You're working with Bonds on the Get Real campaign and the images are absolutely incredible. What has been your experience with body image, and why is the cause so important to you?
I guess growing up in Australia, being a mixed kid, and not really having anyone – and still to this day I don't really think there's much diversity in Australian TV and marketing. I was very honoured that Bonds wanted me to be part of a campaign.
Sport should always be about what your body can do, rather than how it looks, but that hasn't always been the case. Have you seen that play out in your career?
You know, there's a lot of pressure for athletes to look a certain way, and being a bigger girl my whole life I always had team mates with six-packs. Especially as a teenager I really struggled not having a body type like that, and coaches wanted to see that. So it is something I struggled with, but I'm lucky now that I'm older, and I know my body and I'm comfortable in my own skin, and I know what works for me.
With something like your WNBA single-game scoring record, when you leave the court after a performance like that what's it like for you getting back into the locker room? Do you focus on that win and taking it in, or are you moving on to the next challenge?
I tend to move on pretty quickly, I don't really focus on personal things that I have accomplished, I move onto the next game because that's my job and what's the point of hanging onto something that happened whenever it happened. So I’m always onto the next thing.
You’re a prominent voice for pay equality in sport. Is it challenging to speak up about the cause like you often do?
I'm just a very outspoken person, so I don't really struggle to speak on many issues, especially if they are important to me and are close to my heart, what's frustrating is when people don't report it right or people just read into headlines and don't read the whole story. So many people think we want the same pay as NBA players, no that doesn’t make sense at all we want our CBA [Collective Bargaining Agreement] here in America written differently so we can make more money, so we can stay here and not have to play basketball all year round and go overseas in the off season.
How does Australia and America compare when it comes to that pay gap?
Ahh well clearly America is a whole different level. Australia, I’m not too sure what the guys get paid in Australia, but the leagues are owned by different people that market it differently, and then… It's not about pay equality, I think when you are representing your country you should be paid the same, but at the end of the day, the men's game makes way more money, so it's clear that they should make more money. It's about doing more things to invest in women's sports when it comes to marketing, when it comes to promoting, when it comes to big organisations choosing who they're going to sponsor, that is when the equality part comes in to it.
We've had some change but are you hoping that will ramp up soon?
Definitely. I think it's building. I think it's a slow and steady build, yeah it'd be nice if it was overnight, but good things take time.
We always like to encourage our readers to support women in sport, what are some things that you think that you would ask them to do in that field?
Just getting involved, watching games on TV, following athletes on Instagram, just little things like that is really supportive to women's sports.
Which other athletes, past or present, inspire you, and why?
Cathy Freeman, as a kid, I didn't play basketball when I was a kid, I only got into to it when I was ten years old, I wasn't sporty at all. But that moment when Cathy Freeman won the gold medal, it just sent me shivers. I still remember that moment, and I wasn't even into sport. Then again, Michelle Timms and Lauren Jackson they’ve done so much for the women's basketball game. They’re two women I've always looked up to.
I'm sure you get quite a good reception from young girls as well. Do you find that people have been open with you about you being an inspiration to them?
Yeah, I don't really get it I'm just me, doing my thing, and I don’t look to live my life as a role model or inspiration to someone. I'm just trying to live my life every day, but it does mean a lot, and I hope I'm doing an okay job.
What's been your biggest learning throughout your career so far?
I guess, I've always been a little bit different to all the other athletes I’ve played with, because I have always put my body and my mind first, and I copped a lot of slack for it as a teenager, I used to get called lazy and this and that, but I just never wanted to push myself through injury, I guess that's why. I have only, really, had one major injury my whole life, but to me it's just putting your mind, body first and always living your truth.
You've previously spoken about your experiences with depression and back in 2016 you said it was hard to open up about it. Has that discussion around mental health changed for you in the last couple of years?
Definitely. I think it helped people understand me a lot better. The whole of 2016, it was just a mess of a year, and I didn't want to play basketball, I didn't even want to live my life anymore, I was just stuck in a rut. I think it's crazy how many other people feel the same way, the more we talk about it and normalise mental health, I think the more people will start talking and look to get help in all the right places.
There is so much pressure involved in sport, on performance, have you found practices that help you support your mental strength and mental health?
I guess, I'm just lucky I have good people around that support me. And really living my truth and not being fake about anything will attract the people of the same energy around you. So, as long as you're living your truth, you should be attracting the right people and that's how I live my life, and I've got all the right people around me now to support me.