Sandrine Gruda is in Connecticut and will practice Saturday in preparation for her season debut Sunday against San Antonio.
The 6-foot-4 French center arrived in New York earlier this evening and spoke to reporters shortly after Connecticut's 75-68 victory over the Liberty.
So the big question was: How did Gruda, who was scheduled to arrive Thursday night, miss her original flight to the U.S.? Apparently, when flying out of French-Martinique, travelers usually can arrive at the small airport 30 minutes prior to an international flight and make their plane. But unbeknownst to her, circumstances Thursday required Gruda to get there an hour before her flight, thus she missed it.
"The next day, I didn’t pay for anything (for a new ticket) because they knew it was unusual," she said.
Either way, the Sun are happy she's here. Gruda was second on the team in scoring (13.5) and tops in rebounding (6.3) last year in her second WNBA season, in which she also arrived late. But that doesn't get any easier, she said.
"No, it’s never easy. Never easy," she said. "That’s the hardest part actually, to come in the middle of the season because you need to learn all the plays and everything by yourself. You’re new. When the whole team’s new and everything, you can actually work and learn with everybody. When you come late, you have to work by yourself."
Gruda said she hasn't been training with her French national team but instead has been resting following her season in Russia.
She also said she has no pre-determined expectations of herself.
"Nothing. Nothing. I don’t think that much, that’s not me," she said, drawing laughter from reporters. "I’m telling the truth. When I come and I have to play, I always give what 100 percent of what I have that day."
Check out Sunday's Norwich Bulletin for more.