Swish Appeal recently caught up with former St. Joe’s star guard Natasha Cloud. Cloud was selected No. 15 by the Washington Mystics, in this year’s WNBA Draft. Arguably, the most versatile player in the draft, the 6’0″ foot do-everything guard talks about her draft-day experience, being thankful — and excitement of playing for Washington Mystics coach Mike Thibault.
Swish Appeal: What was your day like leading up to the draft?
Natasha Cloud: “It was a pretty good day. I woke up and went to school, met with a couple (of students) for group projects, worked out. Then, I went home and got the house ready, because the team and everyone was coming over.
“Then it got closer to the time. I was starting to shake and starting to get nervous, it was becoming a reality. Then seven o’clock hit, and I was sweating bullets. I was just heaving and shedding weight (laughing). I was just sitting with my team, and they are beyond loud and excited. And I’m just sitting in the corner quiet, just watching and listening to the picks, and who everyone is picking.
“The clock rolls around, and I’m like, ‘alright we’re going to see if we are going to get picked here.’ My name comes up on the board, everyone is freaking out, and I sat there and just took it in. I was just smiling — to see my name up there, it’s finally happening.
“All the work that you put in, from the time you’re a kid, is finally paying off. Your dreams are coming true. You represent your family, and your university. It’s a huge honor, and I’m beyond humbled, thankful and grateful for the opportunity.”
SA: Did you have an indication of where you might go in the draft?
NC: “I did. They (Washington Mystics) approached me, as well as (Ally) Malott, and told us, ‘we want you two, you two are our wish list — and if we can get you two, that’s what it’s going to be.’ They had the 8th and the 15th draft picks, so strategically working around that, I had a pretty good idea of where I was going to be at.”
SA: Can you elaborate on what Coach Mike Thibault said to you after your selection?
NC: “It feels good for him to be excited about the draft, and the picks that he is getting. I’m on the phone and I was saying, ‘thank you for this opportunity and I promise you that I’m going to give this team everything that I have and you won’t regret it.'”
SA: When that moment culminated, when did it hit you that you were drafted by the WNBA?
NC: “It still hasn’t sunk in yet. I don’t know if it will for a couple of days. I’m still waiting to wake up from the dream. I’m beyond grateful and humbled. I’m going to make the best of this opportunity that is given to me. Not a lot of mid-majors get this opportunity, so for me it’s a huge opportunity that I’m going to try and take full advantage of.”
SA: What is a special message you want to say to your Hawk family, the St. Joseph’s community and the Washington Mystics?
NC: “Starting with my Hawk family, I want to say thank you! Four years ago, I made this decision to come home, and I found my home at St. Joe’s. They welcomed me with open arms. The support for the last three years of my career has been exceptional. I couldn’t ask for a better support system, a better fan base, a better university than St Joe’s.
“It’s a family here — and I know a lot of universities and programs preach that, but it truly is. I’m beyond humbled and I’m going to represent the university, the fan base, and St. Joe’s women’s basketball program to the best that I can. They prepared me for a lot and prepared me for what’s next, so thank you to the St. Joe’s community!
“To the Washington fans, I want them to know, I’m a kid that’s going to give you everything that I have. I’m not one for accolades or for personal well being, I’m going to do whatever I need to help this team. Whatever this team needs, I’m going to do it — and every night they can know, I’m going to leave everything on the floor. Thank you to those fans for the opportunity, and thank you to the organization for the opportunity of a lifetime.”