In the middle of a world pandemic, the WNBA is preparing for their 24th season to begin July 25th. The league will be alot different this year, as all 12 teams will play a shortened 22 game schedule. All games will be centrally played at the IMG Academy in Florida, and no fans will be in attendance.
Due to several players opting to sit out the 2020 season for various reasons, and to a very busy free-agency market several teams will have new faces when play begins. The Las Vegas Aces signed three new players including Danielle Robinson and WNBA All-Stars Angel McCoughtry and Alex Bentley. Unit 1 Hoops Source was able to welcome newcomer Alex Bentley to the Aces, during a one-on-one interview before the team departed Las Vegas enroute to the WNBA “Bubble”.
Unit1Hoop: How are you adjusting to the Vegas heat?
Bentley: I love it, I really do! It’s much different then the hot heat and weather down south. I will get use to it for sure.
Unit1Hoop: How are you staying mentally prepare and in shape during this pandemic?
Bentley: Before coming to Las Vegas, I was working out and training in Houston. Since getting to Vegas, I have been doing the same thing working out, staying in shape, staying ready and working hard. I feel great, and I’m excited to get to the bubble to get to more work and begin playing games.
Unit1Hoop: So breakdown the WNBA “Bubble” and what is that expected to be like?
Bentley: So we will be quarantined with nobody in and nobody out. They(WNBA) are taking all the safety precautions to keep us safe. We’ll feel safe and healthy but it will be challenging mentally to stay strong. It will be like when we go overseas and play for our respective teams alone.
Unit1Hoop: Do you have any concerns, fears or worries about bringing the virus back home to your family or are you trusting your faith?
Bentley: Definitely, I’m riding my faith as I have to. I’m taking all the steps I need to make sure I’m not bringing anything back to them once the season is over. For right now, I’m going in with a strong mind and get it done.
Unit1Hoop: What makes you most excited about joing the Las Vegas Aces?
Bentley: It’s one of the top organizations top to bottom. It’s definitely a blessing to be here. People kill to live and play in Las Vegas. The city and the organization is amazing and we have every part of a championship team. I’m just excited to get to work.
Unit1Hoop: You promised to get teammate Angel McCoughtry a championship ring, do you feel the Aces is the team to deliver that championship?
Bentley: Absolutely, I feel like we have the tools from leadership, from our coaching staff, to all my teammates. All the women on the team are amazingly talented and we’re going to go and get it.
Unit1Hoop: You and Angel McCoughtry are close, did she have any influence on you coming to Las Vegas?
Bentley: Yeah, she may have whispered something in my ear. She’s amazing. I’ve always loved Angel. She was my veteran as a rookie coming into the league, and it was always my dream to play in the WNBA. To be able to play with and learn, from such an amazing and incredible person and player our relationship has been fantastic. Obviously, being here now together again we are just going to grow.
Unit1Hoop: With the lost of Kelsey Plum this season, do you feel pressure to fill that guard position to carry the Aces on your back?
Bentley: Yeah, Kelsey Plum is an amazing guard and player for sure but I wouldn’t say I feel pressured. Just go out work hard, play my game and let God handle the rest. Just work!
Unit1Hoop: How has your relationship with Coach Bill Laimbeer been so far?
Bentley: He’s awesome, definitely a players’ coach. They call him a big teddy bear and it’s actually true. He’s a jokester that rolls with jokes and punches. A great guy and I’m happy and blessed to be under his leadership.
Unit1Hoops: How do you feel you will fit into the Aces team chemistry?
Bentley: I think I will fit great! Everything has been taylor made for me. This organization is made up of a great group of women, and we will get along fine. We’ll all go to work, and everyone wants to win so it will all work.
Unit1Hoop: What kind of strengths will you add to the Aces big three of A’ja, Kayla and Liz?
Bentley: It’s basketball baby! Keep it simple by playing my game. I don’t feel like I have to do as much on this team to create because, I do have players I can kick it out to to create their own. I feel like my job will be alot easier this season, so I’m looking forward to it.
Unit1Hoop: With everything going on in the world, at least seven players have opted to sit out this season due to social injustice or health concerns. Why is it important for you to use your platform and play season?
Bentley: I respect everyone’s decision. Everyone is different and people’s opinions and minds are made up about different things. I respect everyone who has opted out and everyone that’s going to play. Personally, I feel God has blessed me to do his good work and basketball is that platform for me to spread love and use my voice. So that’s what I intend to do.
Unit1Hoop: The WNBA is allowing players to wear the names of women who have been victims of police brutality, what victim would you choose to represent?
Bentley: Breonna Taylor, because we’re both black females and I can’t image that happening to any one of my family members. So definitely Breonna Taylor.
Unit1Hoop: What advise would you give young female athletes that would want to follow in your footsteps of becoming a professional athlete?
Bentley: Easiest question of the day! Be yourself, stay hungry, work hard, stay in the gym and chase your goals and live your dreams. Period!
Unit1Hoop: What can we expect to see from you this season?
Bentley: Expect for me to go out and compete, and get some wins for Las Vegas.
Unit1Hoop: How can we stay connected with you on social media?
Bentley: BentleyA20, that’s me.
Best of luck to Alex Bentley and the Las Vegas Aces in their quest to win their first Championship.