Bittersweet Experience of how I became a Professional Hooper

Basketball has taken me a long way. The journey has been bittersweet. 15 years ago, if a person would have told me that I was going to be where I am today; I would laugh and ask “how is it even possible?” it has been an experience that I’ve never even imagined. From being the skinny kid that loved to play different types of sports (but was not good at any), and aspiring to become a model, to becoming a professional basketball player was such a blessing in disguise. Let me share my story on how this all came apart.

At the age of 15, a freshman that attended August Martin High School in Queens, NY. I was walking in the hallway one day and ran into Joel Asher, the varsity girls’ basketball coach. His first impression was “WHOA!! You have very long arms!” I laughed and said, “yes I do”. He joked and said “can you wear long sleeve shirts, or do you have to cut fabric and sew it on?” I didn’t find it funny, but he was ecstatic. He asked if I ever played basketball? At the time, I played it for recreation, but nothing serious. Coach Asher suggested I come to one of the practices and work out with the team.

The next day I attended my first ever basketball practice. I was so nervous, the girls were very good and I was terrible. I couldn’t catch the ball, it would hit me in my face, I shot air balls and over the backboard; it was bad, I was just a long body on the court. After this experience, one would think that I would have quit and went back to being a normal super tall girl aspiring to become a model, but I didn’t quit. I said to myself; this is a sport that I can actually be good at because of the disadvantage I have on the court (6’1 with a 7’0 wing span).

With that being said, I told coach Asher “I want to learn how to play this game, and be good at it, and will do whatever it takes to do so”. he asked “are you sure? because there are a lot a sacrifices you may have to make to become the player you are telling me you want to be, for example quitting modeling for a little while, less hanging out more working out, main focus is books and basketball, you won’t have much time for friends.” I accept