NBPA/WNBPA.com’s Talia Bargil chatted with Swin Cash, one of the greatest WNBA players of our time, about her new book, March Madness, life on and off the court, and much more. Check it out here:
Q: First, let’s talk about your new book “Humble Journey.” What do you want readers to take away from it? And what prompted you to write the book now as opposed to when you complete your playing career?
A: Readers are seeing a very authentic and transparent view of the things I went through the last four years, and one of the biggest things for me is that they are inspired. I hope the book will help them deal with the different things that may happen in their life and how to persevere through them.
I decided to write “Humble Journey” now because the last four years were so significant. I went through a lot of things and learned a lot of life lessons, and I wanted to share those stories so I can help people going through similar things. I share who I am, as a basketball player and a human being.
I am also donating 10 percent of the book sales to my charity, Cash for Kids. I try to find a way to give back with anything I do; it’s who I am. By writing this book and giving some of the proceeds to the charity, I can help more kids who are less fortunate. Through Cash for Kids, we are not only getting them involved in sports, but with academic enrichment. We are actually looking to take the kids to Washington, D.C., this summer when my team is playing there so they can watch a game, see the monuments and learn a little bit about history.
Q: We are just about to dive into March Madness. Will your UCONN Huskies women’s basketball team clinch another National Championship?
A: The team has grown a lot throughout the season. I think for them right now, it’s a mental toughness thing. They’ll need to get over that hump to win a National Championship, and I think they have the ability, skills and size to do it. It will be up to them come Tournament time, but I think they’ll make their run. It’s going to be an uphill battle, and Baylor is the team they will have to get through. When you get to the Final Four, anything can happen. I like our chances.
Q: As a two-time NCAA Champion and three-time WNBA Champion, you know what it takes to succeed. What type of advice can you offer young men and women striving to achieve at any level?
A: One of the things I try to address in my book is that people don’t remember how you fall; they remember how you get back up. I also think that discipline and balance are the keys to success…the discipline to work on your craft, while being able to balance work and family. That’s very important.
Q: Next month, a new crop of young women will be drafted into the WNBA. What do you know now that you wish you knew when you were in those shoes?
A: Once you get to the WNBA, you are responsible for you. You become your own CEO, which means you make the decisions on how you train and what you put in your body. Your parents and coaches won’t be there doing that. You have to handle your body and take care of yourself like you are a business. I wish I recognized that when I was younger because then I wouldn’t have gone through some of things I did.
Q: What does your fitness and nutrition regimen look like?
A: I train, do yoga, Pilates. I try to have proper nutrition and eat at least three meals a day. I incorporate the basic foods, like chicken and fish, and you have to get your vegetables in. Drinking water and staying hydrated is also really key. But I really think the biggest thing is figuring out what works for your body. The way I train and eat is completely different than what works for other players.
Q: You are a busy lady! What else are you focused on these days off the court?
A: Between the book tour and training, I like having some down time to go to a movie or relax. Sleep has been big!
On the community side, we just started our youth basketball league, so I am making sure they are getting what they need. And I’m checking up on everything that’s happening with our work in my hometown of McKeesport, Penn. We are also partnering with Girls in the Game in Chicago, and that will start at the end of April. We are making a commitment to those girls for the next couple years.
Q: Speaking of all that community work, you were just informed that you will be the recipient of a Henry P. Iba Citizen Athlete Award. What does that mean to you?
A: It means a lot. I don’t do the community work to get recognized, so when people recognize you for something that you do that comes naturally, it’s pretty much a blessing. But I wouldn’t be able to do any of this without my mom, our volunteers and the people who work with me, who believe in my vision of – it sounds cliché – but making the world a better place and inspiring young people and different organizations to be better, live better, give back and be part of something that’s bigger than yourself.
Q: With your experience in sports journalism, do you plan to pursue that further following your playing career?
A: Of course. But I don’t look at it as just sports journalism. My ultimate goal would be to have my own talk show one day or co-host a show like “The View” or “The Talk.” I am trying to be a well-rounded person who can talk about sports because I love basketball, I love football, but I also stay up on what’s happening in politics and life in general. I hope that one day I could inspire people like Oprah does!
Q: What does the future look like for Swin Cash?
A: I still love to play basketball. I can’t give a timetable on how much longer I’ll play, but I’m enjoying the ride. In the offseason, I’m focused on growing from a business standpoint and honing my skills in television and broadcasting, and continuing my philanthropic work with Cash for Kids and any other organizations that are dear to my heart.
ABOUT SWIN CASHA two-time NCAA Champion, three-time WNBA Champion, four-time WNBA All-Star and Olympic gold medalist, Swin Cash is a 6’1” forward with the WNBA’s Chicago Sky. Recognized for her scoring and rebounding prowess, she helped lead the University of Connecticut women’s basketball team to national titles in 2000 and 2002. Selected second overall in the 2002 WNBA Draft by the Detroit Shock, Cash went on to help lead the team to their first-ever WNBA title in 2003. She since played for the Seattle Storm and Chicago Sky, and picked up numerous accolades, including two additional WNBA Championships, two WNBA All-Star MVP honors and an Olympic gold medal. Off the court, Cash is very active in the community, particularly with her non-profit organization, Cash for Kids. She also can be seen as a broadcaster and writer for a number of media outlets. For more information, visit www.swincash.com and follow her on Twitter @SwinCash.