Robin Roberts: From The Heart
Part 3 of 3

June 18, 2007
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    From her childhood in Mississippi, to college basketball star, to ESPN host, to co-anchor of Good Morning America, Robin Roberts' faith and deep-rooted belief in the importance of staying true to one's self guided her through her incredible journey to the top. In her first book ever, From The Heart, Robin shares her own hard-won insights into what makes success. She attributes her accomplishments to many of the principles she learned in sports.

    Roberts will appear in Indianapolis on Friday, June 22, to share those insights and thoughts pertaining to her book, when she takes part in the Fever's Inspiring Women Night. Prior to her visit, she talked with FeverBasketball.com's Kara Albert, as part of a three-part Q&A detailing her career, her life as a former basketball player and sports broadcaster, her new life as co-host of ABC News' Good Morning America, and her thoughts on success.

    Part I covered her transition from athlete to sportscaster to ABC News co-anchor, and the motivations for her book and Part ll revealed her favorite interviews within and outside of sports. Below is Part III of the three-part interview.



    FeverBasketball.com: You are going to be coming and visiting with the Fever for Inspiring Women Night. Along the lines of inspiring women, do you have any specific recommendations for girls or young women today?
    Robin Roberts: “I would say – ‘Please, especially if you are a mother of a daughter, please encourage your child, your daughter, all your children but especially your daughters, to play sports.’

    “I just cannot emphasize the importance of that enough. So many mothers, after I have said this, they’ve done that and they’ve seen a change in their daughter. They are immediately seeing the confidence that they now have, and know that it’s going to help them with those life skills used especially later on in life.

    “For us too, as women, we’ve got to be there for one another! We can’t have, in one corner, working moms, and in the other corner stay-at-home moms, yelling at each other and pointing fingers at each other. You know, whatever is right for you, is right for you. We sometimes can be our own worst enemy. We’ve got to develop a little thicker skin.

    “You know, men can go at each other, then go out and have a beer. They want to help each other, but bottom line, they want their company to be the best and do well. Don’t get me wrong, I think we [women] should be sensitive to others feelings, but sometimes women can be just a wee-bit too sensitive. We have to get outside of that.

    “I spoke with a group of women a couple of days ago and one woman had an excellent question. She asked, ‘Well I’m gentile. I don’t want to raise my boys like that. In the business world, I’ve got to be aggressive, but as a woman that goes against my belief.’ That’s a fair question. It’s one that a lot of women struggle with. Just because you are aggressive or you are being persistent about something doesn’t make you a bad person. It doesn’t mean that you are mean and people are going to call you names. You can be assertive in a very positive way. Women – we have to learn how to do that more.”


    FB: What women do you find to be inspiring and have those women changed throughout each step of your life?
    RR: “Within my own household, my mother put her life on hold. She was the first in our family to go to college, she got a degree and she chose to be there for her family. I was the last one out of the house, the baby of the family, and she was approaching 60, and she went to work. And when I say went to work, she was on the State Board of Education for the State of Mississippi, she was a coliseum commissioner, she was on the Federal Reserve board. All these things, I had such adoration for her, that even later in life she was like, ‘OK, my turn! And watch me now!’ She’s been incredible, she still is. She is 83 and has some health concerns and that, but just to see her strength and how she’s done everything with such a positive attitude. She never said, ‘woe is me, woe is me.’ I really appreciate her.

    “I think when you go and look now, you see Hillary Clinton, Condoleeza Rice, you see a lot of women. There are a lot of powerful women right there in Indianapolis because I remember going to luncheons there. There are a lot of women in business there, including those involved with the Fever. You don’t have to be a ‘household name.’ I am more impressed by the women in communities like Indianapolis that are at the forefront, that are realizing the presence of a team like the Fever, how powerful and helpful that is. I have a lot of appreciation moreso for those types of people than those that are in the national spotlight.”


    FB: Looking back on everything you’ve experienced and your seven points in your book, what wraps everything into one?
    RR: “Focus on the solution, not the problem. We all have problems, we all have issues. We have to identify what it is that we think is holding us back. Identify those issues and then focus on the solution to them. We spend too much time, I feel, dwelling on issues and problems and not focusing on those things that we can do to rectify it.

    “Above all – faith, family and friends. My faith is very important to me. Friends, you can’t get there without them. My family means unconditional love. All this work that we want to do, and all these things that we want to achieve, means absolutely nothing without people to share it with – absolutely nothing.”