Dishin & Swishin 10/02/14 Podcast: Stefanie Dolson on USA Basketball, the WNBA, UConn and Spartak
— USA Basketball (@usabasketball) September 17, 2014
Stefanie Dolson was a freshman the year Dishin & Swishin host David Siegel started covering the University of Connecticut’s women’s basketball program. Even as a freshman, on a team with future WNBA players Maya Moore, Tiffany Hayes, Kelly Faris and fellow freshman Bria Hartley, Dolson’s good-natured, fun-loving attitude was refreshing and fun.
Fast forward to the present and the woman known on Twitter as @Bigmamastef has grown into a WNBA player herself, having had a solid rookie season with the Washington Mystics. She played 18 minutes per game off the bench, contributing six points and four rebounds per game. One of Dolson’s strengths has always been her ability to help her team in ways other than just scoring points. In Washington, her trademark solid screens for the squad’s shooters helped that team make the WNBA playoffs.
Dolson has parlayed her success with UConn and in Washington into a contract with Spartak, one of the top programs in Europe, where she will play alongside Mystics teammate Emma Meesseman. It is her first time overseas for any length of time, and she is both excited and anxious about the opportunity.
Recently though, Dolson has come under fire for being included in the final pool of players selected to the USA basketball senior national team, as players with better numbers were omitted. The fact that her college head coach, Geno Auriemma, is coaching the national team, further led to speculation by some that she was chosen strictly because of her UConn pedigree, along with national team members Diana Taurasi, Maya Moore, Tina Charles, Sue Bird, and current Husky Breanna Stewart.
Dolson, however, has been in the USA Basketball system for several years, and actually has gold medals on her resume as a member of the 2010 FIBA Americas U18 Championship team and the 2011 FIBA U19 World Championship team. USA Basketball, if nothing else, is loyal to those that are loyal to them. It is rare to see someone included when they are young, omitted while they are continuing to develop.
Dolson joins Dishin & Swishin this week as she readies to leave for Russia. Some of the topics covered include:
- Playing for USA Basketball, now and in the past
- Thoughts on the UConn/USA Basketball conspiracy theorists
- Rookie season in the WNBA, improving her game
- Being out of school for the first time as classes begin
- Going overseas, fears and excitement
Best of luck to Dolson, as well as all the WNBA players that are heading overseas to start their winter seasons.
Enjoy the podcast!