Wednesday, July 29, 2009

An Awesome Experience

On Monday, I had the awesome opportunity to visit the White House. I have been there twice before. Each visit has been spectacular!

The first visit was in 1990 with George Bush Sr. following our Stanford NCAA Championship. The second was with Bill Clinton just before the 1996 Olympics. President Clinton took our team into the Oval Office, talked with us at length, and escorted us on a run along the Potomac River. His memory is amazing—he recalled a conversation he had with one of my teammates a year prior to the visit!

The White House gate

Since 9/11 they no longer give public tours of the White House without advance notice, background checks and a lot of security. In keeping with White House tradition, teams that win major championships still get invited for a private event with the President.

Since the Detroit Shock won the 2008 WNBA Championship, they were invited to the White House by President Obama. As the WNBA Cares Spokesperson and Ambassador, I was part of the official group.

Meeting with the Boys & Girls Club

Each visit to the White House has been special for me, but there was something more transformational about this one.

As we toured the residence, the green room, the blue room, the red room, etc. and we saw the portraits of all of the past presidents and first ladies, it became clear how history has changed. I watched the inauguration last January and saw the millions gathered on the Mall to witness first hand the change we were all about to experience.

When President Obama spoke to us, I found him to be extremely compassionate, eloquent, articulate, prepared, and kind. He congratulated the Detroit Shock and spoke about how positive it is for his daughters to have role models in sports.

As he spoke, I was sitting in the front row, maybe 15 feet away. When he was finished speaking he shook the players' hands and then he walked straight over to me. I was shocked! We chatted briefly and then he spoke to Senator Carl Levin, who was seated next to me.

No matter what your political views may be, I found President Obama to be genuine and authentic. He is incredibly charismatic and he truly represents what is possible in America.

Sitting with ReneƩ Brown, WNBA Vice President of Player Personnel

Monday, July 27, 2009

WNBA All-Star Weekend

I had the opportunity to attend the WNBA All-Star festivities over the weekend. What an amazing time!

In the above photo, I'm standing with Mike Thibault head coach of the WNBA's Connecticut Sun (2008 WNBA Coach of the Year) and two young ladies who introduced me at a WNBA Cares event.

Here I am working with kids as part of WNBA Cares Toyota Project Rebound in Windham, Conn. Toyota and the WNBA partnered to renovate the boys and girls club basketball court. It was gorgeous! I emceed the event and had the pleasure of working with the all stars on hand for the clinic — including 5-time all star Tamika Catchings.

Here's a photo of me and a Fox reporter at the WNBA All-Star Game.

It was a great weekend. I've got a ton of fun stuff coming up in the next little while, and I'll be sure to keep you all in the loop here. Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Celebrating my Mom's 70th Birthday

Mom, sister Susanne, me, and my niece, Alex

I was just in Salt Lake for my Mom’s 70th birthday. I can’t believe how amazing she is! She teaches school at Juan Diego in Draper, UT. She is one of the smartest people I have ever met!

We had a great time together with family and friends celebrating her special day. Both of my parents take USANA every day. They are so cute! And I am absolutely crazy about my niece, Alex.

Mom with Max

Mom and Dad—avid USANA users!!! Looking good at 70 and 72!!!

Mom, Alex and Family at The Wild Grape in Salt Lake

Me and Alex

Monday, July 20, 2009

Shooting a Video for USANA

Just filmed video for USANA. It was nearly 90 degrees in the shade!!!

Brett Evans, a producer at USANA Studios, is so fantastic to work with! He made the filming easy for me, as he made me feel very comfortable and at ease. That's him behind the camera.

Alan Bergstrom, USANA VP of Customer Service, was on hand for the filming. Alan (in the photo below) works with USANA athletes. I have been so impressed with the caliber of Olympians, Olympic teams, and pro athletes, including the WTA, which are part of the USANA family. Here's a tip: Become a fan of the USANA Athletes Facebook page to keep updated on all their achievements.

Here's a short clip of what we were doing.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

A Great Week at Camp

I had a great time with the kids, 3rd-8th grade boys and girls, at my basketball camp last week.

Trooper Johnson, Paralympian, played one-on-one against the kids and never lost!!! Amazing skills!

Keith Smart spoke to the kids too. He is the assistant coach of the Golden State Warriors and played for Indiana University. He is known for his last-second buzzer beater against Syracuse to win the NCAA Championship in 1987.

I was very impressed with the staff and the kids. I even got out there and played. Camp brings out the kid in me! We had a fun and exciting week!!! Here are a few photos from the camp.

Trooper Johnson demonstrating his amazing skills.

Keith Smart talks to the campers.