April 12, 2012
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Seminoles.com) - Florida State senior center Cierra Bravard will look to become the ninth Seminole selected in the WNBA Draft on Monday when the women's professional basketball league hosts its 2012 Draft presented by Boost Mobile beginning at 2 p.m. at ESPN's Bristol, Conn. Headquarters.
ESPN2 will air the first round live, while ESPN3 will simulcast the entire draft. The second and third rounds will be televised on ESPNU and NBA TV.
Bravard capped her collegiate career in 2011-12 by leading the Seminoles in scoring (14.2 ppg) and ranking second in the ACC in field goal shooting (54.6 percent) en route to All-ACC Third Team honors. The 6-4, Sandusky, Ohio, native ranks sixth in FSU history in scoring (1,501), first in free throws made (453), third in games played (132), fourth in blocks (113) and ninth in rebounds (768). She never missed a game in her four-year career.
Seminoles.com recently caught up with Bravard to talk about how she is preparing for her professional career.
What has your offseason been like? "I took a little break after the season ended, and I've just really been trying to focus more on getting back into great shape; just to try to be at the same level that everybody else is at that's coming back from playing overseas or coming from playing later in the NCAA Tournament, so I'm really just trying to maintain staying in game-shape and just working on my skill sets."
Can you describe your workouts? "I try to work out twice a day. I work out at least five days a week. With (FSU assistant strength and conditioning coach Dave Plettl) I do our basic lifting, running, biking and jump training. And with (assistant coach Brooke Wyckoff) it's more of a high-intensity, 45 minutes to an hour of skill work with not a lot of breaks in between just to get used to moving and trying to get a little bit quicker and stuff like that, so we've kind of raised the intensity a little bit so I am able to expect what is going to be at the next level."
How has assistant coach Brooke Wyckoff, a nine-year WNBA veteran, helped you prepare? "I think I've gotten to know her more as a person and as a player other than just a coach since after the season, and it's been nice and relieving to have somebody to talk to that has already experienced what it is that I'm working for right now. She puts everything into perspective for me and lets me know the reality of things. The workouts have been great. She really knows what things to focus on, what things not to focus on, and her advice is just relaxing. Every rookie's greatest fear is not making the team and for her to be able to sit down and tell me that it's not the end of the world and that I still have this, this, and this, it is relieving. It's fun. She makes things a lot easier."
You may have the opportunity to play overseas. Are you looking forward to that? "I think that's what I'm looking the most forward to. I would love to go to Europe and play. I don't really know what my options are at this point but I definitely want to travel and play overseas."
Do you think about there being a chance that you could end up on the same team as a former teammate, such as Jacinta Monroe or Courtney Ward, at the professional level? "Yeah, that'd be cool. I think having their experience of playing overseas, and they've already gone through what is like to be in a training camp...that would make things a lot easier because we know each other and have played together. But it is always cool to talk to them and ask them about their experience so you can better prepare yourself for what is to come."
What will you be doing on Monday when the WNBA Draft begins? "I have no idea. Hopefully watching it - probably with the team and just with friends. I don't really have any plans. But I'll definitely watch it and keep my phone close so I can call my agent as soon as I hear what's going on."
What skills are you working on developing for the next level? "The most important - and the thing I will have the hardest time transitioning to - is just the versatility (of the professional level). Every post player wants to be a guard, and everybody always says that, but at the next level everybody can do everything, and I think the most important thing for me is to be able to be more versatile and be more comfortable without my back to the basket or from the high post. I need to focus a lot more on rebounding because I know that's going to be a major thing for me to be successful being such a younger player. I'm definitely just trying to expand; I don't want to change anything, I like what I do, and I like being a back to the back post player, but I definitely want to expand my game. At this point I'm going to try to do whatever it is wherever I go needs me to do; I think that's the player that I'm going to try to be."
Has the reality set in yet that your collegiate basketball career is over? "It's a tad bittersweet, just because you get so set into your routine. For the past four years it's always been getting ready for next season, but this year is a completely different situation. I think I'm very well prepared to leave Florida State with the tools and the mindset that I need to be successful. I think our coaches and the university has done a great job of preparing student athletes for the outside world. It's going to be relieving to just be able to focus on basketball instead of school, that's probably the most exciting part at this point. But I'm ready; I'm ready to move on and ready to try something new. I think it's going to be fun and I know it's going to be a lot of hard work. Just from hearing Coach Brooke's experience...she played for the past ten years and she's been in Europe. I would love to follow in her footsteps and do what she's done. It sounds fun and it sounds new, and I'm ready to try it out."
Are you excited to graduate from college, as well? "I am set to graduate on April 28. My major is sociology and I have a minor in family/child sciences. I haven't really thought about what I want to do with my degree besides I've always wanted it to be something with basketball. So whether it's traveling around and doing different camps or different charities, I've just always wanted to be involved and I think my major and my minor reflect on people. I'm really interested in being around people. I love being around kids. Once I graduate, I definitely want to follow this basketball career for a long time, but that is going to come to an end sometime. I might have other interests when it's all over, but as of right now I definitely want to stay in the sport and just try to give kids the opportunities that I had and the things that I didn't have to make their journey through high school and college the same as mine, if not better."
2012 WNBA DRAFT ORDER First Round 1) Los Angeles 2) Seattle from Chicago 3) Minnesota from Washington 4) Tulsa 5) San Antonio 6) Phoenix 7) New York 8) Washington from Atlanta 9) Connecticut 10) Washington from Seattle 11) Indiana 12) Minnesota
Second Round 1) Los Angeles from Tulsa 2) Atlanta from Washington 3) Los Angeles from Chicago 4) Los Angeles 5) Tulsa from San Antonio 6) Minnesota from Phoenix 7) Minnesota from New York 8) Minnesota from Atlanta 9) Connecticut 10) Seattle 11) Chicago from Indiana 12) Phoenix from Minnesota
Third Round 1) Tulsa 2) Washington 3) Chicago 4) Los Angeles 5) Tulsa from San Antonio 6) Phoenix 7) Minnesota from New York 8) Atlanta 9) Phoenix from Connecticut 10) Indiana from Seattle 11) Washington from Indiana 12) New York from Minnesota