South Dakota State's Megan Vogel was one of about 40 college seniors to participate in the WNBA Pre-Draft Camp held in conjunction with the Women's Final Four March 29-31 in Cleveland.
The WNBA Draft is scheduled for Wednesday (April 4) and will consist of 13 selections in each of the three rounds.
Below are excerpts from Vogel's camp diary:
I was really unsure of what to expect once I got here. I was really nervous for the medical stations. I am not one who enjoys doctors all that much.
However, the first station I went into, I learned my first lesson of camp. THE GIRLS ARE HUGE! Let me emphasize that even more ... HUGE, HUGE, HUGE. Yes, that was triple huge! I know this because when I got in line at the first station I was standing behind Ohio State star Jessica Davenport. Now, she has to be at least 6-6 ... And legit. As in built and athletic. I thought to myself, "man she must be the tallest girl in camp" WRONG!
After I go in for my height and weight, I walk out and the next girl in line is even bigger — as in taller and thicker. Let's put it this way: my head was completely cocked back when I said hello and passed by.
Then a few stations later I had to do an EKG. They basically put all these sticky things on your legs, arms, and around your heart. Yes, you guessed it, I was the one who broke the machine, or at least the sticky things. After seven tries, the lady decided to change them — a thought I had contemplated after about three tries, but hey, what do I know? Result after the new ones: "the reading was not pretty enough."
After a few more of those, they got the result they wanted. As I walked out I told everyone in line, don't worry I am alive ... No crash cart needed!
Result after being poked and prodded for 3 1/2 hours? Healthy!
I did, however, get poked fun a bit at the "interview" station for my Minnesota accent. Apparently I have one of those! Well, I like it!
As for the hoops stuff, camp started out with drills, primarily shooting drills and full-court moves. Then it was all five-on-five. They want to see you play with the best. Not only how you play, but how you interact, react, and play the game. It was almost like I was in high school again at an AAU tournament, with all of the coaches and scouts watching. However, my body does not seem to respond as well to all day games.
How did I do 3-4 straight days of that? You have to love it every minute of it, though! We had a night session too, which was the exact same only mixed-up teams.
Today was a much simpler day.
We split into four teams and played one game. I played in the second game. After that, we were free to leave and go on our way.
However, I saw more of "who's who in women's basketball" today than I thought I ever would in my entire life. It's like I am a kid in a candy store seeing all the people I looked up to and admired.
First, I saw the President of the WNBA (Donna Orender), then obviously all the coaches from the teams, and heck I even ran into Nancy Lieberman. She said I played well, and that "the only thing I didn't bring to camp was a tan". Yes, I am taking that as a hint to hit the tanning booth once I return to B-Town!
Finally, on our way back from the gym, we were almost to our hotel when I saw (former WNBA player and current Temple coach) Dawn Staley on the corner of the street. I got so excited, and almost pushed my dad out of the cab as it was moving so I could talk to her. We paid the cabbie and she was very nice in letting me take a picture with her.
Sometimes, I wonder if I am going to wake up from this dream I have been living the past few days.
As for my thoughts about the camp in general. I thought it was an unbelievable experience. I cannot tell you how much it meant to me to be a part of it.
Plus, I can walk away knowing I played the Jackrabbit way (passion, energy, intensity, unselfishness) and have no regrets.
Playing at SDSU definitely prepared me for that experience. How we drill defense and simple fundamentals every day, made me a better player. It gave me a sense of confidence that I knew I was ready, and when my chance came, I took it!
I have no idea what is going to happen on Wednesday, but drafted or not, this was an amazing experience which I will never forget. I still will never forget the feeling I got telling people I was a South Dakota State Jackrabbit. It made me so proud, I just wanted to keep telling more and more and more people.
There truly is nothing better than being proud of where you came from.