By Matt Leon
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The WNBA season is about a third of the way complete and a former St. Joseph’s University Hawk has settled in quite nicely as a rookie.
Natasha Cloud was selected by the Washington Mystics in the second round of this year’s WNBA Draft (15th overall) and the guard has proven to be a key piece off the bench for the 6-4 Mystics.
“This has been my dream for awhile,” Cloud tells KYW Newsradio. “So I’m living it out and I’m getting to continue to play the game that I grew up loving and everything. I’m having a great time, it’s a great place, D.C. is treating me very well and I couldn’t be happier.”
Listen to the entire interview with SJU product Natasha Cloud
Cloud, a Broomall native who went to Cardinal O’Hara High School, has played in all ten games for the Mystics, coming off the bench and doing a little bit of everything, averaging 3.3 points, 2.5 rebounds and 2.5 assists a game.
“I am transitioning pretty well,” Cloud says. “I think St. Joe’s and Coach (Cindy) Griffin prepared me as much as anyone could for the next level. So my transition has not been easy, but I’ve definitely adjusted pretty well and pretty quickly. But I’m still learning, I’m still trying to adjust and trying to figure out what works here.”
The six-foot Cloud was virtually always on the floor during her college career with the Hawks, playing nearly 38 minutes a game as a senior while starting all 28 games. She actually started all but three games during her time on Hawk Hill. With the Mystics, she gets about 16 minutes of run a game coming off the bench. She talks about getting used to life as a reserve.
“I don’t think it’s a hard adjustment,” Cloud says. “It’s one that I knew coming into (the season) would be the deal. Before I got to St. Joe’s, I wasn’t starting either, at Maryland (before transferring), I was coming off the bench and coming in. I think for me, personally, I think I actually do well coming off the bench. It gives me a chance to sit and watch and figure out how the game’s going. You know, what’s working for the players on my team, what’s not working, what adjustments you need to make. So any contribution that I can make, no matter if I play two minutes, 10 minutes, 15 minutes, anything like that, that’s all I want to do. I’m just trying to learn and contribute to this team.”
Cloud and the Mystics are currently tied for second place in the WNBA’s Eastern Conference, one game behind first place Connecticut. They will return to the court on Thursday for a morning tip-off at home against the New York Liberty.
You can follow Matt on Twitter @mattleonkyw.