Sugar Rodgers is rewriting his life story through the WNBA

During “They Better Call Me Sugar,” you write about your mom wishing you’d put golf first and basketball second, or not at all. Looking back as an adult, do you get a sense of why he took this view?

I know golf was her thing, and probably because when she played basketball, there weren’t opportunities for women. Because my mother was a basketball player, but as before, this was not such an opportunity for men. But looking at it now, WNBA is 25 years old. And to be a part of it, it shows WNBA, can grow, get salary. It only takes one step at a time.

How did you start writing about your childhood, and has writing been a source of healing for you?

When I was in Georgetown, I had a coach who suggested I go to therapy and I’m like, I’m not going to therapy. This is for white people. But I was ignorant of this fact because medicine, it is taboo in the african american community.

I really didn’t like talking, and I went to therapy and I don’t talk and I remember [the therapist] It was like, “Okay, just write it down.” And I just used to write these stories and he read them when I came, because I didn’t like to talk. And, you know, I was like, man, these stories could become a book. It can help someone in a situation that is similar to mine or worse than mine.

Writing is therapeutic for me.

What do you think is unique about what you bring to coaching?

I only bring life experience to myself. There are some things you can’t teach that I bring up naturally. These are some of the things that I can say to the players because I have really gone through this.

You get a lot of coaches that players can’t relate to and I think sometimes you need to balance that on the coaching staff. But if you have players who can’t relate, those players don’t fit because they think no one understands them. And I feel like I bring a lot.

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