This is Our Game: Teresa Weatherspoon
Teresa Weatherspoon was a four-time All-WNBA honoree.
Nathaniel S. Butler /NBAE/Getty Images
What was your motivation when those doubts crept into your head and you didn't
feel like working out, running that extra mile or waking up early?
"What really motivates me is knowing that someone else is working that hard. I know that someone else is trying to reach the plateau that I want to stand on. I am motivated to always be better, so I have to get up, I have to get out of bed, I have to keep moving and I have to work harder because I want to be a positive role model in young people's lives. Even when it's a tough day, I have to keep climbing and striving. They never say a mountain is smooth. It's rocky, and there will always be rocky times on the way to the top."
there a time in your life of playing basketball when you thought about giving
up the game?
"Never. I've loved this game since I was a baby. It has given me an opportunity to express myself and the league has enabled me to show my love and appreciation for the support that I have been given. It has enabled me to become a role model for young kids. Regardless of what you say or how you say it, as an athlete in the public eye, there is always someone who wants to be just like you. In their eyes, you were a role model."
So now that you've had some time to reflect on things, what are some of your favorite
"I have so many memories from when I played the game back when I was young. Nobody ever picked me. I was the only girl playing with the guys. I was smaller than they were shooting the ball from my hip, willing it from way out to make the basket. My brothers always kept me out to protect me, until one day they noticed that I could play. Then they started picking me. That was cool for me, when my brothers accepted me not as my little sister, but as a basketball player, another athlete on their team"
What else drives you? What other goals you've set for yourselves off the court
or are you currently pursuing?
"It can be difficult for an athlete beginning to think about that transition to what life will be like after they are done playing the game. It's hard because you want to stay close to the game. For me, it has never been hard to wonder what I'll do afterwards. I want to stay close to our young people in some shape, form or fashion. To lead, guide, direct, motivate, stimulate, direct or whatever you want to call it. That's what I want to do and that is what really drives me now is. Having the opportunity to help create educational software for children, even in the basketball realm, it has been great and tremendous."