Alana Beard shares her thoughts on Angela Taylor, her internship
Alana Beard says she hasn't given much thought to former general manager Angela Taylor's abrupt departure from the Washington Mystics. Beard, who missed last season after undergoing arthroscopic surgery to repair a tendon in her left ankle, spoke by phone from a women's conference sponsored by Jamba Juice in California. She is spending the offseason interning at the company, learning strategic, operational and management skills.
"I mean obviously it is a surprise to a lot of people," Beard said. "But you know the funny thing is, I've been so busy and so focused on my life, and this is the first time I can say that I've ever been so focused on me, and that it hasn't been about the team or the organization, because I'm pretty confident that the people that are in those lead positions, the people that are in control of the organization, are doing the best thing for the organization. I'm very confident that they have that in mind, or at heart I should say. ... It's something that I haven't really focused on. Was I surprised? I can't say if I was surprised or not, because it's not something that I really paid attention to."
Beard has relocated to the West Coast for her three-month internship, but her move hasn't derailed her rehabilitation. She wakes up at 5:30 a.m. to do her workout before going to the office.
"The ankle is doing really well," she said. "I'm progressing well. It's a long process. It's a nine-month recovery. I'm at six months."
Beard is one of two WNBA interns working at Jamba Juice. (Tangela Smith is the other.)
"We want her to really understand the business from the inside-out," said James White, Jamba Juice CEO. "She'll get a broad view of the business, get to look at really every function that is important to running a franchise like Jamba."
Beard said since college she has entertained thoughts about running her own business but it wasn't until the ankle injury sidelined her that she began to think more concretely about her life after basketball.
"It's something I've been planning in my head for so long, but I never knew how to go about doing it," she said. "I never took the time to slow down and do it. When this injury happened, this is the longest I've been away from the game of basketball. . . . My injury slowed me down long enough to think about it a little bit more and to put my thoughts into action. I'm very grateful for this injury. As crazy as it sounds, I'm grateful for it."
Beard started her internship on Oct. 12 training in one of Jamba Juice's stores. She said she did "everything from the dishes to making smoothies to serving customers."
"It was my first time ever having a job in my entire life," she said.
| October 26, 2010; 11:05 AM ET
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