Maddy Siegrist diary: Reality TV and late nights in the gym — Diamond Miller returns — Must-click women’s basketball links
The IX: Basketball Wednesday with Howard Megdal, June 28, 2023
(Editor’s note: Happy Basketball Wednesday! I am delighted to bring you the Maddy Siegrist 2023 WNBA Diary. Every two weeks throughout the 2023 season, Maddy will be sharing her thoughts directly with you, readers of The IX. Maddy’s ability to put everything from her on-court performance to the off-court growth of women’s basketball into broader perspective will be vital to our understanding of the road ahead. I hope you enjoy this as much as I am. – Howard)
Greetings from the Dallas airport, where I can share some of my last few weeks as a WNBA rookie before we get called to board a plane to Phoenix.
I am a WNBA player, yes, but I am some other things as well. For instance, I’m a reality TV actress. Ok, not really, but Natasha Howard‘s fiancee is on ‘Basketball Wives’, and a team dinner we had was filmed for the show.
I’m not thinking reality TV is my calling, though. If I had to have a show, maybe something HGTV, home improvement, like a WNBA Property Brothers. I don’t want people following me around. But it was pretty cool to have that experience.
Dinners have been great lately. Out in Los Angeles I had a pepper jack burger at Yardhouse I’m still thinking about. And we met up with my cousin who lives out in Malibu, went to Geoffrey’s right on the waterfront after a day at the beach. Los Angeles was like a mini-vacation.
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That was necessary, because I’m not going to lie to you: it’s been rough. We’ve lost five of six, and I absolutely hate losing. It’s been really tough and not what I hoped for and expected, but I’ve been through tough times before. My freshman year at Villanova, I redshirted and didn’t even play. And when I started playing, we began the year 0-3. And then we turned the year around. So I’ve been really trying to draw on that experience.
But it’s harder when you’re not playing a ton, because it’s not like there’s a lot more you can be doing to help the team. It’s easier after I don’t play much at home — I just stay at the arena and get on the [shooting] gun, take 200, 300 threes to make sure I’ve gotten better that day. On the road, I’ll get some extra film time in, just anything I can do to maintain a positive attitude, that my time will come. And a lot of phone calls to my former coaches, who keep telling me: the cream rises to the top.
It’s been great to see Satou [Sabally] get recognized [as an all star starter], because everybody has a different path. Everyone runs their own race, and so the key for me is to never stop believing in myself. I mean, you gotta look at this for what it is — we’re 13, 14 games into a 40-game season, into what is my entire career. I didn’t play those first 30 games at Villanova, and it made me a better player, stronger down the road.
It was cool to finally get it out there that I’m a Puma athlete. I hadn’t had time to go to their headquarters yet, so my agent, Erin Kane, was like “What’s your best picture of you in Puma, head to toe?” and we went with it on social media.
So I’m trying to revel in the journey to find one thing each day to enjoy outside of basketball — more time at the pool, or even just taking a walk.
Well, there’s our plane, getting called for boarding. I’ve got my latest read with me, “When Athletes Pray” by Charlotte Smith. I’ve got two weeks to keep making myself better, to stay ready for my chance, and then it’s an All Star Break I’ll split between some Puma events out in Las Vegas and some much-needed rest time back home in Poughkeepsie.
That’s not reality TV. That’s just reality.
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