Weekend Plans With WNBA Sun VP & GM Chris Sienko: All-Stars And Family
The best of the best in the WNBA will descend upon Uncasville, Conn., this weekend for the league’s 11th annual All-Star Game, and as VP & GM of the Connecticut Sun, CHRIS SIENKO is ready to play host to one of his most exciting events of the summer. The game itself will be played Saturday at 3:30pm ET and broadcast on ABC, but there is plenty else to be done in and around Mohegan Sun Arena over the course of the next three days.
STARTING OFF WITH A BANG: We actually have several things going on Thursday night, including fireworks here on the property to promote the All-Star Game and some of the players are on hand for that. Then on Friday we start off with a community relations appearance in New London. We worked with (hardwood floor company) Bona and the WNBA and the Connecticut Sun to refurbish a new gymnasium for an elementary school. Then the players come back and they have a series of meetings with (WNBA President) LAUREL RICHIE and autograph signings and then we have open practices for the public, which I find are always quite fun because we mic the coaches and (Fever coach) LIN DUNN always has something good to say.
PARTY ROCK: We have a private function in the evening (at Mohegan) for all the players, their guests, sponsors and participants from the league and the property. … Seeing how we’ve hosted this multiple times in the past, we’re kind of doing a “MAD MEN” theme, ‘50s-ish, if you will. It doesn’t mean you have to dress like you’re from the ’50s, but just the way we serve it up with large cocktail glasses and the imagery on the walls.
GAME DAY: We have Miss USA (ERIN BRADY) who is a Connecticut native, so she’ll be here. … We’ll do all of the blocking for the player introductions and make sure it’s good with ABC television as far as their needs are from a camera perspective and some sightlines perspective. Then the different dance teams that the teams have will come in and do their practicing, so it’s really not unlike any other game day that we have.
FRONT-ROW SEAT: The game -- we’re really excited about it. I think it’s great it’s on national television because it’s always a great showcase for people to kind of see what the W is all about. I think there’s still a lot of people out there that don’t really know who and what we are or the skill level we have. I will actually sit in the stands and watch this game. This is kind of the exception to the regular season. I do not sit in the stands for any game nor have I in my WNBA career. I stand for every game in a certain place in the arena. That’s never changed in 11 years. But this is an event, it’s not really our game per se, so I will try and sit with my family and watch a little bit, but I’m sure I will be tracking things as we go. I’m always in constant contact with my people.
DAY OF REST: On Sunday, I will have one of two choices: I can either go to the beach or I can cut my lawn. Cutting my lawn is very therapeutic for me, it’s very cathartic. I love it to death. I’m very anal about my lawn. I like the streaks, I like the edging; I like to make sure everything looks good. But there’s nothing better than sitting on the beach doing nothing, especially after a weekend like this. So if it doesn’t rain, I’m leaning toward the beach. We have a home on the Rhode Island shoreline. It’s about a two-minute walk from the beach. My kids -- CHRISTOPHER (10) and EMILIE (13) -- will body surf or boogie board or skim board and just ride the waves and chill out. There’s a lot of restaurants out there, but there’s a little place called the Hitchin' Post. It holds maybe 20 people to sit in, but they sell clam fritters and hot dogs and cheeseburgers, so the kids and I and my wife love to go there and hang out.
FAMILY FIRST: I’m an early riser. That’s what happens with kids. I never use an alarm clock, it’s an automatic wakeup. So if I can sleep in, sleeping in would be until literally like 7:00 or 7:30. I love reading the paper, there’s something about holding a paper and reading it that’s really nice. When I travel on the road I’ll try and grab the USA Today, but I’ll always go back to the local paper, even read it online. So I’ll always try to do that, and if we can get out and walk the dog that’s always a plus, too. We have a black lab named Bella. But we’re usually playing something with the kids. I feel sometimes that my work is so much, you want to be able to be involved with your kids as much as possible, so a guilty pleasure for me is really to spend as much time as I can with them. We goof around a lot. Whatever it is they want to do I’m up for it because they’re the best things going.