Cappie Pondexter has done it all. A two-time WNBA champion, seven-time All-Star, Olympic Gold Medalist, and one of the greatest players in WNBA history, the recently retired Pondexter has maintained an active public presence in her post-playing career. Pondexter was a regular fixture at games during the 2019 season and continues to be involved with basketball in some form or another after an illustrious playing career.
Dime spoke with Pondexter on the phone before Glam Day, a Foot Locker initiative at Bishop Loughlin Memorial High School in Brooklyn. The high school basketball team was styled for a professional photo shoot before a discussion with Pondexter, Cassy Athena, and Taylor Rooks. Pondexter believes part of her purpose is to give her time to the youth so that they have successful examples to follow.
“I believe the young ladies deserve an opportunity to have mentors to talk to and listen to,” Pondexter told Dime. “Growing up, it wasn’t often that we had female role models that we could actually have as mentors, and now they have the opportunity. For me, I always want to be a part of giving back to the culture.
“I think they’re the window to the future, and if we can give them the lessons that we learned at an early age, then they won’t have to make the same mistakes, and then they can really move forward and help the universe.”
Those lessons include dreaming big and setting high goals, even if the surrounding world attempts to put limits on them.
“In society today, there are a lot of people that don’t like the idea of being successful or are even scared of being successful,” Pondexter said. “But if we can actually help the next generation know that it’s possible and see people that are actually winning, I feel like it’s a no-brainer.”
Part of the reason Pondexter is so intent on helping younger girls is because she was blessed with numerous role models. Even though her mom originally didn’t want her to play basketball because she believed it was a male-dominated sport, eventually her family support was crucial to her career success. Pondexter also had the opportunity to connect with basketball luminaries at a young age.