Inside the minds of WNBA players

This is Our Game: Cheryl Ford

Detroit's Cheryl Ford
Allen Einstein/NBAE/Getty Images
Detroit Shock forward Cheryl Ford was the 2003 WNBA Rookie of the Year and a WNBA champion in that first season, but she refuses to let up. A rebounding force and a physical presence in the paint like her father before her, Ford is growing up before our eyes. She is no longer the shy, quiet backround player in Detroit, but wears her emotion on her sleeve. So what makes this nightly double-double threat tick? What drives her or inspires her when she needs that extra motivation?

Q. What is your motivation when don't feel like working out, running that extra mile, or waking up early?
"Just knowing that if I go into the season or training camp, it puts me a step behind everyone else, the rest of the players who are in shape. Also, your job is on the line. This is what I get paid for, so why not come in and stay in the best shape I can be in."

Q. Was there a time in your life when you thought about giving up the game?
"This past June, when my grandfather passed away, there was a tough period that took a lot out of me. I thought about a lot of things, but my grandmother told me that he would not have wanted me to quit, but I definitely wanted to give up basketball at this point. And now I play for him."

Q. What are some other goals you've set for yourselves off the court that you are interested in or pursuing?
"I really enjoy shopping and do that every day. But I also appreciate the opportunity to spend time with and enjoy my family. Summertime used to be about spending time with my dad, but now that I am playing, I have to see him whenever I can. Now that he is retired, hopefully I can see a lot more of him. "

More

Video

Mystics vs. Liberty

Tina Charles scores 23 points and pulls down 12 rebounds in the Liberty's 80-76 OT win over the Mystics.

Sky vs. Stars

Kayla McBride scores 16 points to help the Stars take down the Sky, 92-74.

Mystics vs. Liberty

Tina Charles scores 23 points and pulls down 12 rebounds in the Liberty's 80-76 OT win over the Mystics.

Hartley Ties It Late

Bria Hartley drives and gets the bucket to tie the game with 0.6 seconds left in the fourth quarter.

From Downtown New York

Alex Montgomery hits the halftime buzzer-beater from beyond the half-court stripe.