Diana Taurasi admits that she's learning on the fly about being a parent.
The WNBA great's wife Penny Taylor gave birth to Leo Michael Taurasi-Taylor on March 1. The two parents will celebrate their one-year wedding anniversary next month.
"There's no book, no pamphlet, no advice, a lot of it is trial by fire," Taurasi said in a phone interview this week while playing with USA Basketball in Seattle. "I'm lucky to have Penny around, she keeps the ship afloat."
Having a baby boy has definitely changed Taurasi's perspective on life.
"It's incredible," she said. "He's changed our lives the last two months in such a great way. Every day to see that little face, see him smile. When he puts on a pound and gets a little bigger, it makes you really happy."
Longtime friend and U.S. teammate Sue Bird knows Taurasi will be a great mom.
"I think to some degree, motherhood changes you because responsibilities and priorities kind of shift in your life. But the Diana that people see on the court — the competitor, she's fierce, she's definitely got a lot of personality — I think everyone would be surprised that she definitely has a soft side, even though she doesn't show it a lot," Bird said. "That's all that you're seeing with her as a mom. It has always been there. Her friends know it, her family knows it. So it has been a natural fit for her to be a mother."
Taurasi has spent the last few days in Seattle training with USA Basketball. It's been a chance for her to get some of the rust off after leaving her Russian team in December because of a back issue. She scored 14 points in the Americans' 83-46 exhibition win over China on Thursday night.
"I feel 100 percent normal, well as normal as a 35-year-old can feel," she said. "It's been really nice to get on court with these guys, I feel refreshed."
Getting away from home has also allowed Taurasi to get some rest. A luxury she hasn't had much of since the baby was born.
"Sleep is something I don't get much of these days," Taurasi said. "I'm running on empty, but it's all for the cause of a good little boy."
While Taurasi has been away, Taylor took their son to the Mercury's training facility in Phoenix — his first time in the gym.
"He already loves basketball, he's been watching the playoffs since he was born," Taurasi said.
Someday soon, he'll get to watch Taurasi play.
"We just got to get him some Beats headphones to block out some of the noise," she said.
The headphones also might serve to block out some of the colorful language that Taurasi has been known to say on the court.
"I hope he learns it from me at least," she said laughing. "He'll learn when to use it, how to use it, and the right inflection when using it."
The Mercury will have a lot of little ones around this summer as forward DeWanna Bonner has young twins.
"It's going to be kid Coachella in Phoenix this summer," Taurasi said.
Freelance writer Mark Moschetti contributed to this story from Seattle.
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