July 19, 2010: Diana Taurasi of the Phoenix Mercury participates in drills during a WNBA Fit event on the south lawn of the White House, after a visit to recognize the 2009 WNBA Champions in Washington, DC.
Diana Taurasi of the Phoenix Mercury, arguably one of the best college basketball players ever (she keyed UConn’s three-peat in 2002-04), and one of the most recognizable names in the WNBA, was considering taking a break from the League.
Why would the holder of three NCAA championships, two Olympic gold medals, an MVP award and two WNBA titles stop now? Simple—she wanted a break. Between her overseas commitments and her duties for the U.S. National Team (and battling injuries this past year), Taurasi only gets about two weeks off each year—travel days included—and never all in a row. Taurasi spent the last five years playing in Russia, and this fall she will play in Turkey for the Fenerbahçe Sports Club. The WNBA is actually her “off-season” of sorts—also true for many other WNBA players.
Taurasi’s life is completely devoted to the game of basketball. She says, “I never take a day off,” and she works out twice a day between practice and training. Never having a break or a chance to rest can be taxing on the body, especially if you’ve been at it for seven straight years. Fellow basketball star Steve Nash agrees; he says, “The travel, the time away from home, the practices and the shoot-arounds . . . the media, bus rides, the hotels. It can grind to the point where you lose sight of how much you love the game.”
Ultimately, Taurasi decided to re-sign with Phoenix and stick around for the 2011 season. With any stardom achieved or injury suffered—or even an utterly demanding schedule—be wary; it’s easier than you think to lose sight of your love of the game—the reason why you started playing in the first place. But despite everything, if you share Taurasi’s passion for basketball, it won’t be hard to return.
(Read more about Taurasi at azcentral.com
Source: USAToday.co, azcentral
Photo: Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images