How rare is it to have the greatest high school basketball coach in American history, followed by the greatest college basketball coach in American history? Probably as rare as having a tree as a mascot in both high school and college.
More than just the rarity of greatness that I was blessed to receive in these 2 incredible women, they have both instilled in me a lifetime of world wisdom from the many life lessons they taught me on and off the court.
Terri and Tara are important to me because of how they helped a young girl navigate through her life away from the court, in addition to playing the game of basketball. As a result, my complete success in life is highly dependent upon these two.
Terri Bamford is my best friend, second mother and sister all in the form of one courageous coach who first taught me how to gain confidence as a player through the 2 things that you can control: your attitude and your effort.
Attitude and Effort
As I was growing up, so many things felt our of my control, both on and off the court: the way others perceived me effected the way I perceived myself. Going to the basketball court everyday I could always channel my focus on two things that were completely determined by me, and that is how my personality developed and matured.
Through her own consistent, countless expressions, she showed how important the personal choices you make on an individual and daily basis are. No matter what adversity you may be going through, the power ultimately belongs to you; the way you accept this is displayed through your attitude and effort.
I learned the definition of joy playing for Terri and above all, it is a selfless sensation that carries others with you.
This state of being really helped me when I finally made it to Stanford in the fall of 2004; I would use the tools Terri gave me to drive myself everyday in college.
Tara VanDerveer taught me the true value of hard work, and taught me how to enjoy the process of getting better, no matter how much the sacrifice hurts in the short term. She taught me to believe in the long term process of success, and my faith and patience flourished at Stanford because of her impeccable instruction.
Under Tara, I learned life's fundamental equation to ultimate success:
Daily discipline + hard work(teamwork) - excuses = SUCCESS
She taught me how this equation is all about input and output, and the outcome would be dictated by the decision I made to execute it.
There's no way I would be the player that I am without these two women guiding my talent and determination. They are the basketball guardian angels, as the top 2 coaches of our precious sport for both girls and women's basketball.
Four time All-American, WNBA Champion, Edutainer and Coach