July 26, 2004
Hearing your story about being a professional athlete and having a family is really inspirational. I recently gave birth to baby girl and I was wondering how hard was it to make that transition to playing overseas with your daughter? Was she with you much of the time?
Rena (Houston, Texas)
She was with me the entire time I was there. When we first got there she was four and a half months and I was still nursing. I wasn't playing in Euro League so I was just playing once a week and practiced twice a day. It wasn't really that hard because she came to all my practices and away games. I really didn't have to spend that much time away from her — the longest was maybe two nights.
It wasn't really difficult to come back because we didn't have too many practices. The practices overseas are a lot less strenuous, working more on your own game. It is kind of up to your own discretion. It took about a month of practicing and playing to get back to feeling like myself. It does take a while — it is not going to happen overnight.
I play basketball on a traveling team and my dream goal is to play pro basketball. I also want to have children too, though. Is it difficult to hold down a family and a pro basketball career?
The most difficult thing is my husband also plays internationally. He plays overseas as well and the most difficult thing is, can we find something where we are playing in the same country for the same team or be close to each other? That is the beneficial part of being in the WNBA: he has the summers off, so he can take care of the baby while I'm working. But during the year when we both play internationally... Last year we didn't play in the same country, and the distance became a factor.
I look up to you guys. I moved up a grade because I was too good to be where I am supposed to be in basketball. So my questions are, how hard is it to be in the WNBA and how much fun is it?
Ashley (Albany, Mn)
It is difficult because everybody is good on this level. Going from high school to college to the WNBA is tough. There are not many teams and not many spots on each team. Less than one fourth of the people actually make it from college. It is a lot of fun because it's professional and you get paid money to play basketball. I can't think of a better job you could have.
Hey, Stacey! I'm a HUGE Lynx fan and I'm so glad that you came to Minnesota! You've brought a lot to the team! Who do you usually hang out with off the court? And do you plan on staying in Minnesota during the offseason? Thanks, Stacey! God bless you!
My baby, when she is in town — that is who I'm with. We only have gotten a babysitter one time. For the most part I hang out with my teammates because I don't really know many people in the area.
I probably won't stay in the offseason because lately I have played overseas. I probably will be back (overseas) but not immediately — I'm thinking of taking some time off after the season. I think I'm going to continue to play overseas as long as I can because it is a good thing to have my daughter exposed to different cultures and different situations, and that is what my husband does.
You played a good game against conneticut sun. I went to a open practice. Svetlana and Alisha were playing with Ryann. Ryann is so cute. What is it like to practice against your husband? [He has played on the Lynx' practice squad.]
chaslynne (new brighton)
It is fun! I think at first I was a little nervous and didn't want him to practice with us because he tends to coach me sometimes. I didn't want him to coach me and have me get mad at him while we are practicing. I really didn't want him to, but Suzie is the coach and she overrode me. It is weird but the rest of the team enjoys it because he is a professional basketball player and understands the game, so it's good to have him practice with us. It is good because he gives us pointers here and there but doesn't coach the rest of the team like he does me. But it's a lot of fun.
That comeback game against Phoenix was the most exciting Lynx game I've been to. What was it like for the players after the game?
Cheryel (Brooklyn Park)
Disbelief, excitement... I have never experienced anything like that, being a player or a spectator. It really didn't sink in until the next day because when you're out on the court, you're not thinking, "We are down 20; we need to come back." Out on the court you're just trying to take one possession at a time, and the next day when I watched it I was like, "How did we do it?!" It still amazes me to think we did that. It was a great comeback and was great to watch. We were just trying to take it one possession at a time and not be concerned with the score; we were just trying to go out there and win each possession and it turned out we won the game.
Lovelace-Tolbert photo gallery
Feature story: Basketball Mom
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