Sun's Jamie Weisner should prove to be one tough rookie
Mohegan — Jamie Weisner has five brothers and one sister. The Connecticut Sun rookie from Oregon State is also one of the youngest Weisners.
Her status made dinner challenging, never mind pick-up basketball games.
“I definitely think it made me what I am today, (the) toughness,” Weisner said at Thursday’s Sun media day. “(My siblings) never let me get away with anything. They didn’t take it easy on me. I kind of had to fight and scrap my way through those games.
“Standing in line to get food. … ‘Oh, there’s one piece of chicken left. I want that.’”
Weisner, a 5-foot-10 guard, may not be the most recognizable name among women’s basketball fans in Connecticut. She played on the other coast for a program that was anonymous prior to this season's surprising run to its first Final Four.
Allow Sue Bird to testify on Weisner’s behalf.
“I covered Oregon State (for ESPN),” Bird said in late March on espnW’s Around the Rim podcast. “Jamie Weisner was the type of player that I (was) like, ‘Oh, damn, I want her on my team.’
“She’s got a lot of potential. I don’t think she’s going to come in and be a team’s leading scorer, but she’s going to do all that dirty work and get you buckets and guard the best player on the other team and dive on the floor.”
Sun forward Chiney Ogwumike, who co-hosts the podcast with LaChina Robinson and covered Oregon State for the Pac-12 Network, relayed Bird’s comments when asked about Weisner on Thursday.
“I’m so excited to have her in our camp,” Ogwumike said. “I’ve been trying to preach (to fans about her) and sing it from the mountain top.”
Morgan Tuck, Rachel Banham and Jonquel Jones have gotten the most attention among Connecticut’s rookies, understandable because they were drafted third, fourth and sixth.
Weisner, well, she shot 48.1 percent this season for a team-high 17.3 points with 5.6 rebounds. She’s a career 41.1 percent 3-point shooter. Her willingness to throw her body around to get a loose ball “was legendary," Oregon State head coach Scott Rueck told The Oregonian. She was named Player of the Year in the nation’s top conference this season.
And Connecticut got her with the 17th overall pick.
“(We) did not expect her to fall,” Sun head coach Curt Miller said. “It didn’t take long to make that pick.”
“We wanted to continue (getting players) to spread the floor. To have a player of her caliber that can not only shoot it, but, more importantly, the roster spot she will be fighting for (a reserve), the warrior, the consummate teammate, the effort that she brings to the game, was really appealing to us."
Most of Connecticut's 12 roster spots are locked up given the number of veterans and rookies. Weisner is among several fighting for a chance to be a spark off the bench.
Weisner won't be outworked. She began going to bed at 9:30 p.m. her junior year so that she could get up to work out at 6 a.m.
"(Boyfriend and OSU football player Larry Scott) told me, ‘If you’re lined up across from somebody else that’s working just as hard as you, what is going to make you win over them?’” Weisner said. “'If you’re waking up early in the morning, they’re probably not doing that.'
“That also gave me confidence. When I’m lined up across from somebody, I’ve already worked harder than (them).”
• The Sun announced Thursday that FOX 61 and WCCT will broadcast seven of their road games this season. The first broadcast will be May 28 at Seattle (10 p.m.)