On the Road With...
Houstonís Tina Thompson

WNBA players spend a lot of time on the road, whether traveling in the United States for the WNBA season, playign overseas in the offseason, or, if they are lucky, representing their country in top international tournaments such as the Olympics. As an original WNBA player and a mainstay with USA Basketball throughout her career, Comets forward Tina Thompson has spanned the world and experienced more than the average person. Of course, the rigors of her basketball lifestyle have made getting away for personal reasons a bit more difficult.


Q. What are some countries you've gotten to travel to for basketball or personal reasons?
"I think the unfortunate thing about traveling as a professional athlete is that when you go to different places, you really don't get to see or experience much. You get to see the basics of the city, staying at a hotel, going to a gymnasium and then moving on. But, I can say that I've been there and seen some of the most unbelievable places - Istanbul, Europe and Israel. Israel was probably the most memorable because we got to see so many spiritual places and cathedrals and places like that. That was probably the most memorable. But yes, my passports are very full and I do not take that for granted and enjoy and appreciate the fact that I have gotten to see so many wonderful places and things.."

Tina Thompson may have never been on a vacation, but her summer in Athens in 2004 was a pretty memorable trip.
D. Pensinger/Getty Images
Q. What is one place you haven't been that you would like to see?
"It would probably be an island somewhere. We travel so much for work that in the offseason, I travel very little. I'll go back home to visit California. I would probably want to go someplace for vacation. Maybe the Virgin Islands or the Bahamas.."

Q. What is your favorite place to go on vacation?
"Believe it or not, I have never, ever been on vacation. Not once. I have been to a lot of vacation places, but I was there for work. I've never been anywhere for just vacation purposes only."

Q. Pick one... on a beach, hiking and camping out, or visiting a museum?
"I would love to be on a beach somewhere."

Q. What are your favorite WNBA cities to visit?
"Probably New York City because I am a borderline shopaholic."

Q So if that is the best WNBA city to go out shopping, what are favorite stores?
"New York is my shopping mecca. Fifth Avenue. You can't beat that. I love Barney's and Bergdorff's. They have a unique selection. You'll find things there that you won't find anywhere else because they cater to a lot of up-and-coming people. There aren't the common designers there. They have offbeat stuff that you might not get the next season."

Q. What are the best places to shop and dine out in Houston?
"The Galleria is great, but you don't appreciate something as much when you're there. I think it has grown so much since I have been there with so many new stores. It is huge. It's a shopping center for everyone in the family. Anything from The Gap to Neiman Marcus and Saks and then the boutiques like Yves Saint Laurent, Chanel and Luca Luca. And, of course, the Guccis and Louis Vuitton. You can't beat having an ice rink in the middle of a mall."

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