As one of the most gifted players in Michigan Condition women’s basketball historical past, Nia Clouden made the decision to forgo an extra yr (as a consequence of Covid-19) to enter the 2022 WNBA draft. Clouden averaged 20 details and 4.2 rebounds for every activity, earning All-Huge Ten first-staff honors and ranking 15th in the nation in earning 15 free of charge throws. Before in the 2021-22 year, she tied the MSU women’s system file (and is tied for college historical past) with 50 points in a single match, which fell to Florida Gulf Coastline before in the 2021-22 season.
“I was anxious all day,” the Owings Mills, Md., indigenous mentioned of draft working day. “[I] I just preferred to know exactly where I was going.” Well, she failed to have to hold out lengthy. Clouden was picked by the Connecticut Sunshine with the 12th in general pick in the 1st spherical.
Coming into the league and enjoying at a significant amount indicates finding out to adapt to a new style, a new tradition and often a new placement. “I know it is going to be physical and the pace is likely to be various,” Clouden stated. “Everybody’s even bigger, faster, more powerful, greater, but I’m in a diverse role.”
Connecticut is a single of the couple teams in the league that has all of its stars again from a yr in the past. For a rookie, like the 2021 MVP and Most Improved Player, acquiring this sort of advice from so numerous veteran players to be named the 2021 Coach of the Yr is critical to one’s growth and development. But that usually means battling for taking part in time and figuring out wherever you in good shape.
The entire mindset of battling for the championship and finding out from players like T assisted me get this working experience in a workforce. [Natisha Hiedeman] And that [Jasmine Thomas]I truly feel like it is definitely environment me up to know what it takes to be in that discussion and fight for a put.
As much as Clouden is eager to understand, she also will not want to shed the factors of her sport that produced her a star in college or university. Scoring ability is a trait that designed Clouden a domestic name in the Big Ten, and she’s wanting to elevate that component of her video game in the professionals.
“In higher education, I was actually fantastic at 3 degrees of scoring: becoming capable to shoot the 3, mid-variety and finding to the basket. I want to be able to go on to do that right here for the reason that I experience like which is going to occur to set myself up and develop possibilities for my teammates.
W Clouden gives her a likelihood to go places she’s never been prior to. She is mastering how to be a qualified from expert teams and coaches in the league. And she’s patiently waiting for her possibility to display how prepared she is to gentle up the league.
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Photographs through Getty Pictures