Former WNBA player and Minnesota native Tamara Moore takes on a new challenge with ownership of a new team, in a new league as she looks forward to a return to the WNBA very soon.
I had a great opportunity to speak with this beautiful, intelligent, and dynamic player and person recently discussing her time in the league, playing with a young Diana Taurasi, Lisa Leslie, and much more. A very focused young woman who is determined to win at all cost, using her marketing and excellence to provide a championship mentality to all who around her.
This owner of the Minnesota Mist is destined to bring another championship to the state, as well as raise the level of awareness to Minnesota athletics overall.
Nick Hamilton (NH): With all of your accomplishments in college and in the WNBA, which pursued you to take on a new challenge like owning the Minnesota Mist in a new league?
Tamara Moore (TM): I just thought it was something brand new, obviously I played in college, in the WNBA, and overseas. It was a new venture to get into the fantasy, entertainment modeling side of the game. Not everyone is going to make to the WNBA, and I figured they're women out there that are beautiful, not to say the women in the WNBA aren't beautiful, but just have experience in modeling who can actually play the game.
NH: From the time you started with the Minnesota Lynx,have been able to keep up the evolution of the team, and your thoughts on their success?
TM: Well, I follow any Minnesota sports teams, whether its the Timberwolves, Twins, Vikings, even the Wild. I know we haven't had a good hockey team, but with the Lynx have shown that they can be championship basketball played in Minnesota. They have elevated from 2002, I wasn't originally drafted there. I was traded by the Miami Sol to home which was an amazing experience. To see where it was with me, Katie Smith to now with Simone Augustus, Candice Wiggins, Maya Moore, along with hometown talent in Lindsey Whalen, we have what it takes to win championships.
NH: You mentioned Maya Moore, obviously you were the first Moore 23, your thoughts on her and where do you see her career going?
TM: It's funny that you ask me about Maya Moore, because alot of people think we're related in some way. They think it's my sister, cousin or something. As far as her game is concern, the girl can play...she plays well. She can do a variety of things from shooting three pointers, post up, driving to the basket, and she's brought a championship level from Connecticut to here and I'm sure the Lynx fans love her for that.
NH: You were a world traveler of the WNBA as you had an opportunity to play with an early Diana Taurasi with the Phoenix Mercury, what did you see and are you surprised at her accomplishments today?
TM: I'm not surprised one percent at all. Especially on how well she's transitioned from her rookie year to capturing two championships, just another player from Connecticut that has blazed a trail of winning ways. She came and was a leader, even as a rookie and I love her. She is my favorite teammate out of all the six seasons I played.
NH: You played for the L.A. Sparks back in 2006, and had a chance to play with the greatest to grace the court in Lisa Leslie. What was that experience like for you?
TM: It's so obvious to be able to soak up all the knowledge that she's had. I mean she was playing overseas, so for me to be able to play along side someone who is if not will be a Hall Of Famer, and will go down as the best post player of all time. Just the elevation of game she's come with, and many people don't know she was pregnant during those playoffs, and fought through that. Just showing that women can still be beautiful, still be feminine, and still be aggressive and have intensity for the game, it was a great thing for me to play with her.
NH: What did you learn from the WNBA that helped you on and off the court?
TM: I definitely learned the WNBA is a business. You have to understand the business aspect of it has to be respected. What many don't understand is that there is limited playing time, they're cuts, it's opportunities for you not to get in a training camp, it's pressure. For me the business side is alot more important, because they are paying you to play! You are they're product and I'm learning now with being with the Minnesota Mist and this Bikini Basketball Association.
NH: As an owner, what are you doing to get the fans excited about seeing a different version of women's basketball?
TM: The way you get them excited is not putting so much emphasis on the word Bikini. It's just a catchy word, that sounds much better than sports bras, the bikini is not the most important part of this league. My Minnesota Mist is a fantasy team who gets into the community and does charity work, we do community service, and fundraisers. The only time you'll see bikini's are on the court and in photo shoots. It's a fantasy league that brings models, who entertain to the basketball court.
NH: Are you confident that this league will begin on time for the Spring?
TM: We just a great conference call with all of the owners and the league, we've got everything hashed out and is scheduled to begin in June. We have eight total team nationwide, so everybody is grinding. Marketing is not hard as people think, we've received offers for season tickets, wanting to book some of the players for hosting gigs, and we haven't even stepped on the court. We are also starting a Big Mist program which a big sister, little sister program that mentors young girls from the local youth center. Empowering them with self esteem and rewarding them for doing well in school.
NH: Who is your target audience for this league?
TM: Our target audience is single men, obviously with the lesbian community, and the housewives. It wont be marketed to young people especially those under 18 years old.
NH: Are you looking for an opportunity to play again in the WNBA soon?
TM: I have a couple opportunity actually, but because I've been out so long, they want to see what I can still do on the court. Of course if given my choice I'd want to play for the hometown Minnesota Lynx. But any team out there I'd be willing to play for, they just want to see me for a full season put up numbers somewhere and take it from there.
NH: Will there be any dunking in this league?
TM: I hope so, I mean I don't know how many of the girl can dunk. At one point they were talking about lower the rim a little bit, and I was like no. It would put a stigma like it joke and I'm not in agreement with that. We are going to make it exciting and show everyone that these ladies can really play.
NH: Where can people find out more about you, the Minnesota Mist, and the league as a whole?
TM: They can find us on Twitter @TamaraTeeMoore, @MinnesotaMist, and on Facebook under Minnesota Mist.
Tamara is also a great evaluator talent as she informed me of one particular young lady Porscha Grant who plays for the Orlando Lady Cats, says she could average a double double overseas and a definite game changer. She assures me that any WNBA GM and coach who will watch her play this season, will be presently surprised. Tamara also said Grant reminds her Dwight Howard and play against anyone.
Get ready for June, because the new BBA league is coming at you full speed.