New York Liberty 2016 Training Camp is presented by Blueprint for Athletes.
Ameryst Alston, a 5-9 guard out of The Ohio State University, was selected 24th overall in the second round of the 2016 WNBA Draft. Alston, who ranks fourth all-time at Ohio Sate with 2,165-career points, was a two-time AP Ohio Ms. Basketball coming out of high school. She took some time to talk about taking the next step to the WNBA, describe her style of play, how her Dad starting teaching her the game at a young age, and what it has meant to have the WNBA has an aspiration for her entire life.
What were you up to on draft night and what were you thinking when you saw your name called?
Ameryst Alston: I was at home in my hometown, Canton, Ohio, with my family. We were at a restaurant and watched it on TV together. It was amazing, I was very nervous and anxious watching it, then as soon as they called my name my family screamed. It was a great feeling.
Have you ever been to New York City? What would it mean to have Madison Square Garden be your home court?
AA: I have never been to New York before, but if I were to get the opportunity to play in Madison Square Garden that would be awesome and amazing.
How would you describe your style of play, what do you bring to the Liberty as a guard?
AA: I would say I am a change of pace player. I am not necessarily fast, but because I do have that change of pace, I am able to create shots for myself and create that space between a defender. I am a pretty good overall shooter, and defender. I played point guard my first two years at Ohio State, then got moved to shooting guard, so I am comfortable handling the ball and scoring.
Is there a pro player that you get compared to or would say you style your game after?
AA: No necessarily, but I will say that Seimone Augustus is my favorite player because of her swagger and finesse. I think she is so smooth in the way she plays. I’m not nearly as tall as her, but I would say I try to mock her game.
Has it always been a dream of yours to play in the WNBA since you started playing basketball?
AA: It’s definitely been my dream since I was younger. My Dad was my first coach and I was young and not really good at all. He coached my brother in elementary school and seeing my brother play, I wanted to play also. So my Dad said, when you can learn to dribble as good with your left hand as you can with your right hand, then that is when you can play for me. So from there I was working on it, working on my craft, and eventually I said I want to play in the WNBA.
As the Liberty and the WNBA gets ready to celebrate 20 seasons this year, you come from a generation that has always known the WNBA was there and an option for you, how important was it for you to have that goal to strive for?
AA: My Mom was really good at basketball and there was no WNBA. She could have gone on to try out later, but she did not. That is something that we talk about, but having this opportunity, the fact that it is here in the United States, is awesome.
What do you like to do in your free time, when you have some of course?
AA: Shopping. I don’t do too much, I do like to shop but really just watch Netflix, I would consider myself kind of a homebody.