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Ariel Atkins

Quotes: USA 93, Puerto Rico 55

  • Date:
    Feb 12, 2022

CHERYL REEVE (Minnesota Lynx)
Opening Comments:
I thought it was a well-played game for the most part. I thought we were really intentional about what we were trying to get done on our defensive schemes. I thought we were very attentive in moving the ball. We didn't make as many shots as maybe I think we would have hoped in terms of from the perimeter. But I thought in the second half, we found ways to get extra possessions off of our 3-balls, which is what we talked about at halftime.

On the takeaways from the week: 
I think for the coaching staff, it was probably about as well as it could have gone. In terms of getting players here, some of them made some really long trips to be a part of this. And the way that they approach the camp is exactly what I would have hoped for as I was sitting at home imagining what I wanted it to be like, the first time all of us getting together for this quad. This group was really attentive, really good to each other. That's the first part, that’s the part I enjoy, their energy every time they came together. Again, some of them were jet-lagged and tired and all that, but you never really knew it. So, they gave of themselves and that's what you hoped for when you're at USA Basketball camp.

On creating cohesion among players who haven’t played together: 
Yeah, I mean, it was new, right? It was new for a lot of people, you know, like it wasn't new for Ariel (Atkins) to be a part of this. But it was new for Ariel to take on a different role. And that means you're growing when you're uncomfortable. And I think hopefully it was uncomfortable for Ariel, maybe initially, and that's how you grow. I think for most of the group, I mean we had some staff that were kind of new to it, and so that's kind of the fun of it is to see how quickly you can come together, that's big challenge. I think that the group will tell you that the experience overall, we don't know how it's going to turn out long term, but this was a group that I think got our quad off to a really good start.

On playing in Washington, D.C.: 
Well I know I enjoy being here in Washington D.C. It’s one of my favorite cities in the entire country. I had a chance to work here back in my younger life. And so every time we come to D.C., I enjoy it. But I'm pretty sure this player next to me (Atkins) enjoyed it more than anybody.

On her overall impression of the training camp:
This was a really good start. It's like you think about how you'd want your first time to go – the start of a new quad, a new coach. I couldn't have asked for anything more in terms of the way they approached it, their energy. Each time we got together, we wanted to improve upon something, and we did. So, this coach is really happy.

ARIEL ATKINS (Washington Mystics/Texas)     
Opening Comments:
I think we found a way to kind of pick it up after kind of letting down the second quarter. We did a better job of talking to each other, kind of talking each other through things, and that's something that we talked about the half.

On the takeaways from the week: 
My biggest thing right now is I've been here before now. So now I'm one of the players that has to speak up. So, for me, it's really learning quickly and trying to implement it and then being able to push it out and help other teammates.

On playing in Washington, D.C.:
Yeah, I've been out in Ukraine, so it’s good to be home. Really good.

On camp and the experience:
It was really exciting. I'm thankful to always be a part of USA basketball. I think we got some really good things accomplished. I'm just looking to grow from there. 

On playing with USA Basketball on her home court:
Oh, it was great. I love being home. DC is obviously a second home to me and if felt good to be here again.

JEWELL LOYD (Seattle Storm/Notre Dame)
How did you think the camp went this week?
I think it was a really good camp. For a lot of us, we had to step into different roles, for me it was a leadership role and talk a bit more. The energy was amazing. We had very good chemistry right off, and we didn’t have a lot of days to do it. We were able to talk to each other, help each other out. That was the best part of this camp.

Are you happy with the two games and how this team played together?
Yeah, we had a new system, new players. We’re just trying to get to know each other a little bit and I think our offense was a lot better. We were able to communicate a little better, talk a little bit more on defense. We’ve had two good games. Obviously we wanted to improve on stuff that we didn’t really execute on in the first game. I think overall we came out pretty strong. We were definitely motivated.  

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