Weekend Plans With Mercury VP Ann Meyers Drysdale: WNBA All-Star Game, Family Dinner
The WNBA Mercury on Thursday night won their 12th straight game, securing the league’s best record heading into the All-Star break. Mercury VP ANN MEYERS DRYSDALE expects the excitement surrounding the success of this year’s team to spill over into Saturday’s All-Star Game at U.S. Airways Center. It is the first time Phoenix has hosted the game since ’00, and only the second time that the event has been held on the West Coast. During the regular season, Meyers Drysdale, who also does work for the Suns, serves as a TV analyst for Mercury games. She normally will spend all day attending shootarounds, interviewing coaches and preparing game notes, but for the ASG, Meyers Drysdale gets to spend the weekend enjoying the game from a fan perspective.
THE LONG GOOD FRIDAY: The WNBA and U.S. Airways Center staff, they’re kind of taking care of everything as far as getting the arena ready. I’m hosting an event at 7:30pm PT and I’m on a panel at 5:00pm. The panel is kind of a WNBA panel -- I know (WNBA President) LAUREL RICHIE is on it and (former WNBAer) LISA LESLIE is on it. We’ll be talking to season-ticket holders and business women in the community. It’s an event for us to speak about being in the workforce and where our positions are and what we’re doing and how to get there. The 7:30pm event is over at the Hotel Palomar and I believe that the panel is at the Verve Lounge, which is inside the U.S. Airways Center. ESPNW is having a reception afterwards, also in the arena, and I am on the ESPNW board so I will be attending that event. And Majerle’s Sports Grille always hosts things -- DAN MAJERLE has been very supportive of the WNBA and he’s got his restaurant and hosts a lot of players over there.
NUMBER ONE FAN: I have another event that I have to host at 11:00am on Saturday, and that’s up at The Greene House in Scottsdale with (Mercury coach) SANDY BRONDELLO. We’ll be talking about the Mercury and what the season has been like so far. Then I’ll head to the arena where there will be TV hits going on all morning long before our 12:30pm PT tipoff. Nobody has asked me to do anything (TV wise), so I’ll sit and enjoy the game. I know a lot of people in the truck and so forth, and I like to go around and personally thank people for coming. I’ll go around the crowd and go to different areas that people are sitting. I’m just very appreciative that they’re at the game and that’s not just for the All-Star Game, but for the Mercury too. It’s just important that they feel welcome since they’re so supportive of all of us.
STARRY NIGHT: Every year the All-Star game gets better and better. I don’t know how the coaches are able to break down the players because the players are all so good. Certainly we’re really excited because the Phoenix Mercury have three players with DIANA TAURASI, BRITTNEY GRINER and CANDICE DUPREE on the All-Star team representing the West. We’re expecting a very good crowd. I’m not privy to what’s going on with the ticket sales and so forth, but I know that there’s been a good response and I know ESPN is pretty excited for it to be here. I know that the X factor -- the Phoenix Mercury fans -- have been very supportive of the team and I think the fact that we’ve got three players in it is pretty exciting.
EASY LIKE A SUNDAY MORNING: Sundays are my church day. I like to get up and go to mass in the morning and then workout a little bit if I can. I try to work out every morning. I can’t run -- the knees are gone, shoulders are gone, the elbows are gone, ankles and whatever else -- so I just walk. I try to get a couple miles in and then I do a lot of swimming or I might go hit some golf balls. I still do (basketball) camps through the Mercury and Suns, so I’m still around the game and I love to go out and just toss the ball up a little bit but not as much as I would like to. That will always be my high: being able to go out and shoot the basketball.
ALL IN THE FAMILY: I’ve got family in town so this weekend is kind of special because I get to spend time with them. I’m one of 11 children -- I have five brothers and five sisters -- so two of my sisters and one sister-in-law will be coming to the game on Saturday. Then my oldest child, D.J., his birthday is next week so I’m going to take him and some family members out to dinner on Sunday to celebrate. I have three kids -- D.J. will be 27, DARREN is 24 and my daughter DREW is 21. The younger two are in Southern California and D.J. in the Phoenix area. Most (of our family) is in Southern California, but everybody is still pretty close. My mom is still alive and still in the same house that we all grew up in. She’s been there 50 years.