While the playoffs seem less and less likely for the New York Liberty, veteran guard Katie Smith—in the final season of her outstanding WNBA career—remains upbeat. She’s making the most of each day and imparting basketball knowledge to the team’s talented rookies: Kamiko Williams, Toni Yong and Kelsey Bone.

“It’s a process, day-to-day, how you approach the game—the mental aspect as much as the physical,” said Smith, 39, a two-time WNBA champion with the Detroit Shock. “I think they picked up things just by going against each other in practice and obviously being able to talk to them. I do hope I’ve helped a little.”

In the final weeks of this WNBA season, Smith and veteran forward DeLisha Milton-Jones, who joined the Liberty in mid-August, are playing together for the last time. Both were members of the 2000 and 2008 U.S. Olympic teams that won gold (Smith also won gold in 2004). They are also the only remaining active players from the American Basketball League, an independent women’s professional league from 1996-1998.

“It’s a familiarity you don’t get with many other people,” said Smith. “We had a lot of very similar experiences. Being close in age, it’s an appreciation for what you have, what you’ve done and where you’re at, and not taking anything for granted. Sure, we’d rather be first in the East and in the playoffs, but it’s not always about that. It’s about the journey and how you do your job and being proud of your effort.”

At press time, the Liberty stood 11-19 with four games left to the season. They play their final two home games at the Prudential Center on Friday against the Atlanta Dream and Tuesday against the Phoenix Mercury and then finish regular season on the road.

“Go about business and try and play as well as you can,” said Smith. “Definitely, we’re fighting for every win we can possibly get. Hopefully, some losses by a few teams. I’m not going to lie; I’m cheering for a few folks to win to help our cause.”