“Who would have thought that five years later I would have the same opportunity? It was a different level, but I had achieved so much in college and U.S.A. basketball I wasn't going to let people talk me out of it. But a lot of other people felt the guys were in a no-win situation. If I made a shot, ‘Ah, you let some girl beat you!' If they blocked my shot, ‘Oh, it's only a girl. No big deal.' I had dealt with that my whole life playing on the playground and what the boys said about me, and what the girls said about me and even what parents said about me. When I got to that level, I was able to block a lot of that out.”
How did you learn to block the negativity out?
“Well, I knew going into it that I was going to prepare myself and I did. I had several of my family members help me and other people. I put myself in a mindset. I surrounded myself with positive people in my life. I didn't listen to the radio or the TV or anything people were saying on the outside. You have to believe in yourself and have people around you that believe in you. I believed in my talent.”
Is it disheartening to you to see a women's star like Brittney Griner and to see how good she is, yet all the negative talk that so many people have about her?
“And, why? Why are they fretting? Why are they upset? She's going with what God gave her. I'm so excited that there's a league for her to go into and then go overseas and play. Hopefully, in 2016, she'll represent our country in the Olympics.
“I have a lot of respect for her when she didn't play in 2012 (for the London Olympics). A lot of people were critical of that. but she's her own person. She wanted to study on her classes. Her mom wasn't well. Her family supported her. Those are big steps with U.S.A. Basketball. It's a big conglomerate kind of thing. I have a lot of respect for a young woman to be able to make that decision and say, ‘No, I've got to do what's right for me.'”