Born in the Bronx, however a true Harlemite in ever since of the word, the lovely and wonderful WNBA player Shannon Bobbitt of the Indiana Fever sat down with Harlem World Magazine for an exclusive interview.
The light in her eyes and positive demeanor let us know that she is enjoying life and appreciates all that it has to offer. A humble and inspirational young woman, Ms. Bobbitt shares with us her life experiences, travels across the world, and gives us a glimpse into the life of a WNBA player.
Shani Eaeley: First off, were born in Harlem? We were trying to figure out where you were born and we Googled you and it says you are from the Bronx?
Shannon Bobbitt: Well Ok. Correction. I am claiming New York, Harlem. I was born in the Bronx, but I am claiming Harlem all the way. I grew up in Harlem. That is all I know is Harlem. When you say Shannon Bobbitt you say Harlem. Being in the WNBA has definitely been a blessing. I am a child of eight. I have a big family. I have faced a lot of struggles and adversity. So, for me to be here I am blessed and very thankful.
SE: Tell me a bit about Young Ballers Development Clinic?
SB: It is a basketball clinic that I created, I wanted to give back to my community. This is my third year, I started it in 2009. I just wanted to give back to the kids and make them feel part of something. A lot of these kids are less fortunate to be a part of a summer league, tournament, clinic or anything like that. I wanted to be able to teach them both basketball and life skills. I instruct the kids on how to do things right. The proper way to do a certain pivot move, a certain shot, or how to make a proper lay-up. This age group is from 7-14 boys and girls. And it is a one day clinic and I try to do it every year.
SE: I was looking through your bio and I saw that you live in a lot of places. You have lived throughout this country but you have also traveled abroad. I wanted to know which is your favorite city in the U.S and which is your favorite abroad?
“New York is the best. Hands down, New York is the best state, city, you name it.”
SB: My favorite city abroad would have to be Israel, it is like a mini New York City. It was the most Americanized country that I have played in. It is a small country where I was able to see other American’s almost everyday. Here in the United States, New York is the best. Hands down, New York is the best state, city, you name it. I am loyal.
SE: Not everyone gets the chance to go outside of the U.S. Is it different playing abroad?
SB: It very different playing abroad. A lot of people who love to travel would think it is the same. It has been really hard for me my first couple of years. It is hard not seeing my family for a long period of time and not eating well. I don’t do well with long plane rides, they flight is 14 or 15 hours. I have had to learn how to stay calm and have patience. It has been a great opportunity to be able to travel to different countries and see how different cultures live, it makes you appreciate the U.S. a little more.
SE: That being said, how does it feel being a player for the Indiana Fever when you come up against a team such as the New York Liberty?
SB: It is a business. Every time I step out onto the court the goal is to win. Whoever I am playing with whether it is with Indiana or with LA Sparks, I am rolling with my team. Every time I come home to play against the New York Liberty it is always a great feeling. My fan base is even bigger and my family and friends get a chance to come out to see me play.
SE: As a professional athlete, what were some of the challenges that you had to overcome?
“At any given day your position can be taken.”
SB: At the professional level, at any given day your position can be taken. Everyone is not treated equal. One of your team mates may have a Nike contract and you don’t. Traveling is not the same as in college. In college, I was traveling private flights with my team whereas at the professional level we are flying with other people and waiting in the security line. Another challenge is having back to back games. Say, I would have a game Wednesday in LA. We would have to fly back to the East coast five or six hours to play on Thursday the next day. It was a hassle and it takes a toll on your body.
SE: What has been one of your greatest memories?
SB: One of my greatest memories would have to be making it to the finals while playing at the professional level. I was really close, two years in a row, to winning a championship. Also, hearing my name in the draft will be one of the greatest moments as well.
SE: After basketball, where do you see yourself?
SB: As of now, I see myself being an athletic trainer. I love to help players come off of injuries or helping them stay motivated and building confidence. I feel like I can make anyone feel like they can jump off a bridge and survive. I just want to be able to help and give back but I have to be around sports.
SE: What advice would you give young girls who are aspiring to follow in your footsteps?
SB: I would tell them to believe in yourself. Write down on a piece of paper as detailed as possible what it is that you want to do in your life. Follow your goals, things that are written down on paper will come into reality.
SE: Last but not least. You told me that you are all about Harlem. What are some of your favorite places and what is it that you love the most about Harlem?
SB: I love everything about Harlem. I can’t really tell you one thing in particular. I love to just walk up and down 125th street. I love to be around my neighborhood. I love to just come out and hang out with my family and friends. I love to go to different tournaments that are going on throughout Harlem.
SE: Thank you for taking the time to sit with us.
SB: Thank you, so much
By Shani Ealey