For Tammy Sutton-Brown, Change Is A Good Thing

June 1, 2007
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    Frank McGrath/PS&E Photo and Ron Hoskins/NBAE/Getty Images
    WNBA veteran Tammy Sutton-Brown is used to the yearly routine — play basketball during the summer for the WNBA and then go overseas to play basketball during the winter months. For six years that has been her professional schedule. While Sutton-Brown has played in different countries each winter, she still returned to the same team for the WNBA, the Charlotte Sting, until now.

    A 6-4 center, Sutton-Brown is used to change when she isn’t playing for the WNBA, playing in countries such as Russia, Korea and Turkey. In 2007, Sutton-Brown became a WNBA free agent and decided to change things in the United States, as well. She was born and raised in Ontario, Canada, and says that will always be home for her. Now, however, the Rutgers graduate has begun calling Indianapolis her new home, after Fever GM Kelly Krauskopf signed her to a free agent deal in March.

    Maybe her latest change will lead to greater change than just in her professional basketball career … perhaps even in her personal life. Contrary to common assumption, her hyphenated last name has nothing to do with being married. “Sutton-Brown” has been with her all her life, and she isn’t shy in acknowledging that!

    “My last name is deceiving, I am definitely not married,” Sutton-Brown said smiling, and laughing. Someday she hopes to follow in the footsteps of teammate Ebony Hoffman, who is getting married in October of this year.

    Back to her basketball career! After signing with the Fever in March of 2007, Sutton-Brown is enjoying her transition to her new team and to life in Indianapolis.

    “Change can be a great thing, and I am really excited to be here in Indianapolis and to be playing with the Fever,” Sutton-Brown said. “I feel like I have been here forever and in reality, I have only been here for a little more than a week-and-a-half!”

    Sutton-Brown has found the transition to the Fever to be a very smooth one. She jumped right in to the Fever season opener on May 19 against Minnesota, after returning to the U.S. from Turkey just one day before the game. Former Charlotte teammate Sheri Sam joined her with the Fever a few days later. Sutton-Brown has enjoyed getting to know her new teammates, and the character that each player brings to the team and organization.

    There is no doubt that Sutton-Brown will bring distinct character to the Fever, as well. As a fun, easy-going, talented young woman, Sutton-Brown continues to add to the depth of the Fever as a whole. The versatility and the talent of the team is evident, especially with her addition. Her presence adds a new component to the Fever lineup in 2007. A 2002 WNBA All-Star and one of the leading shot-blockers in league history, her addition to the Fever’s starting lineup automatically has made Indiana one of the favorites to compete for this summer’s WNBA crown.

    “The great thing about sports is that you don’t know how it’s going to turn out until the end,” Sutton-Brown said. “I look forward to playing each game. We have all the pieces and I am excited to see how the season turns out.”

    With moving to a new city, the demanding schedule of a WNBA player and spending a good chunk of her year overseas, many would wonder how much free time Sutton-Brown has, if any at all.

    What does she do when she isn’t working?

    “Anything that isn’t physically demanding,” Sutton-Brown jokes. Single guys, this is where you need to start taking notes. When she isn’t on the road or practicing basketball, Sutton-Brown likes to relax and watch TV, go shopping and occasionally see a movie. For a meal, one of her favorite restaurants in Charlotte was The Capital Grille, and she is excited that one was just built in Indianapolis.

    Her professional basketball career takes up a lot of her time, making it difficult for relationship-building or establishing a home. She is on the road a lot during season, and overseas during the winter.

    “There isn’t a whole lot of time for anything, including dating, but I’m not opposed to it!,” Sutton-Brown jokes, smiling again.

    Looking into the future, post-basketball, Sutton-Brown would like to design a clothing or shoe line for taller women. Being tall herself, Sutton-Brown knows how hard it is to find shoes and clothing that are both stylish and the right size.

    For now, Sutton-Brown is focused on playing hard this season and getting settled into Indianapolis.

    -Kara Albert