This is the DoubleGSports.com Athlete’s Voices column in which local star athletes provide guest posts updating their fans on what they have been up to. Today’s post is from former Rutgers Women’s Basketball star and current member of the New York Liberty of the WNBA, Essence Carson. Essence will be posting a blog on the fifteenth of every month.
Greetings from Istanbul, Turkey! It’s now midway through November and I’ve finally settled into my home here in Istanbul. I can honestly say this is one of my favorite international destinations of all time. Finally getting the chance relax a bit gives me time to reflect on this past summer’s season.
Playing my 5th season with the New York Liberty was a blessing and an honor. Being able to have family members and close friends attend games was a major plus. Not often does a player get the opportunity to consistently play in front of their family, friends, and support circle. In my case, this was my 5th season doing so. This year’s season in New York started off rather slow as we battled defensive issues and injuries early on. In all honesty, the Olympic hiatus was the best thing to happen to the New York Liberty.
With four weeks of pure preparation, we were able to focus in on the areas that needed the most improvement. Being a good team at the professional level never comes easy so we were prepared to work incredibly hard and efficiently. Once we returned to the court after the hiatus, fans saw a new New York Liberty team. We were able to compile one of the league’s best post Olympic break records. After being a sure shot for not making the playoffs, we were able to win enough games to place us in 4th place. Although there was an early exit out of the playoffs, we learned a lot about ourselves. We learned that despite the circumstance, when we step between those four lines we control our destiny.
Looking ahead to next season brings smiles to many faces. You may wonder why the smiles? Well, Bill Laimbeer was named GM and Head Coach of the Liberty for the upcoming season. That brings pure excitement to New York and New Jersey because of his sheer winning attitude. Coach Laimbeer and the Detroit Shock dominated the Eastern Conference for many years before the relocation of the team to Tulsa. If you have winning attached to your name New Yorkers love it. It has always been a “win or go home” attitude in New York and I don’t expect it to change anytime soon.
From one season to the next doesn’t allow you to rest as much you’d like or may need. As professional women’s basketball players, we live a life like no other. It isn’t uncommon for a woman to play year-round basketball without much of a break – the price you pay to do something you love. Of course the pro’s of playing internationally are the world travel, basketball, and the building of new relationships worldwide.
I’ve been fortunate to land a job here in Istanbul, Turkey. It honestly reminds me of New York. There’s always something to do, people out and about, and great shopping. You combine that with the many years of history this city and country has, you have yourself an awesome international destination.
On the basketball side of things here, I play for Istanbul University. Usually at the bottom of the rankings, they have revamped the entire club with hopes to build a dynasty of some sort. Starting out with a 2-1 record isn’t too shabby and we don’t look to stop there. There is a lot of firepower ahead of us on the likes of Fenerbache and Galatasary, but we have a team that works together with our own weapons. This season should be challenging and fun as well. I’m looking forward to many great things here in the ‘Bul’ and I’m sure our fans are too.
All while continuing to work incredibly hard on the basketball court, I always manage to work just as hard and diligent on my music. Continuing to produce music for artist, while making sure the finishing touches are being made to my album, Broken Diary, allows me continue to be creative. What’s better than doing two things you love? I’ve been extremely blessed athletically and musically. With the upcoming album, I hope to share a part of me that I have yet to share with my fans and the world. So, take time out to check out my first self-produced single, Love Letter, on iTunes and the video as well under may artist name Pr3pe. The video for my second single, Hater, is due to be released in a couple of weeks. Stay tuned!EC17-Pr3pe www.essencecarson.com
For more posts from local star athletes, visit our Athlete’s Voices page. Along with Essence Carson, we are featuring Cappie Pondexter as well.