By C. Coward
DALLAS â€” NBA All-Star week started Wednesday morning. WNBA players made the rounds during the early hours with the NBA Cares Community Caravan visiting children in health facilities and elementary schools.
Ashley Robinson, Shameka Christon and Kara Lawson visited the Vogel Alcove, a non-profit that provides free services for homeless children who face multiple developmental risks. Both Robinson and Lawson tweeted about how much they enjoyed visiting the children on their way to the caravanâ€™s next stopâ€”a school library in Arlington where they met former First Lady Laura Bush.
Robinson, a center for the Seattle Storm, also plans to make the rounds attending some of the extravagant parties and events during the rest of the week. However, she said she cannot imagine anything topping the visit with the children at Vogel.
â€œI donâ€™t think anything is going to top that, Iâ€™d be surprised,â€ she told Hoopfeed.com late Wednesday morning about her time with the kids.
â€œTheyâ€™re so innocent,â€ she said, â€œthey donâ€™t understand their whole situation and they were just so happy to see us.â€
Interacting with the children solidified her feelings about adopting in the future. She tweeted:
Just left Vogel Alcove. It is like a day care for homeless children. I know more than ever that I want to adopt. thank god for Vogel
Robinson, an unrestricted free agent, also talked about what she did during the offseason, her hopes for a future with the Storm and her thoughts on Baylor blocking phenom Brittney Griner and her alma mater Tennesseeâ€™s season.
She did not play overseas during the WNBA off-season and instead returned home to the Dallas area in Grand Prairie.
â€œIâ€™ve just been hanging out this offseason, taking it easy,â€ she said. But as the season nears she is beginning to prepare for the summer.
â€œIâ€™m getting back to the gym, starting to work out so I can get in shape for training camp, getting my mind focused. Itâ€™s not easy with teams dropping out but Iâ€™m ready to fight for my position.â€
She did not know that the Storm signed Le’coe Willingham this week but upon hearing the news, she did not skip a beat in heaping praise on the former Phoenix Mercury player.
â€œLeâ€™coe is a great player,â€ she said. â€œWe lost Suzy Batkovic-Brown, sheâ€™s staying at home. Sheâ€™s not coming back this year and Leâ€™coe, she can only help us.â€
Robinson expects to be in training camp with Seattle this spring.
â€œI havenâ€™t signed yet, I mean who knows, but I can say Seattle is where I want to be.â€
While Texas has one team in the league five hours away down I-35 South, San Antonio is further away than the new Tulsa Shock franchise. Robinson is happy to have another team close to her home.
â€œI think thatâ€™s good,â€ she said about Tulsa having a team. â€œSo hopefully they get a lot of support.â€
Texas is a hotbed of womenâ€™s basketball talent with local high school stars MacArthurâ€™s Odyssey Sims, the 2010 State Farm/WBCA High School Player of the Year and Friscoâ€™s Tiffany Moore and Jazmyn Dorsett. Sheâ€™s only had a chance to see Moore play and plans to try and catch a Sims in a playoff game since the point guardâ€™s last regular season game was Tuesday night.
Robinson, who was known for her shot-blocking prowess at Tennessee, is also impressed with Baylor dunking sensation Brittney Griner.
â€œThat young woman is probably going to blow every blocking record out of the water,â€ she said, â€œand all of us who think that we can block shots, sheâ€™s probably just going to show us the new school way of doing it.â€
When it comes to Tennessee, she talked about their turnaround from last yearâ€™s disappointing season.
â€œThey definitely seem like a more focused team this year than they were last yearâ€¦.You can never count Pat outâ€¦.And after what happened last year in the NCAA tournament, Iâ€™m sure those girls feel a sense of pride and are working harder this year and they want to accomplish things for themselves. So Iâ€™ll never count them out.â€
The rest of the week for Robinson and fourteen other current and former WNBA players looks to be extremely busy. Overall, she is a proud Texan who loves the fact that she gets to be with her league pals at home.
â€œIâ€™m happy to see my WNBA friends [Lawson and Christon] who just happen to be good friends of mine. Itâ€™s really nice to see them in my state and my city.â€