Professional athletes are known for the strength, endurance, agility and grace, and Seattle Storm forward Alysha Clark is no exception. She is part of the WBNA elite (and has the history-making-record to prove it), but what impresses us most is her humble nature and commitment to giving backoff the court. Alysha has chosen to use her platform in a way that helps better the everyday for many in her community through her work with the Storm Foundation and Seattle Children's Hospital. This is not an obligation nor a vie for publicity; rather, they’re simple acts of kindness — everyday assists, really — that are setting a strong, achievable example for women everywhere.
You have achieved a long list of amazing accomplishments thus far in your career. Which are you most proud of and why?
Oh wow, I have never thought about this...I'll have to say either my 50 point game or NCAA leading scorer for 2008/2009 and 2009/2010. My entire career, I never sought these types of personal accolades - but now looking back, those two were significant! A 5'10" division 1 post player should not be able to score 50 points (from layups, no less), nor lead the country in scoring two years straight. I still find it crazy!
You are believed to be the first NCAA basketball player (men's or women's) to earn player of the year accolades from two different conferences. What does it feel like to be a historical figure in the world of sports?
I've heard people say this before and it still doesn't sound real - it blows my mind to think that I was able to do this, especially from where I started. But I'm extremely humbled by it and just hope I can inspire one person to believe that the sky really is the limit!
You are a huge proponent of providing assists off the basketball court. Can you tell us a little about your involvement with the Storm Foundation and your connection to Children's Hospital?
The Storm Foundation is such a great platform to reach the youth in the Seattle community! Being able to empower young kids, help them build confidence and mentor them comes naturally to me because it was something I struggled with in my youth. Because I have a degree in Broadcast Journalism, one particular group that stood out was Reel Grrrls. They were at media day conducting interviews with us using questions they had written themselves, and they did such an amazing job! You could tell when they finished an interview, they were so proud of themselves and their peers. To see that kind of support and encouragement for young girls just makes it all worth it.
Seattle Children's Hospital is another favorite of mine. My friend Kimberly Stetson, who also happens to be a Storm 360 Member, works there. She asked me to just come by and say hello to some of the kids because she talks about the Storm all the time to them (and they just light up). I love kids and being around them, so of course I went. These kids have done more for me than I could ever do for them - they are the real superstars! Their strength, determination and joy for life is such an inspiration. I've made some pretty amazing friends there.
Your life must be insanely busy! You could easily choose to forgo community involvement and instead spend your time and energy elsewhere. What motivates and inspires you to give back, specifically when it comes to inspiring and elevating young women?
There is a purpose far beyond basketball for me, which is using my platform to do good work - if I can bring a smile to someone's face, inspire someone to work a little harder, make someone's day a bit better, lighten someone's load, or just lend an ear...then I'm doing what I'm supposed to be doing. To be able to play basketball is a blessing, but I'll never be too busy to give back.
Here at Clementine Daily, our goal is to live a simplified, intentional and authentic lifestyle while celebrating the simpler pleasures of our days. How do you celebrate the simple things in life?
Ahhhh I love that!! I celebrate the simple things in life everyday! My motto is: always find a positive. That way, you always find something to appreciate!
What is the best piece of advice you have ever received? Will you share a few words of wisdom for any young female readers hoping to pursue a career in professional sports?
Someone once told me what my mind can conceive and my heart will believe, God will help me achieve. To any young females reading this with aspirations of a professional sports career, I say to you: never let someone define who YOU will be! When you put in the work, the results will show!