Have You Seen Her? Sparks PG Temeka Johnson
In her three seasons as a WNBA player, Temeka Johnson has accomplished quite a bit on the court. After the Washington Mystics made the former LSU point guard the sixth overall pick in the 2005 Draft, Johnson proceeded to win the league's Rookie of the Year Award, averaging 9.3 points, 5.2 assists and 3.1 rebounds a game. That offseason, Johnson was traded to the Los Angeles Sparks, where she played a major role in the Sparks' 2006 run to the Western Conference Finals.
But 2007 was a year of trials and tribulations for the 5-3 sparkplug. Johnson injured her knee and underwent microfracture knee surgery prior to the WNBA season. It eventually healed, but she didn't take to the court until July 1. Shortly thereafter, Johnson sprained her ankle and ended up missing 23 games as the Sparks struggled to a 10-24 mark.
Since the end of the regular season, though, Johnson has been resting up with hopes of playing in Italy this winter for Puzzuoli. WNBA.com caught up with her recently to see what inspires her to get out there, stay in shape and continue to compete.
Q. As a professional basketball player, how often do you work out? Does it change when you go from the WNBA season to the offseason?
A. "Yes, it definitely changes. In the offseason, I try to work out every day and then take the weekends off. During the season, on non-game days, there is usually practice or shoot-around, so I'm doing at least something literally every day."
Q. What serves as your motivation when you don't feel like working out, when you don't feel like running that extra mile, when you don't feel like waking up early?
A. "I like to eat. Like I really like to eat. So I have learned to watch it, but sometimes I like to cheat a little bit, and if I run and work out, then I know I have a little bit of room to spare. The extra mile is perfect for that. You just have to tell yourself that if you don't do it, someone else will."
Q. Do you have any healthy go-to meals or snacks that help you stay healthy and in shape?
A. "I eat a lot of chicken and fish. I'll throw a few vegetables in there, too. I've gotten into the veggies. My grandma gives me a hard time because she thinks I don't eat enough vegetables, so I've been better about that. I also eat some pasta every now and again."
Q. Was there ever a time in your career when you thought about giving up the game?
A. "You always come across those feelings of doubt where you question whether or not you are doing something the best way. But for me, it's more about my competitive nature. I want to be the best that I can. I'm my worst critic, but those thoughts are usually kept to myself. I love what I'm doing and never thought about quitting or giving it up."
Q. What else drives you? Are there any other goals you've set for yourselves off the court?
A. "My family really drives me to do my best. Knowing that they
are proud of me and that they look up to me in a lot of ways really inspires
"And there are some other things that I would like to do… I would like to try golf. I think it could be really relaxing. I've actually heard that Lindsay Whalen and Nykesha Sales are pretty good, so I want to give it a shot."