Children are often taught to think in binary terms. For instance, some kids grow up in environments where athletes and artists don’t intersect, where you learn early on that you’re either one or the other.
That was the case for WNBA player Imani McGee-Stafford, who discovered her love of poetry and performance at an early age, but because of her height — she was already 6’5 as a middle-schooler — the expectation was that she would follow in the footsteps of her mom, Pam McGee, and older brother, JaVale McGee, into a career on the hardwood.
She did eventually nurture a passion for hoops, which has led her to a WNBA career as a member of the Atlanta Dream, but McGee-Stafford has always insisted that her first love is for the written word. And there’s a reason for that: Expressing herself in writing has helped her work through devastating personal trauma that she suffered as a child.