All in the Game – ‘Can’t Live Without’

This week I am going Downtown with the help of my good friend Candace Parker. We are going to compare the three things we could not live without while we are at home, with the three things we could not live without while we are abroad.

It is very common for professional women’s basketball players to spend half of the year overseas. As you know, I spend half of my time in Los Angeles.  When Candace isn’t playing with me in LA, she spends the other half of the year in Ekaterinburg, Russia.

While I am at home in Melbourne the three things I could not live without would be:

1. My Family

They say home is where your family is and this could not ring truer for me. My family and I are all incredibly close and no matter where they are in the world, home is when I am with them. Every week my family gets together for ‘Monday Night Roast’. Dad cooks up the roast chicken and vegetables and my brother and his wife come over and we all have a big family dinner. The TV is off and we all chat about our week. It is my absolute favourite time of the week and I cherish the moments I spend with them.

2. My Car

Living in Melbourne, it is very hard to get around using public transport. My basketball sessions, pilates, running, weights, catching up with friends, physio appointments, massage appointments, etc. are all in very different parts of Melbourne so life would be very difficult in Melbourne without a car.

3. Phone

This holds my life. I wish it was not the case but unfortunately it is. I could quite easily leave home without my wallet, but not my phone. It holds all my calendar appointments, it is generally how I book my appointments as well. If I am running late due to Melbourne traffic, I can quickly make a phone call (via bluetooth in my car of course) or write a text saying I am running late. It also has games on it for when I am in waiting rooms which is always handy.  I have been stuck on level 91 in Candy Crush for the longest!

When I am in LA, however, it is a little different:

1. Data/Wi-Fi

When I am overseas it is all about data and Wi-Fi. To keep in contact with my family and friends back home I use a huge number of applications on my phone, iPad mini and laptop. Without data/Wi-Fi I would have little contact with my people. Through Skype, FaceTime, iMessage, WhatsApp and Viber I keep up to date.

2. My Car

Much like Melbourne, public transport is not the best in LA. We live near the beach and play out of Staples Center which is a half an hour drive without traffic (let’s not even talk about if there is traffic). I am very dependent on my car in LA to get me places.

3. iPad mini

This little guy goes everywhere with me. It is little enough to fit in my handbag and it is how I read all my books. By the pool, at a cafe, on planes or in hotel rooms you will find me reading. This past season in America, Candace was teaching me about American history and the majority of the books I read were related to this.

Candace, on the other hand, has some different needs. In Russia she cannot live without: (just a little side note for my readers - the answers are all Candace but the descriptions are all my words)

1. Skype

Right now Candace is in Russia, her husband is in China, her mum and dad are in Chicago, her two brothers and her nieces and nephews are in Tampa.  Clearly being able to video and talk to her family is very important. She also has some close friends in LA and of course myself in Australia 😉 Technology is a wonderful thing!

2. Slingbox

For those of you that don’t know, Slingbox is a TV streaming media device that allows Candace to watch her favourite TV shows in the comfort of her living room in Russia. Anything that is viewable on her TV in LA, she can watch in Ekaterinburg as well. Most importantly, this means she can keep up to date with Olivia Pope and all her scandalous ways.

3. American Snacks (like Oreos, Kraft Mac ‘n’ Cheese and American cereals like Lucky Charms and Goldfish)

Now you may all see Candace with her 6 pack and toned arms and think she must eat super healthy right? Wrong! She is a sweet tooth and loves to eat. LOVES to eat :) She works out harder than anyone I know though so that’s how she keeps that bod in ripping shape.

In America, Candace cannot go without her:

1. Family

One thing I adore about Candace is the priority she places on her family. They come first and foremost in every part of her life. It is not easy having a long distant relationship and I love seeing Candace in the comfort of her own home with her husband Shelden, her beautiful 4 year old daughter, Lailaa, running around and her dogs Prada and Fendi by her side. It is a great environment to be a part of and family dinners of our favourite food, Lucille’s (BBQ ribs, the best!!), at their house are some of my fondest memories of LA.

2. Cell phone

As with most people these days, her mobile phone is always attached to Candace’s hip.

3. Shoes

I very rarely see Candace wear the same shoes twice. Her shoe wardrobe is extremely impressive with heels, sandals, sneakers; you name it… if only my feet were bigger so we could share!!


The use of technology for us to keep in touch with family and friends is extremely important. I remember a team mate of mine, who is now retired, said that when she played overseas, 90% of her paycheck went to making phone calls back home.

Things are vastly different now. We have cheaper phone plans, Skype, FaceTime, iMessage, WhatsApp, Viber, Tango, Kik, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook. That’s a lot of different ways to stay in contact with family and friends.

Although technology is making the world smaller and more accessible, Candace and I made a rule at dinner times that our phones go in the middle of the table. Whoever touched their phone first paid the bill. This was a way in which we could communicate without being distracted and where my American History lessons would take place. If basketball doesn’t work out for you Candace, a history teaching profession is calling your name!



Author of the article

Born and raised in a family with two brothers who were basketball fanatics, its no mystery why I also turned out that way! I am currently a member of the Seattle Storm WNBA team after playing three seasons in Los Angeles. In 2010,11 and 13 I was selected as an WNBL All Star Five player and in 2011,12 was also a WNBL Champion. At the 2012 London Olympics I was honoured to represent Australia where we Bronze medaled. During my years in basketball I have learnt more than most about the game we love and I'm looking forward to giving readers an inside look into the glamourous life of a professional women's basketball player!