Looking around the AT&T Center on media day, Kayla McBride noticed one thing: most of her teammates are close to (or are) her age.
However, that isn’t stopping San Antonio Stars coach Dan Hughes from letting her take a leadership role.
“This particular year is about putting together a young core and adding pieces to that young core,” Hughes said. “We want evolve much like we did 2003-05 when I came here. Its a lot of teaching and having an understanding. Its about having these players ready to go up against the best in the world.”
Notable veterans and fan favorites are no longer in Silver and Black. Becky Hammon and Sophia Young-Malcolm have retired, Jia Perkins was traded and Danielle Adams was released.
McBride knows Hughes will be looking to her and several others to lead a young Stars team through the rebuilding process. And its a challenge she welcomes.
“I’m kind of taking it as a pride thing,” McBride said of her new role. Playing overseas this summer has helped me grow a lot mentally and physically as a player and as a person.”
With the WNBA’s 20th season kicking off this weekend, a new schedule and playoff format will make its debut. With eight teams regardless of their conference, making the playoffs.
“Its a blessing in disguise for a team like us,” said McBride. “Its more of an even playing field. We’re not going to be playing teams like Minnesota [Lynx] or Phoenix [Mercury] six times. Now we play each team three times, so that’s good for a young team like us.”
Fans can expect a much younger looking team, something that had McBride laughing, but hopeful for the new season.
“It’s weird because I feel like I’m talking about people who are younger than me, but they’re my age,” she said. Its a good opportunity because there are younger players who will need to step up and produce on the court for us this year.”
The Stars will open the 2016 season on Saturday against the Atlanta Dream at 7 p.m. at the AT&T Center.