Sheryl Swoopes talks career, life after the WNBA, LGBT thoughts
Did you ever think basketball would take you to the heights you’re at now?
I started playing ball when I was 7 where I grew up in a really small town with my brothers (there wasn’t much else to do, but sports). At the age of 7 I don’t think anyone really understand their potential or what they want to do with their lives. I knew that I loved basketball, it was just something that truly inspired me. My mom was really strict so basketball was my release from anger, sadness, and hurt. I could’ve never imagined all the life lessons, or amazing people I would end up meeting through basketball. I thought I would end up being a flight attendant or a Dallas Cowboys cheerleader (laughs). Little did I know that that wasn’t the path God had planned for me.
How did you transition into television broadcasting?
I knew that after last summer that I was done and not because I couldn’t play anymore, but because I didn’t have that desire, or passion anymore to compete. My passion now is to teach the game and broadcasting allows me to do that. I also think it’s just a stepping stone as I want to hopefully call games for ESPN, TNT, or NBC. I would also love to coach a team since my passion now isn’t playing, but teaching. I’ve learned so many valuable lessons from an athletes perspective, which I feel like I need to share with the young ladies out there.
What made you start your own basketball camp?
I’ve always been passionate about kids. My Swoopes House of Hoops is really about empowering young girls to work hard and how to overcome obstacles. I know people first think basketball; however, I want to expand beyond the sport and create a safe haven to just talk, or get something off their chests.
What did you think of President Obama’s thoughts on the LGBT community?
I’m a huge Barack and Michelle Obama fan. I’ve never been big into politics, but over the last few years I’ve started to understand the problems facing everybody in this country. I’m excited about where we’re headed and what he has planned for our country. I wanted to come out because of the pressures of the world and when I made the decision to come out, I never really thought about anyone else. But, I did come to realize that that wasn’t me or the life I wanted to live. I’m definitely happier with my current relationship, but that doesn’t mean I don’t support the LGBT community and applaud the president for what he said in support of the community. I just believe that everyone deserves to be happy.