July 6, 2011
Chestnut Hill, MA -
Carolyn Swords `11 is enjoying her first summer away from Boston College. The Eagles former All-American is a backup center for the Chicago Sky in the WNBA. After being drafted 15th by Chicago, Swords flew out to the Windy City prior to graduation. She is currently averaging four minutes a game and learning the ways of the WNBA.
What has surprised you most about your time in the WNBA?
Our travel schedule has been the most surprising thing about the WNBA. Sometimes we'll have back to back games that require us to fly to a different city and play a game that night, or we will have a number of games in a short amount of time. In college we never had more than three games in a single week and that was rare. The schedule is exciting and I get a chance to travel to many nice cities.
Give a rundown of a day in the life of Carolyn Swords. Can you walk us through your daily routine on a practice day?
Each day is a little different depending on whether we have practice or a game. On a typical day I wake up around 7:30 and make myself some breakfast. I like to eat oatmeal with granola, toast with almond butter, and some sort of fruit. My teammate Courtney Vandersloot and I share a car so I pick her up on the 9th floor on the way down to the car. When we can, the team will lift with our strength coach for about an hour, and then practice starts at 10. We watch some film and then head to the court. After practice I'll spend time getting extra shots up with one of my coaches, stretching, icing, and then I'll head back to my apartment and have the rest of the afternoon.
In my free time I try to get downtown to see the many things Chicago has to offer or I'll read or catch up with family and friends. I have started cooking my own dinners which has been a lot of fun! At home my family loves to cook together so it has been an adventure figuring it out for myself!
You are the backup for arguably the No. 1 women's basketball center in the world, what have you taken from playing against her every day in practice?
It is such a blessing having Sylvia Fowles as a teammate. Not only is she one of the most warm-hearted and hard-working people, but she is also one of the best players in the league. Playing against her in practice has only helped me to improve. My defense is getting better and my position on offense is getting stronger. I still have plenty of work to do and I am in a great environment for getting better.
You have been to Indianapolis, Washington, Connecticut and recently Atlanta. Are you enjoying the travel of the WNBA? In your travels have you been able to get out and walk around the cities? If so, where and what did you attend?
The travel has been exciting! Due to our short season, we sometimes travel to a number of cities in a single trip. Each place has been beautiful. My older (brother) lives in Washington DC and I have been able to visit with him both times we traveled there. Our first game in Washington was an early game, and my teammates and I were able to spend the afternoon walking the National Mall. We saw the White House, Washington Monument, World War II Memorial, and the Lincoln Memorial (my favorite!). It was nice to get back to an ACC city when we were in Atlanta; we drove by Georgia Tech on the way to Phillips Arena. Connecticut was a great trip because I got to see family and friends from home and BC! I look forward to traveling to other great cities in the US in the coming months!
What has been your biggest adjustment living in Chicago?
The biggest adjustment to living in Chicago has been being away from home. It was a blessing that Boston College was only 40 minutes from home and I have spent almost my entire life in Massachusetts. Even during the season when it was tough to get out to Sudbury, I still got to see my family and friends when they attended games at Conte Forum. It is different living in an apartment and no longer having a meal plan, and I definitely miss my family and friends. This has been such a great experience so far. I am surrounded by good people and have the chance to live in a great city!
Have you been able to do some sightseeing and if so where have you gone?
I have been able to explore downtown with the help of my former BC teammates Brittanny Johnson and Kelsey Reynolds! I have been to Millenium Park, seen Harpo Studios, walked down the Magnificent Mile, explored the Chicago Botanic Garden, and experienced the Taste of Chicago in Grant Park. I have also seen Navy Pier with some of my Sky teammates on a rainy day so I hope to get back on a clear evening for fireworks. The city is beautiful! I love that the rail system (called the "L" like Boston's "T") is above the streets so you can see the city as you travel. My teammates and I use the L to get to and from the city. I still have plenty to see and it has been so much fun spending time with Britt and Kelsey.