2014 Training Camp Insider No. 3

No longer is Alex Montgomery the bright-eyed, anxious youngster practicing at a hectic pace. The fourth-year guard embraces her new role as veteran presence. Montgomery entered New York Liberty Training Camp looking impressively lean and playing with more poise. This time around, she barely hesitates on her shot and lends pointers to younger players. I caught up with her after practice for an exclusive interview.

NYLiberty.com: You look like you're in great shape and very lean, did you lose weight?

Alex Montgomery: "I lost about ten pounds. I didn't really change much about my routine but I do feel faster. Last season I played at about 175/180 pounds and my knees ached. Now with the weight off I feel lighter and I'm in less pain. This is the first year I feel fully heathy."

NYL: What's the difference in how you're approaching this year of training camp versus last season?

AM: "I'm not nervous. I feel Ike myself and I have more confidence. I keep learning every year. It's time for me to show up and show out this year. Time to say, I'm here!"

NYL: What are you focusing on in training camp?

AM: "Rebounding, boxing out, and attacking the rim. Bill (Laimbeer) told me if I don't rebound, box out, or attack I'll be sitting the bench."

NYL: Which of the other players at camp has the most to prove? Who are you rooting for?

AM: "Essence Carson. Not even just because of her ACL injury but more because she can show that her game has grown and she's more than just a "pull-up Jumper" type player. Obviously she's coming off injury, but she's the "Comeback Kid"! I know she's going to elevate her game; she is a leader."

NYL: You have a new hairstyle with the back bottom half of your head shaved and parted by cool designs. What was the inspiration?

AM: "I just wanted something different. A barber did the shaving. I thought about shaving the side of my head but then I thought everybody is shaving the side, so I did the back instead to be different. You can't see the designs that well right now- it's camp. Once camp is over I'll keep the designs fresh."