the new artist Bryson Tiller. But…of COURSE I still rock out to my GLEE music every time I clean my apartment!! It always puts me int he best dancing mood!
W: Lastly, what’s your favorite Turkish dish and the dish you miss most from home?
STEF: Ohhh…that’s a good question! The eat kebab a lot over here and I actually really like that with this spicy chicken they make. But, they also have their signature desert which is Baklava. Which is the most AMAZING thing ever and although it’s my favorite, I’ve only had it once or twice while on my diet. From home…I miss Chipotle and really good sushi!
I’d like to once again thank Stef for taking some time out of her schedule to participate in this Q&A with us, we’re looking forward to they Mystics upcoming season. The 2016 season schedule has been released and is up now on WNBA.com(