Gabby Williams: Rookie season 'a million times better' than freshman year at UConn

ByGabby Williams as told to Sean Hurd | espnW ESPN logo
Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Editor's note: Former UConn star Gabby Williams, the No. 4 pick in the 2018 WNBA draft, details her rookie season with the Chicago Sky (7-15). Check back in two weeks for the 5-foot-11 forward's next "View from the Sky" on espnW.

CHICAGO -- I was really dead over whoever changed Allie Quigley's name to "Allie 'McBucket Slayer' Quigley" on Wikipedia.

I watched the WNBA All-Star Game and 3-point contest with one of my friends. I kept bragging about Allie: "Just wait, watch her shoot, she's about to kill everybody." I was screaming.

She said she was nervous, but you don't ever see it. That's how she is as a player. I think I was more nervous than she was -- I was so excited watching it. Her last round was just ridiculous. My whole timeline was Allie Quigley, I was retweeting everything as she won the 3-point contest for the second year in a row. She laughed at all of my reactions I was posting on Instagram.

I think it was one of the better All-Star Games to watch. Everyone was having fun. Minnesota looked like a good crowd. The orange carpet looks were great.

When I think about what it's going to take to be selected as an all-star, it's about being more dominant, being more of a threat -- offensively and defensively. All of the all-stars that made the team, at some point, were able to take over a game. I think that's what sets them apart. That's the point that I need to get to.

For the break I went back to Connecticut and visited some friends. It was my first time back to Storrs since I left for the draft. It was really weird to be back at school, knowing I was leaving campus again in two days. I went back to Werth (Werth Family UConn Basketball Champions Center) and saw some of the old staff. [Junior forward] Kyla Irwin was the only one of my [former] teammates on campus. I got in a workout with her.

The break for me was for sure needed. You can burn out physically and mentally, so it was good to come back [to Chicago] and almost miss it. It makes you want to come back and want to be re-motivated. But you definitely need that mental break in order for that to happen.

'Happy with how things have turned out'

As I prepare for the last stretch of the season and reflect on the year to date, I had no idea where I would be at this point, but I'm definitely happy with how things have turned out. I didn't really have expectations. I've learned a lot, and know what I need to get better at. I always compare it to my freshman year at UConn and it has been a million times better than how that went. At the same time, as a team, you wish things could have been better. There are a lot of things I wish I could have done better -- but I'm grateful for the year I've had.

I think as a team we're better, closer to the consistency we're aiming for. I think we've done a much better job of finishing games. We've been more mindful of the lapses that we have as a team. We can definitely still grow, but overall we did well in the four games before the break. (Chicago went 2-2, including a win at Phoenix.)

I wasn't as aggressive as I wanted to be these last two weeks. I think in the Dallas game I was really aggressive on defense. It was after Liz Cambage had 53 and 35 -- so that definitely motivated me. I knew that I was going to have to be in help all the time and try to strip the ball from her.

After our Dallas game, I caught up with [former UConn teammate and Wings rookie] Azurá Stevens. I'm so incredibly thankful to have Z. We talk every day, FaceTime at least once a week. We both know the struggles that each other has, and that even comes from when we were at UConn. We're both in such similar places, similar atmospheres, going through the same things. It's so nice to have someone who completely understands. I think we're getting closer and closer. We know what to say to each other, we know how to help each other out.

There have been multiple times where I've had to lean on Z, it's probably once a week. Even when I was in Connecticut, I was probably venting about something and remembered, "Oh wait, I'm going to see you next week and we can talk about this in person." I think we both make a mental list of, "OK, next time we talk to each other this is what we're going to talk about." We're constantly checking on each other.

I'm super excited to come back and play in Connecticut! (The Sun host the Sky on Aug. 12.) I wish my old team was still on campus but there's a lot of people that are going to come watch the game. There were some people this weekend that were hard to say bye to, so I'm glad I'll see them again soon. It's going to be weird playing in Mohegan again but I can't wait. I can't wait to see the fans and, of course, Morgan (Tuck) will be there.

We're finally in the game

I'm super excited about the create-a-player announcement from EA Sports. I just bought an Xbox after I graduated as a present to myself. I think the only actual game I play is Fortnite and I might've killed maybe four people in five months. I've never been much of a video game player at all. There wasn't any motivation for me. Now I'm thinking, if I was a little girl and now I can play as my favorite WNBA player, then of course I would start gaming and start being more into it.

I think the more you invest in the league and the more you give it, the more you're going to get out of it. People say, "Oh we don't have a game, we don't do this because nobody cares about the WNBA, blah, blah." OK, that's because you don't publicize it, we don't have video games like this. Once you do, then we will. It was the same with the NBA; people forget how that started. It takes time and it takes effort and I think this was a good step for us.

Finally got a designer pair

Balenciaga Speed Trainer

TMZ is doing too much

That blew up a lot more than I expected. I used to do that with my UConn teammates. There's a video of me doing it to Kia (Nurse) my freshman year.

I used to do it in high school, too. We'd be in public and yell something inappropriate about someone's life. It used to be a lot worse than "Is your rash OK?" -- I'll leave it at that.

But this one blew up. My bad, Diamond.

All-Star break playlist

"Look What U Started" by The Internet

"Dead To Me" (Acoustic) by Kali Uchis

"1999 Wildfire" by BROCKHAMPTON

"Girls Night Out" by Charli XCX

"Talamak" by Toro y Moi

I've been listening to "Talamak" on repeat.