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She's just a rookie, but Chicago Sky point guard Courtney Vandersloot is already making her mark in the Second City. Ten games into the season, the Gonzaga product is tops on the team in assists per game (5.2) and third in points (8.7) and minutes (28.5). She has started all but one game, and an injury to backup point guard Dominique Canty means she will be counted on even more over the next few weeks.
Vandersloot is comfortable handling more than her share of the load but admits she hasn't adjusted to the WNBA schedule.
"I'm used to more preparation and practice time in between games," she said. "It's not so much the amount of games, but the prep that I still need to adjust to. As soon as you play, it feels like you just have a quick walk-through and play another game."
The transition from college to the pros has the 22-year-old feeling crunched for time in her personal life, as well. When her sister Kelsey came to visit a few weeks ago, Vandersloot didn't have time to take her out in the city, so big sis had to explore on her own. Practices, including traveling to and from them, take up about four hours of Vandersloot's day, and she often has appearances, publicity shoots, interviews and more.
When she does get some free time, she's happy to just zone out at home.
"Most days I just hang out at the apartment and chill," she said. "I really, really like relaxing. I don't need to stay busy."
But busy she is. Just Sunday, in the midst of a three-game homestand, she joined teammates Sylvia Fowles and Epiphanny Prince for an appearance at NikeTown in downtown Chicago. Though she can occasionally be shy, Vandersloot said she's starting to enjoy fan events.
"[They're] a good chance to get exposure and meet people," she said. "I've gotten better at it. If I'm comfortable, I'm OK, but if I'm uncomfortable in a situation, I can still be a little shy."
You can tell Vandersloot is comfortable behind a computer, as she's an avid tweeter. Whether she's proclaiming her love for the MTV show "Teen Mom," bemoaning the humidity during a road trip to Atlanta or thanking fans for their All-Star votes, she's good about keeping friends and Sky supporters up-to-date on her life. She also uses Twitter to stay in touch with teammates like Prince, with whom she has become fast friends.
"She's just super easy to get along with," Vandersloot said of the second-year guard. "She gets along with everyone on the team really well."
The chemistry between the two, who sometimes are called "Salt and Pepper," is just as clear on the court as it is off of it. Prince, who leads the team in minutes per game (34.8) and is second in points (17.5), has blossomed with Vandersloot beside her running the point. Though the Sky has hit a rough patch, losing its last three games and five of its last six, the pair of dynamic young guards means there's reason for optimism in the Windy City. Some might say the Sky's the limit.