Growing up, I remember mom and dad taking my siblings and I to church three or more times a week. I was bored at first, but later the whole idea of church became more like social hour for me. My friends and I sat together, drew pictures, passed notes and talked. I totally overlooked the fact that my parents took me to church to build important spiritual values into my life.

As a college athlete, basketball was the center of my attention. I considered myself a Christian, but NOTHING interfered with basketball. I found a church in Knoxville and went when time allowed, but my motivation was still impure. Before, church was a social club. Now, it was the right thing to do and would make my parents proud.

My senior year at Tennessee (2001), I tore my ACL during a game. Despite the injury, God gave me peace. I never questioned Him, as I knew He would give me only what I could handle. He used that time without basketball to help me refocus and see that He wanted to be the center of my life. Since rededicating myself to the Lord that year, I’ve felt both His hold on my life and the complete peace that only He offers.

Playing in the WNBA and on two Olympic Teams has been a dream come true. I thank the Lord everyday for all the blessings He has given me and those yet to come! Through it all, I’ve learned that my success in basketball is temporary and the most important thing is keeping Jesus the focus of my life. God’s purpose for me is not only to play basketball, but also to prepare our youth to catch their dreams one star at a time through the Catch the Stars Foundation.

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Photos courtesy NBA Photos