‘I probably wanted to quit every week’

Basketball legend Sheryl Swoopes joins Dawn Staley About the latest episode of NETLIFEAnd the former teammate was enthusiastic about recollecting.

Twenty-six years after winning the gold medal with Team USA at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, Starry and Swoops shared their memories of the game and the training camp that led to it.

“I probably wanted to quit every week,” Swoops told Starley.

Swoopes talks about trying to avoid one of the Van Derveer trainings assigned to the team during the summer vacation. The player was instructed to send a mile time record and Swoops decided to give it a fib.

I once thought, “I don’t want to do this training today.” In my head, I was much younger, so I’m fine. All you have to do is make something and paste it into the mail, “says Swoops.

“It was a cod, so I should have known it better.”

Vandervia called her when Swoops and other members of the team appeared at the Colorado Springs camp. The mileage submitted by Swoops was as fast as the Mott Elite Track Runner.

“Cheryl, I think you’re playing the wrong sport,” Swoops recalls Vandervia.

VanDerveer timed athletes on Colorado Springs tracks throughout the training camp under all conditions.

“She was testing us mentally,” says Starley, now head coach of the University of South Carolina women’s basketball team. “If I do that, I don’t have a team, so I don’t mentally test our team that way.”

“The mental toughness of today’s players is nowhere compared to what we had to have on the day we played,” Swoops adds. “A coach like Tara will break everyone if she coaches today the way she coached our team at the time.

“If I didn’t have everything, I would have stopped because Tara broke me so many times.”

Their Olympic preparation challenges made the team closer, albeit more demanding.

“We were holding each other down and turning our backs on each other, so there is a special place in my heart for that team,” Swoops says.

From where she sits now, Staley says she sees how Van Derveer’s coaching style connects players.

“Looking back, Tara sacrificed herself,” she says. “She brought us closer by becoming her sacrificial lamb. Similarly, we didn’t like her, and she told us all because of what she was doing. Forced us to like each other. “

Listen to NETLIFE For more information on Swoops and Starry’s Olympic journey.

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Written by Fem Society

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