Rookie traditions all in good fun

Courtesy of Kelsey Bone

Kelsey Bone, center, and fellow Liberty rookies Toni Young, right, and Kamiko Williams, left, donned tacky outfits on their first road trip to Atlanta.

Growing up as a kid, all I ever wanted to be was a WNBA player. As a WNBA player the No. 1 thing I am happy I don't have to do twice is be a ROOKIE.

I knew coming into the league that being a rookie was a lot like being a freshman: Some days we bring the vets breakfast, other days we might have to baby-sit while everyone else gets to go out and enjoy New York City. We even deliver their uniforms to their rooms on game day. Those all seem fair enough, right? Well fairness went out the window last month as we prepared for our first road trip of the year.

Courtesy of Kelsey Bone

Kelsey Bone's suit pants were 10 sizes too big so assistant coach Taj McWilliams-Franklin pinned about 30 safety pins in the waistband to keep them up.

All throughout the league, rookies dread the first road trip. The first road trip means the vets get to dress you any way their hearts desire, which is usually tacky and downright hideous. It was just our luck that our first road trip was to Atlanta.

If you've ever been through the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, you know that the sights seen there are often interesting. Well, Toni (Young), Kamiko (Williams) and I fit right in!

Kara (Braxton) and Plenette (Pierson) found our outfits in Newark, N.J., spending a grand total of $100 on all three! Kamiko and Toni were "referees" -- they had skimpy dresses and too-small shoes. Neither one of them has much experience in high heels, so getting through the airport was not easy.

I donned a powder pink suit with a red shirt to bring out my red alligator shoes. My pants were 10 sizes too big, so Coach Taj (McWilliams-Franklin) had to put about 30 safety pins in my waistband just to keep them from falling down. The three of us were totally out of our element, but we decided to make the most out of it because there was no way around it. The person who enjoyed it the most was Coach (Bill) Laimbeer. Once he saw the three of us together, he let out a deep, hearty laugh and said, "Make sure I get all the pictures!"

I was definitely happy to get out of that pink suit. The three of us joked that we would all be burning our clothes the first chance we got. Unfortunately, my outfit hangs in my closet. The vets remind us all the time how lucky we are that there are three of us because we probably couldn't handle them alone.

Until next time,