Kysre Gondrezick Gets Real About Life And Basketball
Kysre Gondrezick, thank you for taking time out of your busy life to share some life moments with us. You have been in the fame spotlight for some time, and many focus on the fame and not the person behind it. We contacted you and asked if you were interested in telling your story the way you would like to tell it and without spin. You graciously obliged. Today we are so excited to share elements of your life story entirely through your lens.
Kysre Gondrezick's Story in Her Words:
"Growing up, it was destined for me to play basketball. My dad came from a family where two children, himself along with his brother, who played in the NBA. My mom won a national championship at Louisiana Tech. My sister played at Michigan State, and little brother is currently a high school phenom. I mean, the list of family lineage goes on, but even though I was taught to play the sport, I grew to love the game on my own. I fell deliriously in love with the grind. That’s all I knew. My father had instilled it in me at such a young age that the only way I ever saw myself was through ball. Basketball was who I was. I remember going to the Houston Comets games and dreaming that one day that that would be me. You know, never did I envision though being a top-five pick, the face of a global brand, and the basketball itself. My dream had succeeded beyond its own expectations, but my reality had a different plan in place.
When you’re a little girl, you know, you have these dreams about how life is going to go, who you’re going to be, and it never crosses your mind for a second that things would probably never pan out that way. You’re so convinced on that journey that you blindly don’t see how life simply just happens or how you become someone completely different than who you introduced your younger self to, and perhaps, you may even find yourself dreaming all over again. I wasn’t that little girl anymore. I’ll never be her again. In fact, who I was to the world was completely different than whom I knew myself to be. The day I was drafted, my life changed. Things were no longer the same. I had become someone whose presence impacted the entire league, its supporters, and a fan base of those who never even watched. I had girls asking me how to brand themselves for NIL deals so that they could receive the blessings I was offered. In just a split second, I went from being a participant to the example.
Looking back, everything for me kind of happened so fast at such a vulnerable time in my life. I thought by continuing to nurse wounds and now hiding behind a bigger platform, a bigger me, that I could withstand this new chapter with the same habits from the one previously before. I had learned to control a lifestyle that benefited both worlds, one to the public and one in private. I had learned to control it long enough until it began to control me. I was all over the place, internally, mentally, and physically. Everything I was posting would go viral within minutes. I walk into stores, and there I was all over the nation. People were fighting tooth and nail, every which way to have access to me. So I gave the people what they wanted until I realized I had forgotten about me.
Being influenced by a made-up world can cause you not to know how to balance your own. At the time, I was presenting an image that fell into the narrative the media had categorized me in — that just because I broke down barriers, that doesn’t mean I needed to fully break down myself because being me is what got me here. I just about tried choosing everything else other than what I’ve been chosen to do, and yet, somehow, God kept reminding me of that. He brought me to a season where not only I had to get alone and spend time with just Him, I had to get in agreement with His plan and ultimately rebrand myself with the gifts He granted me and to not be afraid of accepting the indifference of who I really am. I’ve learned that it’s a lot of pressure to live trying to please others, convincing them to be for you so that you can pursue what’s in your heart. Now, I am unapologetically me, and no one can convince me of what I can and cannot do, who I am and cannot be just because others have not done me before.
I was granted the access for a reason, not just a season. Having experienced the best of both worlds of contradicting teams in the WNBA helped me to realize just that. Seeing the difference in the level of commitment, discipline, work ethic, professionalism, and standard of the two organizations helped me to identify my own — that in being there was not by default, but by destiny. My only focus moving forward is embracing the gifts God has given me and to play in the WNBA again. My daily regimen includes five days a week morning intensives of speed, agility development, and swimming with my trainer, afternoon ball handling and shooting, and mid-evening 1v1, 3v3, and 5v5 workouts. Health and wellness is my foundation, for I am working at my all-time optimal level. I get excited about how high the ceiling could really be for me this time because I know who I am and am not allowing consent for anyone to compromise that. I feel like God is positioning me to receive the fullness of my request. For the first time, I have the opportunity to really prepare myself for the stage I’m working towards. Sure, have I’ve been placed in a pit, lied on, imprisoned, put in a box that people think I’ll never get out of? Well, that story is still being written. My jersey may have been sold out in 22 minutes, but surely not my gift. It doesn’t reside in people’s opinions, opportunity, materialistic things, or social media. My ego may be afraid of the uncertainty of life, but my soul lives for the unknown. God is the general manager of the court. The sky is the limit not because of how big I believe I can be but because of how big I know He is."
Kysre, you are an amazing individual. You have deep introspection, and it guides you well. The USA News team thanks you for showing us the human side of a star. It is our hope that many will have a deeper understanding of the many layers professional athletes and public figures must endure in their everyday life. With love and respect, our best to you!
Photo Credit: Emiliano Gallardo