Today – Sun’s Clouden adjusts to a new job

Mohegan — Newbie Nia Clawden was at the Connecticut Sun two games (and 27 days) at her new job on May 14 and trying to steal the ball when she bumped into Blaise Campage of the Los Angeles Sparks.

Cambage is a 6-foot-8, 216-pound center

Clouden is a ranger who weighs 5-9 and 139 pounds.

Welcome to the WNBA, Raven.

“My whole body cracked,” Clawden laughed.

Clouden and Connecticut New York host Liberty Wednesday night (7, Mohegan Sun Arena, ESPN2). New York (6-10) The Sun split in their first two games.

It is not easy to acclimatize and rest in a new job regardless of profession, especially in professional sports where one is constantly evaluated by their coaches and judged by fans.

There is no set timeline for how long a WNBA player needs to develop. For every Ariel Atkins, Navissa Collier or Ariki Ogunboal who has succeeded as a beginner, there are others who need more time to develop.

Connecticut coach and general manager Kurt Miller thought that job Briona Jones She was going to have an outstanding season in her third season (2019). He had been out for a year when it took off in its fourth season Last year, he won the Best Improved Player award.

Ali Quigley thought her career was over after she was cut by Seattle Storm After the 2011 season and did not play in 2012. She was signed by the Chicago Sky team in 2013, her fifth team in several seasons. Flourished in its sixth season (2014)and won the first two consecutive positions of the sixth best woman of the year, And it became the beginning of 2017 when she was 31 years old.

Made the sun (12-5) Clouden Finalist in the first round of the April Draft (12th overall). She had the first All-Big Ten to honor her junior and senior year at Michigan State and averaged 35.9 minutes, 20 points, 4.2 rebounds, and 4.1 assists in 30 games as a senior.

“The biggest transition on the field was just the speed of the game, the fitness,” Clauden said of adjusting to the WNBA. “Everyone is (bigger), faster, stronger (than college). …I didn’t think it was going to be as hard to transition as it was. Then I go out there and hit every screen. I feel like I’m getting beaten up, but, yeah, it was kind of shocking.

“There are ups and downs, especially early on. There were days when I felt like I was doing something horrible.”

Connecticut ceded reserve point guard Yvonne Anderson on June 15 and signed Jasmine Jones. Among the reasons Miller took this step was to get Clouden more minutes at this point and see what she could do.. You also won’t need to play in the heavy minutes, playing behind starter Natisha Hedman, who took over the role when long-time starter Jasmine Thomas tore apart the AFC Champions League on May 22 during the fifth game of the season, and versatile Alyssa Thomas, who plays. Its a power forward but can manage the point just as easily.

Clouden has averaged a modest 11.3 minutes since then in three games. She had seven points and four assists in 16 minutes during a 105-92 win over the Atlanta Dream on June 15.

“We were really happy with how she managed the attack,” Miller said. “Some of the last quarter minutes that she was able to give us during this period have been very encouraging about her future. Not only can she play a guard role, we now know that she can handle herself in a guard position at this level.”

Clauden said, “It was tough (as a beginner) but everyone around me made my life easier because we have a lot of vets here. They are always in my ear telling me to stay prepared, and they tell me other things to do.”

“From the start of the season until now, I feel like I’m playing better just because I was feeling more comfortable and more confident.”

n.griffen@theday.com

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