During her four years on the court at Florida Gulf Coast University, Whitney Knight and the Eagles accumulated a 119-20 record. Becoming a mid-major powerhouse, FGCU racked up two 30-plus win seasons and dominated the Atlantic Sun.
Since being drafted by the Los Angeles Sparks with the 15th overall pick in the WNBA draft in April, Knight has donned a new jersey but the winning hasn't stopped. The Sparks have started the season 5-0 for the first time since 2003.
"We’ve gotten off to a really great start and we want to continue it. We have a lot of energy right now. And everybody’s healthy. That was a big thing last year with health," said former FGCU standout Whitney Knight. "Everybody’s healthy and playing well so it’s a great atmosphere and we’re gonna try to keep it up.”
It's not just the big total in the "W" column that is similar to the Blue and Green. Although they don't shoot the long ball at the same frequency as Karl Smesko's bunch, Los Angeles is shooting a league-high 35.7% from beyond the arc. Maybe they will even adopt the "Raining Threes" hashtag.
Knight recorded her first WNBA three with under a minute left in a big win against the Washington Mystics, for her first points in the league.
The North Carolina product and FGCU alum is the only rookie on the Sparks roster and despite recording only six minutes of time this season, she has been learning from a veteran group.
“I just watch them in practice and ask them a lot of questions. Depending on what particularly is going on, I ask them if I have questions or anything," Knight said. "I’m the only rookie on the team so it’s great. They’re helping me learn a lot."
Being inquisitive has been key for Knight as she goes through the rigors and precise nature of a WNBA practice.
“It’s definitely way more intense. I think that’s another thing I had to adjust to," Knight said. "It’s intense but a shorter amount of intensity because you have to pay so much attention to detail and walk through some things. But when it’s time to play, it’s at a whole other level.”
Since defeating the Connecticut Sun - home of former FGCU assistant Nicki Collen - last Thursday, the Sparks have had a week of this detailed preparation as they return to LA to play host to the San Antonio Stars on Thursday.