After 12 successful seasons in the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA), Canadian Tammy Sutton-Brown is enjoying her new career.
She launched TSquared – a marketing company that connects professional athletes with brands – and is busy promoting the first in a series of children’s books.
Cree and Scooter Hit the Slopes in British Columbia is geared towards children between the ages of four and eight. The fun and interactive series exposes young readers to various cultures in an age-appropriate manner.
Sutton-Brown said the subsequent books in the series follow Cree and Scooter as they travel to different countries to experience the richness and uniqueness of many world cultures.
“Each book includes opportunities for readers to learn world geography, history, key words from different languages and many different customs,” said Brown-Sutton, who made an appearance at the inaugural Black Arts & Innovation Expo last Saturday. “I wanted to do something that was educational for kids, yet at the same time very engaging so they would realize that you could have fun while you learn.”
Sutton-Brown said her travels to many countries as a professional athlete were the inspiration for the series.
“In many of the camps I attend and speaking engagements I do, I realize that most of the young people have not travelled and wouldn’t have the good fortune as I did to travel the world,” she said. “I am bringing the world to them. They can pick up a book, go to their bedroom and venture off to all these different places with Cree and Scooter.”
The second Canadian drafted (Cal Bouchard was the first) in 2001 as the 18th selection by the defunct Charlotte Sting, which she represented until 2006 before joining the Indiana Fever, said the transition has been seamless.
“What I am now doing is a new challenge, but I am enjoying it so far,” she said. “I took the first year off and did a lot of traveling.”
In addition to promoting her book and building her company, Sutton-Brown is preparing to visit Edmonton, Vancouver and Moncton in the spring to evaluate and identify female basketball players who have the potential to play at the collegiate level in North America.
A total of 125 girls from Toronto and the three Canadian cities will be selected from the identification camps to take part in the inaugural Tammy Sutton-Brown All Canadian Girls Exposure Camp in Toronto from July 8-15.
Canadian and American coaches will attend the one-week camp for girls between the ages of 13 and 18.
“This allows me to be still around the game and give young girls an opportunity to play collegiate ball,” said the Markham District High School graduate who went on to Rutgers University in the U.S. and led the team in scoring (11.8 points), field goal percentage (.568) and blocks (1.3) in her senior year while securing a women’s studies degree. “Coaching is something that never appealed to me.”
The two-time WNBA All-Star and former Athletes 4 Africa representative, who won a championship in her final season with Indiana in 2012, averaged nine points and 5.2 rebounds a game in 388 contests.
“Winning that title and playing for Canada at the 2000 Sydney Olympics are definitely the highlights of my basketball career,” said Sutton-Brown, who also played five seasons in Turkey, three years in Russia and two in South Korea. “It’s such an honour to play for your country and to be on the same stage with the best athletes in the world.”
Sutton-Brown is one of 10 Canadians to play in the WNBA, which was founded in 1996.