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April 8, 2016

Imani Boyette

Jonquel Jones

Tiffany Mitchell

New York, New York

THE MODERATOR: We have with us from the University of Texas, Imani Boyette; from George Washington University, Jonquel Jones; and from the University of South Carolina, Tiffany Mitchell, all of whom have been chatting amongst each other in the waiting room on the call, so we're going to turn it over to the media to queue them up for questions.

Q. Imani, can you talk about, obviously you have a lot of experience in terms of family members, knowing what it's like to play professionally and everything. I wonder how that helps in terms of helping you be prepared for how life is different as a professional basketball player as opposed to in college.
IMANI BOYETTE: I don't think there's any way I can be prepared. Like I'm really nervous. But I talked to my brother and I talked to Lisa, my mom, and all of that kind of thing, make sure you're prepared and go into training camp being confident in what you do well, and my brother was the same, like sit back and enjoy it. This is going to go so fast, so just like take everything in.

Q. Jonquel, with the draft less than a week away, talk about your emotions, kind of what you're feeling right now, excitement, nerves, all that stuff, and then talk about possibly being drafted by Washington and possibly staying in D.C. and what that would be like.
JONQUEL JONES: You know, there's a lot of emotions going into it. I was talking to Imani and Tiffany saying how hard we've worked to get here and just enjoying the moment. You know, you're a little bit overwhelmed because of all the stuff that's going into it in terms of making sure your schoolwork is done, making sure you've got everything prepared for the trip, and just being prepared and ready for training camp, as well.

There's a little bit of nerves, excitement, enthusiasm and all that stuff, and I'm just looking forward to the experience and being able to take the next step.

In terms of the logistics, I really don't put a lot into it because you never know what could happen with the draft. Like everything is up in the air; no matter how many mock drafts there are, no matter how many people are saying this and that, you just never know. I really don't put too much thought into it, but if I do stay in D.C., it would be a blessing. I really enjoy it because it's the place where I went to high school in terms of the DMV, and also being able to stay in the area where I went to college, so it would be a blessing for sure.

Q. Tiffany, a couple of questions. One, what do you think is the biggest part of your game that you need to work on to get ready for the next level? And have you had any contact with any WNBA teams about where you might be picked next week?
TIFFANY MITCHELL: After evaluating this past season, I feel like I need to be a better ball handler going into the next step. I need to be able to handle the ball, be able to get by people, be able to create my own shot, work for others. So I think that's probably the biggest thing I need to improve on the next level.

As far as WNBA teams, I've talked to a couple. I've talked to the Mystics, the Fever, and I can't remember the other team. But I mean, I talked to a couple teams.

Q. Have they given you any indication about where you might go next week?
TIFFANY MITCHELL: They haven't. They're just kind of doing their due diligence, just talking to me about if I were to be drafted to them, what they would expect from me, and kind of just a rundown of how they run their team, so they really haven't told me anything about where I would be drafted.

Q. Tiffany, I was just wondering, first of all, you have a college coaching staff all with WNBA experience either coaching or playing. I was just curious, number one, what kind of advice have they given you, and number two, now that the season is over, I'm just curious how long did it really take you to get over that injury? When did you start feeling like you were yourself?
TIFFANY MITCHELL: Okay, the question was the coaches? Coach Staley has been one of the main people that's been helping me with this process and just becoming a pro and thinking like a pro now, and we talked to agents together, we talked to teams together, so she's definitely helped me get the right mindset going into this next week and being drafted.

I talked to Coach McCray and Boyer, as well, just mainly those three, about everything, because I've most closely talked to Coach Staley.

And the injury, I mean, my non-conference schedule was pretty up and down, a little inconsistent because I was trying to find my way through my injury and so just play through and find my rhythm pretty much. I think the second part of the season is when I kind of found my rhythm, kind of found my stride as far as playing. I would probably say around tournament time is where I kind of just felt the best and my foot kind of felt like it was back to where it needed to be.

Q. Jonquel, what is the biggest thing that you're looking forward to after being drafted, whether it be the tough competition, the fans, or your future team and coaching staff?
JONQUEL JONES: Well, I would say I'd just be excited to finally know where I'll be and to get to know the staff and the personnel, everybody within the organization that I'll be working with, hopefully for a long period of time. You know, just getting to know that, understanding what the coaches want from me, where they see my game improving, what do they need from me, and how I can better myself as a professional. I think that would be the most important thing, and just celebrating the moment but also understanding that you want to do it for a long time, and so it takes consistency and it takes that attitude and that willingness to grow and mature. I'm looking forward to all of that.

Q. What are you doing to distract yourselves, so to speak, from thinking about the draft and all the things that are going to be coming up? Are you doing anything to take your mind off the draft right now and do some things to focus another way?
JONQUEL JONES: I was just about to say when I had my injury during the season, I found myself really looking at the draft picks a lot and really just focusing on that stuff way too much, and as soon as I got healthy, I made up my mind I wasn't going to look at any of that stuff anymore. Like I said before, you never know, a team may choose to do something and then when draft time comes, something else provide an opportunity for them, and they make another decision. You just never know. I just stay away from it. I try to enjoy my teammates who I'm not going to be around a lot because of the draft and stuff, so I'm just trying to enjoy their company and enjoy being around them, and just understanding that it's a process that I want to have fun with, and looking at that stuff doesn't really help me have fun.

TIFFANY MITCHELL: Yeah, I'm kind of the same way. I just didn't really try to pay too much attention to all the hype and the talk about where I'd be drafted and what number, what team I would go to. I just tried to stay busy, just tried to control the things that I can control. Wherever I get drafted, that's kind of out of my control, so I would just try to think about the things that I can do and that was in my own power and my control. I would spend some time at the mall, do some retail therapy, and kind of just enjoy college while I can because everything is about to pick up, so might as well just have fun while I'm here.

IMANI BOYETTE: I think I've done basically a little bit of everything that they both said. I'm very much in the school, and the WNBA is going to start while I'm still in school, so I don't have very much time to be distracted because I've kind of got to get my schoolwork in order and figure out graduation plans and finals and all that stuff. So that's kind of kept me really busy.

Q. Imani, the WNBA is very top-heavy with post players. How do you think that you're going to have to adjust your game from the college game to the professional ranks? And Rebecca Lobo projected that you would somehow wind up going to Dallas, and being that you were just recently married, how much would it mean to you to be able to stay in the state of Texas if you're drafted like you think, probably in the first round, obviously?
IMANI BOYETTE: I think the biggest adjustment for me in the WNBA is going to be being more aggressive on the offense and just staying lower and trying to play lower and working on keeping a low center of gravity and moving my feet better. I think that's going to be the biggest adjustment for me. That sounds great. I did not know that. If I go to Dallas, that would be awesome. But just kind of along the same lines of what Jonquel and Tiff were saying, it's just a blessing to get picked, so I don't really have any type of preference. It would be very convenient to be a couple hours from my husband, but that's the job. I'm excited to go to whoever wants me to play for them.

Q. Rebecca also said that she thinks you might have to go to Europe to improve your offensive, not during the WNBA season but during maybe the fall and the winter. Would you be up to that?
IMANI BOYETTE: Yeah, I really want to go overseas. That's definitely a goal of mine. And hopefully I can prove her wrong and do well offensively in the WNBA, but I'm aware that that's like my biggest weakness and that's something I need to work on, so I've been trying to dedicate time to working on that.

Q. Imani, with your mom's basketball legacy and her becoming the first former WNBA player to have a child in the NBA and now you'll be the first daughter of a former WNBA player to be in the league, have you ever had time to sit back and think about that, and what does that mean for you as far as pride in your mom?
IMANI BOYETTE: I think my mother was actually saying we don't realize how amazing she actually was. I think it's just really cool, and my mom likes to say that basketball is the family business, so I just try to make her proud every time I step on the court, because she takes pride in her game, and I try to do the same.

Q. It's a huge time to be entering the WNBA with going into its 20th season. I was wondering you guys' first memories of the WNBA and just what it means to be entering the league during a really season-long celebration for the league.
TIFFANY MITCHELL: I think my first impression of the WNBA was watching Coach Staley because I'm from Charlotte, and I grew up in Charlotte, born and raised, so they had a Charlotte team there when I was younger, so of course you can one of the only girls playing basketball around my age, I was drawn into the Charlotte Sting, so my mom would always take me their games. She bought me Coach Staley's jersey and everything. I have it still hanging in my house right now. It was kind of cool being able to do that at a young age because I know most girls growing up, they don't have a WNBA team in their city, so it was a good luxury for me and a good way to introduce me to basketball.

IMANI BOYETTE: For me, my mom played in the WNBA, so my first memory would be probably around two or three, and she played for the Sparks with Lisa Leslie, so that was like my great memory, like watching my mom, being tugged around to practice and all of that stuff.

JONQUEL JONES: Yeah, so I'm from the Bahamas, you know, the 242 stand up. But my first memories is actually I was a kid just watching TV, and I didn't even have an idea what the WNBA was. I didn't even know it existed. I just remember like flipping through the TV, and then I stopped and saw all these women playing, and I was like whoa, what is it, and learning more about the WNBA while I was watching the game, and I just realized it was actually a high level for women to play at.

I don't remember how old I was, but I just remember being so intrigued by it and just looking at it and aspiring to try to be like those ladies that I saw on TV.

Entering the league in the 20th season, that's a blessing, and hopefully the league can be around for even more years to come.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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