Scrolling through the feed on Facebook last night, an unexpected journey captured me for nearly 28 minutes.
The Chicago Sky dropped a self-produced mini-doc painting a beautiful picture of the path Jantel Lavender followed to become a WNBA star. Relative to the girls she was competing with in Cleveland, her seventh grade start was a late introduction to the game. The well-tuned eye of Cleveland Central Catholic coach Mel Burke Sr. picked Lavender from the crowd as a raw athlete who hadn’t been molded yet. With the right guidance, the rest would become history.
Lavender is now going into her 10th season and second in Chicago. Her first stretch was spent in Los Angeles after being selected fifth overall out of Ohio State in the 2011 WNBA Draft. Six campaigns in, Lavender captured the 2016 WNBA Championship with the Sparks, earning Sixth Woman of the Year for her support to a star-studded lineup. Over her illustrious career with the Buckeyes, Lavender earned the title of Big Ten Player of the Year all four years, the only male or female ever to do so. She still holds the school record with 1,142 field goals made for 2,818 points, and her 1,422 rebounds are both a current school and Big Ten record.
State champ, Mickey D’s All-American, the accolades go on. You know what? You’re probably better off learning more about Jantel Lavender for yourself. There’s only five more months until WNBA season. It’s content like this that makes the wait almost bearable. Enjoy.