Rediscovering love for hoops

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Penny Taylor, right, has worked hard to rehab her knee after an ACL injury.

Being back on the court has been such a joy; there’s really no other way to describe it.

Obviously, the past couple of years have been tough. Not being able to help contribute on the court with my teammates has given me a greater appreciation of the game of basketball. I really rediscovered how much I love it and why I started playing as a young girl in Australia many years ago.

I get the most out of the little things now. Something as simple as an assist or executing a play is the best possible reward, in my opinion. In the Mercury’s system, there are so many options that I am not even worried about scoring the ball -- I just want to play hard, play good defense and create opportunities for my teammates.

The best part is that I feel like I can run forever! My knee feels great and it’s responding exceptionally well. The way it feels today is certainly a culmination of some really hard work both physically and mentally while taking things day by day. I’ve had to be extremely patient during this process, and paid close attention to the details.

My day consists of a lot of preparation and details in regards to my knee. I have certain exercises that I’ll always go through both before, during and after practice. But I’m more than happy to do so in order to maintain the flexibility and strength of my knee.

If I’m honest, this is the best I’ve felt from a physical standpoint in years.

As a team, I really feel good about where we are at. I’ve been impressed with the maturity of Brittney [Griner] and her willingness to continually learn. Obviously, Diana [Taurasi] has been playing out of her mind and both Candice [Dupree] and DeWanna [Bonner] can score at will.

Still, I think the best part about us is that we are all unselfish; we just want to win. We don’t have a player who needs to score a certain amount every game to stay happy. Rather, we simply want to work together and play as crisp as possible.