Have You Seen Her? Storm Star Lauren Jackson
Following the Worlds, LJ took off for Korea where she played for several months, earning the league's MVP award. After the season, she joined Spartak Moscow and helped lead the Russian power to the EuroLeague crown.
Returning to the U.S. for the 2007 WNBA season, she promptly produced arguably the best individual season in league history, earning her second WNBA MVP award in the process. LJ recently returned to Russia for another season with Spartak.
Without a lot of time to relax and reflect, what keeps arguably the world's best women's basketball player motivated to go out and perform every day? WNBA.com caught up with the Storm superstar to find out what makes her tick.
Q. What motivates you or gets you going out on the court? How do you get ready for a big game?
A. "I just go out there and play. Every game, I try to go out with the same mindset, just trying to have fun and enjoy myself. I'm an emotional person, and I can get fired up and angry out there, but I try to have the same mindset every game, which is to have fun and enjoy it and do as well as I can."
Q. What about in training during the offseason? What gets you motivated to go out there and practice hard?
A. "I don't really have an offseason. So when I'm really off, I'm completely off. I don't usually go in (to the gym) and do anything. When I'm with my team, it's the same thing."
Q. How do you get motivated for an early run or training session? What gets you out there working hard?
A. "I never get up early (smiles). Only on very odd occasions."
Q. Was there ever a point in your career where you thought about giving up the game?
A. "Yeah, there have been a couple times when I've been really bogged down by injuries. When I had the stress fractures in my leg, I got to a point where I was thinking I didn't want to do it anymore. It had to be everything (100 percent) or nothing, and I made the decision that it was going to be everything and I've never looked back."
Q. So how did you overcome those thoughts and that adversity?
A. "Lots of Advil (laughs). That and lots of training."
Q. How important is eating healthy to maintaining your fitness and shape as a professional athlete playing basically year-round?
A. "I really try to eat healthy. Especially now that I'm getting older, it's more important. When I was 18, 19, 20, you know, I had the fastest metabolism. Then when I hit 21, it was like plop (laughs). All of that bad stuff went straight to my hips and my shoulders."
Q. Wait til you hit 30!
A. "Yeah, I have that to look forward to. I'll make sure I kill myself before then (laughs). But yeah, it's very important to maintain a healthy diet. I do eat a lot of carbohydrates because we train so much and I need the energy, but I try to make I'm not eating anything too greasy."
Q. Do you have any favorite healthy snacks?
A. "Saladas -- not salads, saladas -- with tomatoes."
Q. What about working out? What do you like to do for exercise?
A. "I love boxing, I love to swim, I love being at the beach. When I'm off, I usually spend most of my time there not jogging, but swimming and doing whatever else I can."
Q. Who has been the most motivational person throughout your basketball career?
A. "My mom has been a huge influence in my life and career. I've also had several coaches throughout my career who have made a huge difference in my life."
Q. Do you have a motivational saying or motto that you look back at whenever you need that extra bit of motivation?
A. "Yeah, something that got me through a lot of hard times and some difficult situations is this: 'Power and control come from letting go.' Once you let go of everything, power and control come back. That's my thing."