You’ve said this is the beginning of a
new chapter for you. What do you see in it?
I see a little bit of basketball. It’s just
been a blessing for me to get that opportu-
nity to play profes-
sional women’s bas-
ketball. I have a
passion for the
sport, no doubt.
When I graduated
and I left basketball,
I always had in the
back of my mind a,
“What if?” What if I
decided to play bas-
ketball instead? And
as I ran track all
those years, I figured
that it would proba-
bly never happen.
And I was trying to figure out during
that time how I was going to share my
story. I had decided that I was probably
going to use the letters that I had written
to put into book form. And just because,
you know, it was going to be a big deal.
But how can I make it an even bigger deal
and have even more people exposed to the
story and hopefully inspired by the story?
So the idea that I would not only get to
pursue a lifelong dream of playing professional women’s basketball, I get to share my
message on an even bigger scale than if I
was just sitting in Austin. It’s a big story
that I would pursue basketball after 13
years. Thirty-four years old, three kids —
and after everything that has happened.
But then probably most importantly, I
wanted to be a living testimony, a living
example to my kids, that Mom didn’t give
up, that she made mistakes, that she certainly paid the consequences.
I know a lot of people questioned if I
deserved to be there, and granted those
people will probably think that I don’t
deserve a second chance. I understand that.
And then there were some that thought it
was a media gimmick, that [the Shock]
picked me up because they would get more
media attention, that I was taking up a spot
for a young lady who really can play. I think
once I got in the league — you know, I
had limited [playing] time for most of the
season — but towards the end of the sea-
son, I proved to people that I still can play.
What will you do after your basketball
career is over?
I’m also a proponent for prison reform.
I’m passionate about making changes in
the prison system. I was very disappointed
while I was there with the lack of resources
for the women. My view of it is that these
men and women who are incarcerated,
most of which at some point will be
released, they will possibly be your neighbors, and they will possibly be husbands,
wives, girlfriends, boyfriends of your kids.
So you want them armed with the tools to
succeed when they come into society,
whether it’s education or knowledge of
how to get a job. I was touched in a very
personal way by meeting and living with
these women who don’t have GEDs,
who’ve been in there 10, 15 years and have
no idea how to work a cell phone, let
alone a computer. A lot of them shared
with me that they’re nervous about even
handling money [when they are released],
and looking stupid because they haven’t
touched a coin in 20 years.
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