Average to Savage
Average to Savage

Episode · 1 year ago

Ariel Atkins | Average To Savage EP103

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

This is the one hundred and third episode of the Average to Savage podcast featuring Washington Mystics' guard Ariel Atkins. Paul Guarino talked with Ariel Atkins discussing why she went to Texas, her time in the WNBA bubble aka the Wubble, and winning the 2019 WNBA champion. Follow Ariel Atkins https://www.instagram.com/IamArielAtkins Podcast interview with Ariel Atkins was originally recorded July 20, 2020

This is the average to aveage podcastwith Bau Garino everyone and anyone athletes soets andmuch more. So everybody am back for anotherepisode. The average savage podcast or special guests today is Aria. LackinZero, how's it going I'm good hw. Are you good appreciate you coming on Yepintime? So let's, let's go back in time alittle bit. When was the first time you rememberlike playing basketball tirst time, I remember playing basketball, I would have to say I went to a privateschool albm Dallas called FILSHAP Christian Academy and the Churchconnected to that as OCBOF, so they have like their own littalyue. I thinkit's called like turnround league. That's my first time I remember playing.Actually I remember the Jersey. I obnosly still think I HAVE THE JERSEY,if I'm not mistaken, but yeah, that's first Tummer in playing basketball. Iwas really excited about the snacks apt to the game like that. Was a moten befome it'Stho, all right. So then I got toask you since you remember that. Do you remember what Jersey number you wereyeah, pretty sure it was fifteen yeah thin you, se yeah yeah, and I know you grew up in Texasduring high school, like what was your recruiting process like I feel like I want to say, my heartcinprocess is a little different just because my mom was pretty much like all over the place. Where do you want to go to school? Doyou want to stay in state? Do Ou? Are you okay, going out of state, so it was just a little different inthe sense that I actually committed before my senyoars and started. Icommitted to ut, so my recruiting crastis wasn't toocrazy. It was honestly pretty true. My family just hope me makes te decisionwrote out of pros and conslist prayed about it. Jhos T was there any otherschool or that was it yeah, mostly local schools like Texas, SchoolBale, was definite, my top to was Bayler and out okay, yeah and thenwhaas. Your overall experience like at Texas, Yeah College, is interesting.Everybody has their ow take on it being a coca hooper, O student athlete itstough period. Re O was Fort Ou play, but I've met a lot of really greatpeople at Texas, namely a couple of my professors, an a few of the coachesthere that I have a pretty close relationship with now so overall. I think it was a goodexperience. I wouldn't trade for the world, but I would not do it again llike, while you were at Texis like en.When was like your Aha moment that you knew you could be like a pro basketballplayer yeah, I would have to say around my Junioris year kind of in the middle o.There it was. I was having a conversationwith one of myU coaches and it was just...

...more in depth about it, and it was really shocking because Ididn't feel like I had the career that I wanted to have at Texas. Although wedid go to Thecta Tournament, we got to Theleai. I think it was my sophomoreyear. U I never got to that Finnel, for I never got to play for that. Ou title.We never wanted big pub title, so that was one of my huge goals that Teke it.So I didn't really know. I don't really know much about Ha draftprocess. I knew you hade to be ik one of the top players in the country Ididn't feel like. I was one of the top players in the country or anything, but throughout my entire time at Texas.I had really good coaches that just kind of spoke aninto me one O en being travs mad she's, thefirst one that put the bug in my ear he just like Oa Giar, already approch he'slike you handed yourself like a pro, and if it's something that you want todo, you absolutely can do it and then with him leaving and then coach Tinacoming in and being just very adamant about it. Like he's, like I've, been aprobl den at all, she's like you're, more ly, capable you can do it so withthose to in their fareer and what they have done and theyr just kind ofspeaking. That into me I was very reassurint, but it was also kind oflike a okay. Maybe I can do this and then I was looking at the draft forsand then I was seeing people's names who were on there and then I was likeall right. Maybe I can really do this. Let's see what's going on pretty muchallright so then I got to ask you before before you thought you could gopro. What did you think you were going to do i'Mnot even alloted to Liki, don't evenknow why I thought like I wasn't going to go pro,but I never really thought that I wasn't going to do it. It just wasn'tlike a Hundredi O my dig in my degree in sport management and I'm myownbusiness, so that's kind of the path that I was going on, but once I figuredout I wanted to go pro and really like go for it. I mean that was my plan. Ait Si I'm Calrigt what I got to do to get there. Ayou Hun Ere and then yeah. Take methrough your drafte yeah, so Jafpday I drove down to Dallas,but I was in Austin at the time I wasn't in New York. I was with myfamily, so he droke down at day I drove hat my sister, who wasstaying with me in Austin and pulled up. My parents are like really excited, wehavet know it was going to go on. I have no idea if I'm getting drafted first round steckingaround or at all, you know, but my whole family was there just because youknow always supported me. Always my mom had balloons, my dad, he also achicken joint in Dallas in Doctovo, specifically, so he made some Food Iwasat the house. Both my grandmothers were there uncles aunts, a few cousins really good moment, because I never getto share my big basketball moments with my family, with most of my family, moreoften than I was either my mom or my dad or my mom and my dad or it's mybrother or my sister. It's never like...

...my grandmotheris, my cousins, my aunts,so it was really like. It was just such a loving environment like you feltreally good to be. I there like no matter what happens like I'd, be fine,because I had them there and then drift comes on. You knowchilling we're all talking. You Know Ferst Man Yeah, you know you prettymuch know is going down one through three after that everything's, likeokay Wat's, about to go down tearing on people that ive playedagainst his forever. You know happy for them. I think we had a pretty dit class,pretty talentin class coming into the draft SGOS exciten Sey, everybodyandraft it and then the dout. A six to my mom because, like I wantto Te tocome to Dallas and I'm like Okaythey, have absolutely every Gar. You knowlike Iwas go to Dallas like who know you know, but you know when stayinghome, so the House cool r whatever and then the seventh pit came in and my name was called and I didn'thave any like Coachtdin call me before nobody called me was like Yo, you mightget picked, bearly got a Yadiala. I honestly was not even thinking likeokay yeah, I'm going to go seven. So I go sevent and Hopei Just Book Oup Screaming and just enjoy its is happy because got picks even to go to Thba. This isthe highest of the high. This is the last level of basketball for me. So forthem it was like man like she really did it like in in my head. It's likeyou. We really did it like really paid it to the NBA. To the highest point Imean besides the Olympics, put to the highest point of basketball for mycareer and so yeah. We all spraned Ollit for about five minutes, played itback at least a hundred times and then just have some good food hassome good conversations and then everybody's trying to figure out whichWashington it was so yeah wait. So so you had no idea that theywere. You knew right when they picked you on, like on TV yeah new, likethat's when I found out was on TV, that's crazy, Yeahi, because you guysdon't have any. You didn't have like no combine or anything right. No, wedidn't. I don't even know if I don't know much about that, but I didn't do acombine or anything, and sometimes I guess people coachescall them. No, I didn't get any type of call. I just knew to be watching thedraft, and that was that's. That's pretty crazy yeah. It was a really goodmoment, though yeah for sure yeah nd, then what about what was it like tojust step on the COURP? For the first time as a wmb player a it was dope man, I'm playing against people tha I usedto have like polsters. All Lik is wow, like literally when you're playingagainst people that you looked up to since forever. Um is pretty cool but,like I always say I he a got clipped that switch real, quick case,everybody's coming, oft Er blood and then e sins like its game, it'sGametime, so it was definitely really interesting to not only just be out there, but Ijust felt really blessed to be a part of a lead. A like. I knew as a kidgrown up. I think I have sit this in a...

...a couple of my other interviews, likeour classis, the first class that ever grow up like with the entirety of theDEBA, like I don't remember time when there wasn't a Wva, because unlesspeople talk about it, but like I don't know, you know like, I didn't see thatso. For me it was just really. It was Ja, se rere moment being around people,that I've looked up to for a really long time and becoming one of thosepeople for other younger girls and younger boys who look up to the movie,a players. It's just it's a really surreal feeling, even to this day, likeI'm super thankful, and I don't take any of them for Grat Yeah Yeah, I mean you Wen all rookieteam, and you got your two time defensive second team h and then youwan the championship last year. What was it like to? What was that feelinglike to win the Jammagin Man I hadn't Wante Championship, so my firstchampionship that I like everyone, I was like really big to me- was my stageissue when in the championship in Texas is huge, because sports are huge. IYeah High School, so I hadn't won anything like title wise since high school so becausethey really know how I was going to feel whatever, but we're playing forthe championship, and I'm like you'r like this is real life, like I'm reallyhere like on the highest stage. Om is basketball. You know, arguably, in the world in bat won Oring like it was a really surreal moment again because it's like is yeurto like what it's like, I'm actually playing like you know, I'm not justthere like I'm playing I'm like literally fihe or two of the leage man I'l just say to that. Like pray, itworks you and I'm not saying like I pretty, like God. Please then win oChacpmonship, but it is one of those things were like you just pray for Peceof mind. You just pray Til, you know, let God lead you and I was thankful to end up in DC andI'm really glad that I'm a part of a organization that believes in me and, like my character life, so I himas a person and we were able to do some pretty danged thanks forfulk, so yeah t just scared me for a second anyways I'll, be on my computer. So much so. Ihave a thing that like tells me every hour like what time it is yeah. why Diyou do that yeah just be honest, so much so like. If I here is like Oh snap,I really been don for like two hours, so yeah igoo yeah. What Oh did you know whatthe rings were going to look like before you got them now n. They didn'ttell us anything. They didn't even like nothing. So when we saw him I was likeYo. This is crazy. Actually, one of our owners, she watJohn Asin and Tillin os his wife and Cloch Sebos. What I kind of helped himout a little bit, thank God so yeah. What I know you guys didn'tget to have the parade because of theke coronavirus right yeah,...

...you had like a event right yeah. We hada like very, very small event. It was just a team and a few of the staff members that onat the time but yeah it was the super small event tat the Salamena resort out in Virginia from Maryland. I ill still don't understand, which wayI'm going. GINBE is one thing F, but yeah we were Otin the Salamano resort and we had a pretty dub event fut on byour owners, and we got our relings. What's your experience been likeoverseas, yeah operseas is different. Ipersonally didn't like in my first year simply because I was away from myfamily for a really long time was in a foreign country. I didn't speak thelanguage, it was just tough. I had a really goodbit in Sharna, Ol Norman. She was very help, navigate things and she spokepolit Polish yeah. She spoke the language theere, so that was very helpful for me as well,but Byu. My Second Ragh I went to Austria and it was a lot easier. I wasable I mean for one, they speak English as well, so that was absolutely easyand Astrai's beautiful cool, but I think a few things that I've learnedfrom meing overseas. One is just learn how to breace the culture like whatijust being a part of it and not being afraid to get to know things. You gesttri things. You know be IU, food or music or you know. What have you justdifferent things like that and then the basketball like basketball,Europe is different. It just is it's more crafty. It's just more a lot ofdifferent things going on, but it's also fun because it makes yure you kindof bring out things, your game that you wouldn't necessarily know you had to doso. That's the fun part Comang, then just getting aother people. People are different everywhere, soWasi, just kind of the three things that I enjoy about going oversea yeah.What about where were you when just like the virus hit where you stilloverseas, or were you back here yeah so when it got really crazy? I believe itwas about March. I was actually in Texas, fith my family, so that was good Yeh, yes, Yep was actually Australia is doing really well,I think they have fans and suff mack already. Eahthey, probably I mean wegot a lot going on America. Man Like yes, we're not doingyeah o yeah going into that. How? How is thebubble yeah, we heare man. Everybody keeps asking me that, and Ijust don't know how to respond. Does it feel like? Does it feel like,like a summer camp like a dream Yeah I was, I would say if it was likea summer camp in this sense that were around people we're around people that we normallywouldn't see all the time we pretty much have an enclosed place where weall can be,...

...there's not much you can do you got tofret your own fun and find ways to be creative and Yeah Tas, that's the bubble. So what about?Since you basically play all year round- and this is kind of like so it's kindof different for you guys- because Youryou're technically still would beplaying anyways, so you think this rest will help you. You know. Rest goes two ways it be really good, watitalso be reallygon to so yeah being a young athlete. I don't even know if that matters, theway that our Bodi ban go, but I think rest is good simply becauseI can get your body time to relax and also gives you time to recharge withwhatever it is to help you recharge like for one me, is family so beingable to just be around my family and takeing. All that love that I don't getto really just get, because I'm never really ou. So that feels really good, but on the flip side of that, liketiming and different things, as far as like being an athlete and being abasketball player that it takes to be a good basketbell player as far as likerhythm and flowing different things, I think that's a tough part about takingtime off. The rest is definitely important. I've learned that over mytime, yeah all right. Do you sat goals foryourself before the season yeah? I did said Gho fo myself for this,so I'm not going Ta lie didn think were Boit to have a season. So that'ssomething that's still in the works and then me being out here now i'min,seeing the team that we do have and seeing where I stand on. That is something that I'm definitely takingmy time to not stress about, but just finding little ways to get better everyday. Right now is my many things to be honest, yeah. What about like? How doyou feel about you know some players optenhon some players, op on hem yeah,I mean everybody's got some. You knoweverybody's got to do there. o I've always been an advocate of minding myown business, because at the end of the day, Arias got to do. Hatever Gotto doand I feel that way for everyone else, people going to do what they got to doeither to take care of the families you know whare to be with their families. I meaneverybody's got their own obligation to do what they feel and, like I said, I'm saying again likemy propet ofis area was to mind Ero's business, so yeah yeah feel you on that, since youdo have not the same team as last year, because people opted out and stuff likethat, like is there. Do you huys to like build new chemistry,and do you think, like you, think you guys have a chance of you know goingback to back yeah for sure. I think with the khimishy piece is ahundred percent, I'm the only starter returning. So it's definitely anchemistry lad. Wasn't here last year, essence wasn't her last year here thisis her first year actually playing with this, who gos AC Alanta coat, I'm OL missingsomebody.

I mean Sha's back, but she was kind ofwith this. Last year, too Ui just a lot of different moving pieces. It woull beinteresting to see how long it takes us to get that chemistry, but I'm excitedabout it because we already have charathy off the court. So I think it'sone of those things that'll just take time to flow for us to get to know eachother and with each other likes to doing the court Mi think that would beextremely fun. This championship run, I think, is anybody's game this year.Honestly, this is an interesting in an historic,her now wit floorbl for the MN gay. To me, I couldn't tell you who I think is liketop notch top tier or whatever, like I think, is anybody's game this year it could be just whoever gets Houh atthe right time as a on possibility. I mead twentyyames, so yeah I mean the other positive is, Ifeel like WNBA is getting actually more media coverage now, which is good, I'mexcited for the League. I think a lot of the vits in this league now from what I've seen I've been here forgoing on three years now, are really trying to leave this leag better thanthey found it, and I appreciate that- and I hundred percent want to be a partof that. I I keep pushing tha needle for not women. I sports but woninperiod, yeah like what else do you want to see change like in the Wnba or justwomen's ports or Genal Ye? Well, for one we're talking about equal pay? Idon't know if equal Ayis, the right word, but in order for UST to get paid more, myopain we have to have more media coverage. We have to allow more peopleto see us. I think sponsors being able to kind of breakthat bearer, not I being afraid to put money wherh their mouth Tis or put themoney into inthe sports we're just as marketable. You know. So I think thatpiece is really huge and that's kind of my main thought withthat, a lot of the things that we market with in the Diba or like ourpartner with in de like I really appreciate the High Marki sponsors andI'm really excited about it, but there are some brands that I feel like weshould have obvious sponsorships or obvious partners with I'm not going tosay it in my lab because s fofor me but yeah. I just think there's obviousperience that we could have sponsor ships with. I mean partnerships with,so I think if we could kind of go thatrout, it would not only help us more, but it could get us more coverage. Also,I'm not in the front office. I don't know if they are doing that or tryingto do that that very well, possibly could be so yeah. Do you think you're underrated, possibly yeah little bit? I think a lotof people see me as like a spacer shooter there's a lot that I feel likeI can do with my game and I guess it'll come out over time. The more that I guess I'm able to geton the ball or even off the ball, but yeah I wull, say Yoa. I Ono ritewill get A. I had a because I was going to say you are...

...yeah, appreciate it yeah little bit. Ifeel like I got a lot of my tank, but it's all also about confidence like medoing it in the game and not just doin anthing trueorn practice being able topull out everything for the game, working onthat for sure yeah. What advice would you give to a little girl or little boy trying tomake a pro league or get a D one scholarship yeah? I would say for one:You got to work hard, no matter if it's in sports, O, whatever you want to dowhatever you're passionate about the word. Passion gets me because a lot ofpeople ar like? Oh, what's your passing, whats your passion, a passion, is notsomething that you like for a week. It's something that's kind of like inyou, something that you really want to do, but I have to say workh hard at it.Every single day find a Waye to get better, even if it's jobing a balloutside or if it's watching clips, if it's mentally training yourself, so youcan be mentally tough int, the next person and never be. I worked like those aremy two things that I still tell myself to this day, so I think it's importantto instill that early, because the older you get, the tougher t gets andthe mentally tougher that you have to get all right. All you ready for some funquestions are Goino from averageason. Let's get it! What you, what yourfavorite Song Right now y favorite sonigh now is, but is shine by Um, isdoing name coop. I listen to every morning. All right I'll have to checkit out right. Three jerseys that you don't own that you want. I thouht we GNTO tell me, ask me whichone I do on, because it's my favorites, I'm pre jerseys, I don't own that wantswho? Oh I want to Dirkin Winsky Jersey. I really do being from Dallas he's an honoraryDallas member from Dallas so dirt for sure tcatch. I don't have she's like myfavorite player ball time and I do not have her jersey, like I don't know why,but I just don't have her Jersey me think slashon by us on this, but I don'tthink I have any of my college jerseys and I want one. So I don't. I know I know when is when Ilove, because you know like we leave early because of the draft and I didn'tget a chance yeah you gotta hit up tenxus YeahWewe'll see what popin there. If you guys watch this, I would really like tohave a jersey, that's possible and I'll tweet hem, the video for you what' something people don't know aboutyou, something people don't know about me. I guess that I am actually social. Idon't talk a lot, but once I get to know you and I feel like you have feartI'll talk to you, Doyou have any hidden talents, hiddintalents.

I can do a head stand. I'm show youthat, but I can do it. No, I was Gonta, ask yeah, no, I'm not doing there rightnow. What about last one was there any othersports that you grew up playing that you like wanted to go prone yeah. This is going to sound, really weird,but I was a Arti kid and I had to choose between dance andbasketball, basketball, 's, more fun because it', a guy all the time. So, ofcourse that's was basketball, danced all right. Well, I appreciate youcoming on and Coul do ate the listeners, no wherthe, you follow you on SocialMudiy Yeah. Actually, my twitter got hat so then might wan to help me withthat appreciate it yeah but instagram. I am Ario Actans, where you can find me.I GATTN appreciatind Bestel up this season and no wees any time. Thank you.

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