Former Rock Island standout and two-time Illinois Ms. Basketball Brea Beal is getting her first taste of the WNBA after being drafted by the Minnesota Lynx 24th overall in the draft.

Beal has gone through training camp and now a few games of the preseason.

It’s been a huge learning curve so far. However, the Lynx system fits what Beal is best at — defense.

It’s what helped her win a national title at South Carolina and be a finalist for defensive player of the year in college.

To have continued success at the pro level, it’s all about building on what she already knows.

“Really just being able to stick to what got me here from my four years at South Carolina,” Beal said. “Just putting an emphasis on my defensive intensity and how I gradually got to that scoring position. Being able to take that outside shot and in the midrange. Being able to stay in my comfort level. Sticking with what makes me who I am. For me, coming in it was less about the cross between the legs stuff and instead just going Point A to Point B. Get to the basket. Keep it simple. That was just something I had to work out and stick to what makes me best. That’s definitely a positive for me to be my size and go from guarding a 4 at this level to guarding point guards. That definitely allows me to show my versatility and my understanding of ball screens. How I was able to get through it in college and how I’m able to get through it now. I definitely love the flow of this team and how they do things here. “