Anderson, a former 2nd-overall WNBA draft pick and college superstar, recently told readers she’s planning on writing a book, and to my delight, she included some choice excerpts - which included her smoking weed moments before a WNBA drug test, tear-filled vodka binges and holding a gun to her head at a drug dealer’s house.
Some of the excerpts after the jump.
There isn’t much context provided as to why Anderson wrote these passages, except that she was suffering from an achilles injury. Might be more to the story.
“Hey Royce. It’s Chantelle. I need some weed.” It was the first non-business related call I had made since arriving in San Antonio two days before. Royce was one of those guys that I had kind of liked when I first got to San An, until I figured out he was just trying to hit. These days we were cool, and I knew I could call him for info. on the club scene or, as in this case, to get high. And that’s exactly what I needed: something to take me somewhere else for a moment, away from this enigma that was my life. A Harry Potter movie just wasn’t gonna cut it this time.
The last time I had smoked was at a party in Sac almost three years before. Shortly afterwards, on our next road trip to Phoenix, the league had surprised us with a drug test as soon as we got to the gym for practice. I immediately began to visualize the meeting with my coach telling me I was off the team for violating the league’s anti-drug policy, and the subsequent phone call to my Dad as I informed him I no longer had a job. I had been so scared I was going to fail that I offered up a prayer in which I traded a clean test for a promise to God that I would never smoke again. Well, I passed, and I hadn’t smoked since. In my current situation however, I figured God would understand.
Almost immediately I noticed a gun sitting on the opposite corner of the coffee table in such an obvious location it made me wonder how I hadn’t seen it there before. Sherman saw me looking at it and asked if I had ever seen a gun in real life before. I said “No”. He picked it up and held it out to me, and I took it.
I examined it, tenderly caressing the matte black steel that was kind of pretty in a macabre sort of way. Then I pressed it against my temple; it was cold. Cold and unfeeling. I pressed harder.
I went to the freezer and stood in the middle of the kitchen as I downed half a bottles worth of vodka shots. Then, like that cold gust of wind when you first step out of the front door in January, it hit me, and I started to cry; that agonizingly silent cry purging itself from so deep down in my soul that the sound got lost on the way up. In fact the only evidence I was actually crying were the tears that found themselves dripping off the edge of my jaw, and the somewhat irregular breathing as I embraced myself and curled up on the living room floor. I don’t know how long I laid there, but the last thing I remember before passing out was pleading with God, “Lord, please help me.”
Guessing it won’t come as a shock to you that Anderson retired from basketball earlier this month. Unable to win a job in the WNBA after her injury, she played professionally in Lebanon for a short while before quitting.
It’s understandable that Anderson would be depressed about suffering an achilles injury, but the drugs, suicide, alcohol bit indicates there’s probably a little more going on there than just basketball.
That said, athletes are often taught from an early age to attach their self-worth to their professional success, so suffering a career-ending injury is more traumatic that we know.
Based on the early returns, Anderson might be on to something. What I’d like to see though is a tell-all about the real WNBA. Pull back the curtain, Chantelle!