INDIANAPOLIS — It's game week for the Indiana Fever!
They play their first preseason game at Gainbridge Fieldhouse on Saturday at 3 p.m.
That Fever roster you may have from last year? Just throw it in the trash. It’s a new year with a very different looking team.
Scanning the court at training camp, only three familiar faces are there, veterans Tiffany Mitchell, Kelsey Mitchell and Lindsay Allen. The rest are new, with seven rookies competing to make the cut.
“New energy, new vibe,” said Fever guard Tiffany Mitchell. “I’m happy, I’m glad they’re here, you know, they’re young. I’m not too old, but they keep me young. It’s fun to have them here."
This is year six for Mitchell here in Indy, and she’s now tasked with helping bring along this young roster.
“It’s crazy now that I am considered a vet, ‘cause I feel like I’m still learning, so I think once they get comfortable with the system, it’s my job trying to help them feel a part of this team and the organization. I think once they get comfortable they’ll fit in really well," Mitchell said.
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There is one rookie Mitchell already has a bit of a relationship with, fellow South Carolina alum Destanni Henderson. They’re five years apart, but they share that Gamecock connection, and Henderson actually remembers watching Mitchell when she was a young recruit.
“When I came around on campus, of course she was on the court, practicing. She was very great then and she’s still great now. Coming back here and watching her play again but actually playing with her this time is crazy, it's mind-blowing," Henderson said.
After Henderson heard her name called by the Fever on draft night, she said Mitchell was there right away to help with the transition.
"She takes me and just really motivated me and let me know that whatever I need and any questions I have, that she's there, for sure," said Henderson.
Not a bad person to have in your corner because if anyone knows how to succeed as a rookie, it's Mitchell. She played in every game her first season and was named to the WNBA All-Rookie Team.
Mitchell believes Henderson is ready for this stage, coming from a college program like South Carolina.
"I just commend Destanni for sticking with the process at South Carolina," Mitchell said. "It's hard, because you're playing against some of the best players out of high school. The grind, the loyalty that she showed to stick out, not playing a lot of minutes early in her career, to then eventually get drafted in the WNBA, I think her journey is amazing."
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