February 22, 2024 

Locked On Women’s Basketball: Sabrina Ionescu’s body double reacts to Steph v. Sabrina in-person

'People don't realize how exhausting it is physically and to be on point mentally and focus, but also having that next play mentality'

On today’s episode of Locked On Women’s Basketball, college basketball analyst Edona Thaqi joins host Gigi Speer to break down the three-point shooting contest between Sabrina Ionescu and Stephen Curry that took place last weekend. Then, Thaqi discusses her transition from playing college basketball to coaching and becoming a broadcaster.

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First, the two discussed the three-point contest and the WNBA’s increased presence at this year’s NBA All-Star Weekend. Thaqi, who played for Fordham from 2018–22, spoke about her previous experience testing out the WNBA’s three-point contest set-up and how much effort it takes to make a feat like Ionescu’s look easy.

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“When I was when I was working the [WNBA]’s All Star last year, they needed somebody to go through the three point contest just for rehearsal,” Thaqi said. “And I was like, ‘Yeah, like I got this’ and again, this is just to show that it looks easy, but it’s not. So, I was fresh out of college … I wasn’t working out the way I used to. But I get to the second rack and I’m like dying. People don’t realize how exhausting it is physically and to be on point mentally and focus, but also having that next play mentality. Like if you miss a shot, just kind of [next second], let me knock down this next shot and just being locked in. I don’t think people realize how hard that is.”

Then, Speer and Thaqi discussed the process of getting into broadcasting and reporting as a career, and what they enjoy most about it:

“Working at the NBA, I was doing a lot of behind the scenes stuff, and then I realized I want to talk about basketball. Like I want to actually do this and go full time into it, ad I’ve loved it,” Thaqi said. “Before I even started doing this, I’d watch analysts or listen to them, and you just don’t realize, oh, they just go out there and talk on TV. But it’s like, no, you watch a lot of film, you’re writing out the stats and shooting percentages of players, you want to feel really well prepared, because nerves are always going to be there.”

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“Obviously, I’m always a little nervous before games, but when I know I’m really prepared, those nerves kind of subside a little bit because I’m like, ‘Okay, I got this, like, I know my information. I know the players. I know what this team is, where they’re at in the conference and what’s going on,'” Thaqi added. “I also think that has translated over from me being as a player, because we used that to do scouts all the time … that attention to detail has really just like paid off and it’s translated … there’s just so much and probably you use like 5% of it when you go in the game, but you just always want to be well prepared.”

They also discussed the mid-major teams and players Thaqi has been most impressed by this NCAA season, more from NBA All-Star Weekend, and advice for people who want to get into sports broadcasting. Make sure to subscribe to the Locked On Women’s Basketball podcast to keep learning about the WNBA, women’s college basketball, basketball history and much more!

Written by The Next

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