Bria Hartley Found the Right Fit With the Phoenix Mercury


I think I’ve done better at my decision-making, and it makes it tougher for teams. Because if they’re going to go under a screen, I’m going to be able to shoot it. If they’re going over, I’m still able to get in the lane, get to the basket or draw help to create for my teammates.

How do you keep that versatility sharp?

Some of it, for me, is definitely experience. It’s being in certain situations over and over again. It’s like, all right, you really got to get this down. This keeps happening. You’ve got to work on this pass, getting that player open. I would say, in the past, I wasn’t always great at coming off the ball screens and hitting the post player. So I just really worked on looking off the player and trying to get the pass there, not always telegraphing it — and just using different types of passes, too.

What’s the biggest thing you’ve learned as a teammate of Diana Taurasi?

She’s very consistent. Regardless of whether she’s making shots or missing shots, regardless of if she feels tired or not, she’s always there after practice. She does her routine and gets her shots up. I think that’s very admirable, because I feel like there’s times I’m just like: “All right, I’m just tired today. I don’t have it. I won’t shoot as much today.” But she’s always there. She stays consistent in her work. Even getting older, taking care of her body, you see all the time she puts in after all these years.

You mentioned your son being with you on campus. What’s a good story or anecdote about him in the “Wubble”?

He kind of blew up on social media. He’ll come to practices. He loves taking pictures. They posted him as the “team intern photographer.” For everyone, sometimes it’s just, like, a breath of fresh air. You just see him, not a care in the world. He’s happy all the time.

I think it brings a good energy to practice on some days, especially when we play games back to back and people are tired. There’s so much other stuff going on in the world that’s on people’s mind, so it’s kind of good to have that little free spirit there running around just to lighten the mood.

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