Dorka Juhász is settling into WNBA life pretty well.
Playing professionally is a “dream come true” for Juhász, who was drafted 16th overall by the Minnesota Lynx in April. One of just 15 rookies to make an opening day roster, she hasn’t squandered her opportunity.
Instead, she’s averaging 4.2 points and 4.6 rebounds. And she’s coming off of a career-best 10-point, 12-rebound performance – her first WNBA double-double and first time in double digits. The forward notes that part of what has helped her be so prepared is playing for UConn.
“I’m super grateful that I was able to play two years at UConn because I felt like that was a huge step toward my professional career and kind of just getting a little taste of what it’s gonna be when you get out in the real professional world,” Juhász told the Hartford Courant. “I felt very prepared, I can’t even lie, whenever I went through training camp. I felt comfortable in the uncomfortableness of just being in training camp and just competing, fighting for a spot because that’s what we did every single practice.”
Napheesa Collier also had career-bests during that game, notching a career-high 33 points to help propel the Lynx to a win over Seattle. After starting the season 0-6, the team has gone 5-3 and is starting to put the pieces together.
“I am really proud of us. I think just getting games under our belt, we had a lot of new people, a lot of young people,” Collier said postgame. “With experience comes that gelling and I think that’s what you’re starting to see.”
And Collier has been a huge part of the team coming together. After missing the majority of last season due to pregnancy, Collier has returned with a vengeance. She’s also stepped into a leadership role with the retirement of Sylvia Fowles.
“She’s super talented, she’s super smart, she’s very, very skilled,” Juhász said of Collier. “I’ve been trying to kind of follow her steps and learn the way she’s doing stuff and how she’s handling herself on and off the court. So it’s been amazing to have her as a vet … she’s been super helpful.”
Juhász told the Hartford Courant that Collier is always there to answer any questions she may have. She’s also made sure to include Juhász in team activities and other fun outings. And that’s inspired Juhász as she’s stepped onto the court.
“I always looked at myself as when I’m on the court I want to have an impact no matter if I’m a rookie or not,” Juhász said. “So I think for my season it’s that, just getting better every single game and just having an impact, but also just being a great teammate and learning as much as I can from the players around me and the coaches around me. I think that’s always been the goal is just keep leveling up as a player and … whatever it takes to win I’m gonna do my part.”