CONNECTICUT (WDVM) – The WNBA Season kicks off on Friday, May 14th, as the Connecticut Sun will enter the season with four former Terrapins on their roster, including former Terrapin Kaila Charles.
Charles’ last season in the Maryland uniform was cut short, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and Kaila’s focus had to shift towards her role with the Connecticut Sun, as she began her career with them following the 2020 WNBA Draft, where she was picked as the 23rd overall pick.
Because of the pandemic, her first season took place in the WNBA Bubble, or “Wubble”, at Bradenton, Florida in IMG Academy. She played in 21 games in her rookie year, averaging 5.4 points per game, and 2.6 rebounds, while averaging almost 18 minutes a game. The Connecticut Sun would make it to the semifinals, before losing to the Las Vegas Aces in five games.
“It was definitely an experience, an unforgettable first year being in the Bubble.” said Kaila Charles, when asked about her first season in the pros. “But at the same time, I look at it as a blessing, cause I was able to meet all the players. We were all in one area, so it wasn’t just like we’re playing, and then going back to our cities. It was like ‘Play, and go back to the hotel’, and run into them by the elevator, and by the pool. So it was really good, being in that environment.”
The focus now, turns to the upcoming 2021 WNBA Season, where the organization announced Kaila, would join three other former Terrapins on their official roster for the season.
The journey to get through Training Camp wasn’t easy; between the competition at camp, and her limited experience as a pro; Kaila described how her position as a “veteran” in camp was different, than in years past.
“Its kind of tough cause all of the new people are asking me questions – and I’m like – I got the same questions you guys have – so yes I have been in the league for a year, but it was only three months.” said Kaila, recounting her early days in Training Camp. “It went by so fast, and I’m constantly learning, and putting things together; so that’s what it is. That’s the process, it’s been a little tough but its fun. The fact that I’m able to play the game that I love, and at the highest level during still a pandemic. Its not the same, and its not normal – its not exactly safe, so the fact that I’m able to wake up – and do what I love as my job, you know – I’m just blessed.”
The blessings keep on pouring for Kaila, as the Suns will suit up for a 7:30 PM tipoff against the Atlanta Dream, on the road, for the start of their 29-game season.
To watch the full interview with Kaila Charles, click on the link below.