Ep. 45 – I went Pro with Ieshia Small

Ieshia Small grew up playing football with the boys and decided to play basketball in middle school and never looked back. She and her brother were adopted by her AAU coach after her mother passed away when she was in high school.

Ieshia talks about being highly recruited out of high school and committing to Baylor at the McDonald’s All American game. She talks about how she got hurt the day before the game and how hard the decision was for her to not play in the game.

After her freshman year, she decided she wanted to transfer and knew one of the coaches from University of Maryland who invited her up for a visit. She talks about what a great decision it was to go to Maryland.

Ieshia discusses the importance of living in the moment.

As a high school athlete, she never saw herself playing college ball until the opportunity presented itself. The same was true with professional basketball. She never considered going pro until her senior year.

Right now she is considering what she might do after she retires from basketball and she talked about how she helps coach basketball and run a travel organization every summer and has found that she really enjoys it. Coaching is a huge privilege and responsibility and a coach will influence more people in year than the average person will in a lifetime.

Ieshia has lived and played in China, Dubai, Hungary and Ukraine. She talks about the trials and joys of playing internationally and about how relationships are difficult. She lives in her apartment alone and only has a few American teammates. On top of that, the time difference makes it difficult to stay in touch with people back at home. The holidays are an especially difficult and lonely time to be playing overseas.

Ieshia talks about the importance of relationships. It’s not about what you have, but it’s about who you know and appreciating the people in your life. Everyone is important, from the custodian to the CEO and deserves our respect.

In her highlight reel, Ieshia talks about the restaurants in Ukraine and how not only the food is good, but the ambiance is also great! Specifically the Mexican restaurant where they met the owner and now get free food.

In her blooper reel she tells a story about a time when her teammates took her to a restaurant in China and she had to pick out her food from the live animals that were there.

Ieshia passes the ball to her adopted mom who has inspired her to keep playing basketball She has grown her up to be a better woman and made her want to inspire others as well.

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