Scoring baskets and breaking records is just part of the full-time responsibility the women of the WNBA have in their day-to-day lives. Being able to be a professional athlete and do what they do not only takes talent but practice and perseverance.
After making their mark in the best women’s basketball teams during their collegiate career, these ladies were among the first to be chosen in the WNBA draft. When they’re not busy dominating the world of basketball, these players let loose and show another side of who they are outside of their uniforms. And Hype Galore is here to give you the scoop on what happens off the courts.
Elena Delle Donne Has Her Own Woodworking Business
From the time she was a child, Elena Delle Donne grew up playing basketball. It was all she ever wanted to do. Her dreams came true in 2013 when she was the second overall draft pick by Chicago Sky. Eight years later and she is now one of the biggest names in the WNBA. To name just a few of her accomplishments, she’s won WNBA’s Most Valuable Player twice and is a three-time WNBA All-Star starter.
For someone who’s always made it clear she’s first and foremost an athlete, she only recently revealed to the world that she is also an artist. As if she didn’t have enough going for her by being beautiful and athletic, Elena is incredibly creative. During her offseason and free time, she enjoys crafting and customizing cutting boards, wall art, and charcuterie boards. Her projects became so well-known that she even made a business out of them.
Lexie Brown Is an Aspiring Personal Trainer
Say hello to the newest member of the WNBA, Lexie Brown. Hailing from Orlando, Florida, Lexie’s life changed dramatically when she moved North and was selected to play for the Minnesota Lynx. Even all the sweat from running in her games can’t keep her warm enough for the brutal northern winters. Don’t worry; she’s adjusted quite well since making a career-high 21 points in the Lynx’s game against the Los Angeles Sparks.
With fitness always being an important aspect of Lexie’s life, she only ever focused on it to help further her basketball career. It was only when she realized she actually enjoyed living a healthier and more fit lifestyle that this could be her secondary profession and passion. Currently, Lexie is working on obtaining her certification, but in the meantime is offering basic and personalized plans to interested customers.
Kayla McBride Is Addicted To Tattoos
According to Kayla McBride, basketball was her first unconditional love. On her personal website, she wrote, “An escape, a gift, so much joy has come from this game. I would play it for free. It has shown me the world, it has opened doors, and given me so many opportunities for me and my family.” From being an MVP at the University of Notre Dame to now playing for the Minnesota Lynx, it’s clear that this sport will always be apart of her life.
So what’s the one thing she’s addicted to more than basketball? Tattoos. Once she started, she just couldn’t stop – and today, she’s currently totaling at six pieces of ink on her body. And aside from the most recent addition featured on her left arm, the rest are pretty well hidden. From her rib cages to her shoulder, to behind her ear – pain is no gain for this shooting guard when it comes to needles or roughing it up on the court.
A’Ja Wilson Started Her Own Foundation
Destined to be a basketball champion, A’Ja Wilson did exactly that. Growing up in a close family, she was influenced by her father, who had played professionally in Europe and fell in love with the game from the time she was a child. As a star player for the South Carolina Gamecocks, she became the leading scorer in the history of women’s basketball in South Carolina. These days, she’s best known as number 22 for the Las Vegas Aces.
A’ja’s time in college was what helped lay the foundation for her future. Aside from becoming an asset and “shero” to the Gamecock community, she became a member of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. With values such as scholarship and philanthropy instilled and encouraged in her, together with her parents, A’ja created her own foundation. Its purpose is to help children that struggle with dyslexia as well as prevent bullying.
Kelsey Plum Is Married and Keeps Her Love Life Out of the Media
In 2017, Kelsey Plum became a WNBA icon when she was the first overall draft for the San Antonio Stars (now known as the Las Vegas Aces). Now it’s 2021, and Kelsey is still playing for the same team. She even led them to the playoffs for the first time since 2014. Although she had to sit this last season out due to an injury, she is back and ready to dominate this next season.
Kelsey does a pretty good job at keeping her personal life under wraps for someone who is a public figure. Honestly, we didn’t even know she was married until we did some serious digging. It’s true! Though he may not be seen anywhere on her social media or pictured in a tabloid, Kelsey Plum has been married to her longtime boyfriend, Josh, since 2016.
Bria Hartley Has Her Own Clothing Line
What started as winning back-to-back national championships for the UConn women’s basketball team was only the beginning of putting Bria Hartley on the map. Her point guard days in college helped her become the seventh overall pick by the Seattle Storm in the 2014 WNBA draft. Although she’s played for a few teams since she’s gone pro, she currently calls the Phoenix Mercury team her professional home.
If you thought Bria was limited to only being talented at the game of basketball, you thought wrong. Aside from trying to be a key woman within the WNBA, outside of work, she’s busy being a full-time mother and businesswoman. That’s right, Bria owns and operates All Hart Clothing, where she not only models her apparel but runs the social media account and is a part of the creative designing process.
Kiara Leslie Is a Big Believer in Faith
The Washington Mystics knew exactly what they were doing when they picked Kiara Leslie to be a part of their team in 2019. Within her rookie year, she had started in ten games, playing about 21.8 minutes per game – which is a lot of playing time for a newbie. But her fierceness as a defensive player is what contributed to all of this. One thing is for sure; you do not want to be up against Kiara if your team is on offense.
While Kiara has always worked hard to get where she is, there’s one major factor that she’s always relied on for anything in her life. Sure, she has her family, friends, and talent – but the one thing she clings to is having faith. Especially over the past year with the pandemic and recovering from an injury, Kiara has preached that having faith in her religion keeps her at ease and gives her the confidence that everything will be okay.
Jordin Canada Is a Television Junkie
With her high school basketball team being led by a former WNBA coach, Jordin Canada was destined for the big leagues. By proving that she had extraordinary talent and could take direction well, it was no surprise that she was drafted to the WNBA immediately after college. Scoring points and earning championships, Jordin is currently playing for the Seattle Storm, who couldn’t be luckier to have her.
With back-to-back conditionings, games, and traveling, there’s barely any downtime for these pro athletes. While some players decompress by expressing their creativity through entrepreneurship, Jordin does things a little more in our style. Nothing says “relax,” like kicking your shoes off and binge-watching some classic TV shows. For Jordin, this is her favorite way to decompress, and she particularly enjoys The Office and Sharktank.
Betnijah Laney Is a Fashionista
Would you ever believe that someone who plays for the WNBA used to hate the game of basketball? For Betnijah Laney, although she grew up playing the game from childhood, originally despised the sport. Because her mom was the main influencer for her to play, it felt like more of a chore than a hobby – but all that changed when she realized it was part of who she was. Today, she’s one of the fiercest players for New York Liberty.
Betnijah sure does know how to rock a basketball uniform, but when playing time is done, you’ll rarely catch her in athleisure wear. Just because she’s a jock doesn’t mean that it has to define her style. So whenever she’s out and about, she’s dressed to impress for all to see. Whether if it’s a tight-fitted mini dress or a stylish two-piece paired with heels, Betnijah is out here turning heads and breaking necks.
Satou Sabally Is an Ambassador for UNICEF
For Satou Sabally, her dreams of becoming a professional basketball player started slightly earlier than her fellow athletes. Playing for the Oregon Ducks during college, she decided to enter the draft early because she had reached the minimum required age to play. Though this was a bit risky for her, despite being one season away from complete eligibility, it worked out well for the now forward of the Dallas Wings.
But Satou is so much more than just a basketball player. She believes in using her platform to ignite important cultural conversations. Her social media alone reflects the importance she feels on topics such as equality, racism, and much more. This humanitarian is so well-known for her being outspoken that she is now an ambassador for UNICEF.
Amanda Zahui Is a Video Game Buff
Born in Stockholm, Sweden, this little girl had big dreams of playing basketball in America. Before she even reached the age of 18, Amanda Zahui had moved into her own apartment to be closer to a school that had an excellent basketball program. By the time she would become 21 years old, her dreams of playing in the WNBA would come true. And now, all of her hard work earned her a spot on the roster of the Los Angeles Sparks.
Amanda’s whole life has been dedicated to the game of basketball and any efforts in propelling her career forward. But every so often, when a moment of freedom presents herself, Amanda indulges in the opportunity and completely geeks out. Yup, Amanda is a huge video game buff and considers this her biggest hobby. Should you ever get the chance to play against her, you should know that car games are her specialty.
Glory Johnson Is a Mom To Twin Girls
Her career may have peaked between 2012-2017, but that doesn’t mean Glory Johnson isn’t relevant in the WNBA. After earning accolades for being an All-Star and scoring 2,000 points within the first three years of her career, this makes Glory the pick of the patch when it comes to players. Currently, she’s playing forward for the Atlanta Dream.
As much responsibility as Glory has to her ball-playing career; she has an even bigger responsibility off the court. Not only is she a mother, but she’s a mother to two young, twin little girls. Needless to say, Glory has her hands full between working full-time and caring for her kids.
Katie Lou Samuelson Advocates for Mental Health Awareness Based off of Her Own Experiences
In 2014, Katie Lou Samuelson was drafted as the fourth overall pick by the Chicago Sky. Only recently, Katie switched teams not once but twice and has now ended up on the Seattle Storm’s roster. Not saying that this is a bad thing, but being traded meant she was no longer teammates with her biological sister, Karlie, who was also playing for the Dallas Wings.
Looking at pictures, it may seem like Katie has got her life all figured out as a professional basketball player. But that is quite the contrary. Recently, Katie opened up about her struggle with depression and anxiety. Living under constant pressure definitely takes a toll on someone’s life, but luckily she’s taken the proper measures towards having a better mental health journey. And being public about it is nothing she’s ashamed about.
Chelsea Gray Is a Role Model for LGBTQ Youth
Before becoming an international basketball commodity, Chelsea Gray was scoring major points for the NCAA and WNBA. During her undergrad years at Duke University, she scored over 1,200 points in her college career. Catching the big leagues’ attention, she made her way to play for the Los Angeles Sparks. But after five seasons, Chelsea made the switch and is now playing for the Las Vegas Aces.
She may be well-known for her exceptional talent on the court, but what she does outside of the basketball world is even more impressive. Whether it’s topics like pay equity or social justice, Chelsea is a firm believer in standing up for what she believes in. So much so that she is now known as a role model amongst the LGBTQ youth because of how proud and outspoken she is when it comes to her own sexual orientation.
Napheesa Collier Is Also a Basketball Mentor
Before joining the ranks in the professional league, Napheesa Collier was making a name for herself at the University of Connecticut. While she was playing as a Huskie, she ranked third in scoring and fourth in rebounds – impressive! We guess that’s why it was no surprise when she was the sixth overall pick in the 2019 WNBA draft. Still forever loyal to her undergrad alma mater, she’s much happier to be a Minnesota Lynx these days.
For Napheesa, her passion for the sport of basketball is more than just a job but a way of life. Even when she’s not working in her actual job as a Minnesota Lynx, she just can’t put basketball on the side. So much so that she has become a mentor providing video lessons on how to harness and improve one’s basketball skills. Basically, it’s like having your own private, virtual masterclass with one of the best players from the WNBA.
Kia Nurse Has Her Own Basketball Academy
Kia Nurse was a hot commodity before ever entering the WNBA. Close to 50 colleges and universities were out scouting her and trying to have her join their basketball program because at 18; she was already that good! Not to mention she already had played for Canada in their Olympic team in 2016 -also before joining the WNBA in 2018. After being loyal to New York Liberty for the past three years, she is now playing for Phoenix Mercury.
Like many of her fellow athletes, this powerhouse player can’t help but take her love for the game home with her. Between games, practices, and press events, Kia also owns and manages her very own basketball academy based in Canada. So if you’re wondering what she does for fun – you can assume it has something to do with basketball.
Candace Parker and Her Daughter Are Owners of a Soccer Team
With two Olympic medals under her belt, it’s safe to say that Candace Parker is the best of the best in the WNBA. But these hard-earned pieces of jewelry were the results of her years of dedication to the game. Proving she was better than the rest, Candace was the first woman to ever dunk in an NCAA tournament game. Since she first entered the draft back in 2008 as the first overall pick, she’s now one of the Los Angeles Sparks’ MVPs.
Aside from her love of basketball, the biggest love in her life is her younger daughter Lailaa. Together, they recently decided to become a mother-daughter powerhouse by joining the ownership group of the Los Angeles soccer team Angel City. Now that’s one way to invest in your child’s future.
Siemone Augustus Is a Sneaker Fanatic
Seimone Augustus is one of the most recognizable faces in the WNBA. Finding her love of the game at ten years old, Seimone actually used to play on the boy’s basketball team. Once her peers saw that she could dunk, on a boy nonetheless, the gyms were always packed with adoring fans to watch her play. Today, she’s an eight-time all-star who plays for the Los Angeles Sparks and the U.S. national team.
When she’s not perfecting her craft outside of her “regular” working hours, Seimone has a bit of a passion for fashion – more specifically, her footwear. Whether it’s her shoes for basketball or just everyday outerwear, Seimone has a pretty big obsession with sneakers. From glancing at her closet pictures on Instagram, it’s safe to say that she has over 50 pairs of kicks to choose from on a daily basis.
Tayler Hill Is a Travel Bug
In 2013, Tayler Hill’s professional basketball career finally began. As the fourth overall pick, she was originally drafted to be the Washington Mystics shooting guard. A year later, Tayler had given birth to her first child and got back in the game after three months of being a brand new mommy. Though she had taken some time to play for the New York Liberty, she’s back at her home team playing for the Mystics.
During the offseason, Tayler is busy jet-setting all over the world. From Paris to paradise, Tayler’s constantly posting photos from her latest adventures. She may know how to handle her business on the court, but we’d rather tag along on her journeys when she’s scoring airline points instead.
Victoria Vivians Is a Vegetarian
Standing firm at 6’1″, Victoria Vivians is one of the most versatile players within the WNBA. Not only is she a sharpshooter when the pressure is on, but her rebounding and defensive skills just can’t be compared. All of this makes it understandable why in 2018, she was selected as the eighth overall pick in the first-round draft. And today, she’s still bringing the heat and her A-game as she plays for the Indiana Fever.
Having a body like Vivian’s takes more than her consistent training to be picture perfect. So what kind of diet would you think she maintains? Well, surprisingly enough, Vivian is actually a vegetarian. Her plant-based diet is what she credits her health and physique to.
Kristine Anigwe Practices Pilates
Leading her team in points and rebounds, Kristen Anigwe became a sought-after player during her collegiate years at the University of California. Since she graduated, she’s managed to play for the Connecticut Sun, Dallas Wings, and now Los Angeles Sparks – all within the span of two years.
Fitness has always been an essential part of Kristine’s life regarding her career. Coincidentally, she also seeks out physical fitness as a form of relaxation. When she’s not training for the season, Kristine loves to enjoy a pilates class. She captioned one of her pilates pictures with this quote by Eckhart Tolle, “You find peace not by rearranging the circumstances of your life, but by realizing who you are at the deepest level.”
Kalani Brown Loves To Watch Anime
Born into a basketball family, Kalani Brown just so happens to be the daughter of the former NBA champion, P.J. Brown – who played for the Boston Celtics. With basketball talent pulsing through her veins and ingrained in her upbringing, Kalani was destined to follow in her father’s footsteps. After being named an NCAA All-American, Kalani is now a proud player as a center for the Atlanta Dream.
Though she may come off as the ultimate athlete and girly-girl, there’s one thing about Kalani Brown we bet you could have never guessed. Aside from her glamorous Instagram pictures and skills on the court, Kalani is majorly into watching anime. Yup, this mega-athlete loves to kick back and watch her favorite anime films and shows with the little downtime she has.
Natalie Achonwa Runs Her Own Basketball Camp
Growing up towering over her peers, Natalie Achonwa standing at a whopping 6’3″, was a natural when it came to basketball. Making her way into playing for the NCAA during college at Notre Dame, her team ended up making appearances in the Final Four and National Championships. Her time to go pro came in 2014 when she was drafted ninth overall by the Indiana Fever. These days, she’s better known as a Minnesota Lynx.
At 28 years old, Natalie is not only balancing her personal life with her professional life, but she even has her own side hustle. In 2019, Natalie decided to open up her own basketball camp to share her talents with aspiring players within her community.
Aerial Powers Is Well-Known Within the World of Gaming
Making waves at Michigan State University, Aerial Powers had started her basketball journey as a hopeful player. Within her first year of playing, she became the first freshman to be named to the All-Big Ten First Team. When 2016 rolled around, she was drafted to the Dallas Wings as the fifth overall pick, even though these days she’s playing for the Washington Mystics.
Aerial may have an endorsement deal with Nike and is considered one of the big names in the WNBA, but she’s got a whole other life off the courts. Believe it or not, Aerial is actually well-known within the world of gaming. First of all, she’s a brand ambassador for HyperX – a company that sells gaming equipment. She’s also the chair of the Diversity and Inclusion Task Force for Team Liquid, a company directly associated with Fortnite.
Nneka Ogwumike Loves To Cook
In 2012, Nneka Ogwumike became a household name within the WNBA when she was drafted number one by the Los Angeles Sparks. Shortly after her signing deal, she landed an endorsement deal with Nike, which helped her piggy bank out quite a bit. Since the start of her professional career, Nneka has been named the WNBA MVP for the 2016 season as well as the President of the WNBA Players Association.
Growing up as a Nigerian-American woman, culture was always a big part of Nneka’s upbringing. When she’s not busy with the WNBA, instead of ordering in food or going to fancy restaurants, Nneka would much rather be her own chef. Cooking up delicacies like Nigerian fried rice and lentil stews, Nneka loves to get creative in the kitchen and document it all for the gram.
Monique Billings Is a Huge Foodie
Before her days as a player for the Atlanta Dream began, Monique Billings hit the courts at UCLA. Starting in 34 of 35 games, she proved that her talent was incomparable to her teammates. In 2018, her talent paid off when she was the 15th overall pick in the WNBA draft. Today, she’s still with the team that picked her three years ago.
Once she realized that traveling would be a major part of her professional life, Monique decided to make the most of her time on the go. With love for all things culinary, Monique became the ultimate foodie over the years. Researching and dining at the coolest and yummiest spots across the globe, she’s known for not only documenting but tasting some of the best bites that we only read about.
Stefanie Dolson Is a Dog Mama
Since 2014, Stefanie Dolson made an impact on women’s basketball when she first joined the WNBA as a college graduate. As a back-to-back NCAA championship star, it only made sense that her next step would be to go the professional route. From starting with the Washington Mystics to now playing center for Chicago Sky, Stefanie has no intention of giving up the game anytime soon.
With the tough exterior that she demonstrates on game day, the average person would never know she’s got a huge soft spot for one thing. Yup, Stefanie Dolson is a proud dog mama to the most precious toy poodle we’ve ever seen. Her fur child Theodore can be spotted in almost any picture found on her Instagram account. She may love the game of basketball, but we think it doesn’t compare to the love she has for little Theo.
Alanna Smith Is the Ultimate Beach Bum
Originally hailing from Australia, Alanna Smith has made her mark in women’s basketball in America. After playing for Stanford University during her undergrad days, she made it into the first round of the WNBA draft in 2019. These days, she claims Arizona as her stomping grounds as she currently plays for the Phoenix Mercury.
While it may seem like her life revolves around basketball, it’s more like basketball revolves around Alanna’s life. Her absolute favorite thing to do off the courts is to put on her best bikini and hit the beach. Soaking up the sun is where you can usually find this Aussie when she’s not busy working.
Kaila Charles Is Trying To Become a YouTube Sensation
She may seem petite in these pictures, but don’t be fooled. The Connecticut Suns’ guard-forward Kaila Charles stands tall at a whopping 6’1″. With athleticism pulsing through her veins, Kaila was the 23rd overall pick in the 2020 WNBA draft. Making her Olympian mother, Ruperta Charles, very proud, Kaila ended up starting in seven of the 21 games she was a part of for this past basketball season.
While she may be considered a pro now, Kaila has another passion outside of basketball. According to her social media accounts, it seems like she’s trying to become the ultimate YouTuber. Recently, Kaila moved to Israel to continue playing basketball and is documenting everything about her crazy experience. From her YouTube channel to her Instagram feed, Kaila is perfecting her online presence in addition to her basketball skills.