Divas who played sports before they wrestled

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June 12, 2013

Tamina Snuka

Sport: Basketball

Team: Umpqua Community College Riverhawks; Rosenburg, OR 

Playing Days: “I didn’t get into basketball because I was tall. When I was younger, I just loved watching Michael Jordan. And, of course, my family has always been in sports. I used to run track, so basketball was just something else to get into. When we were living in Hawaii, that’s when I first started to play. There was a college over there running a basketball clinic, and it was the first time I ever saw really tall basketball players. Instantly I felt, ‘Oh my gosh, I’m gonna dunk one day!’ ”

Most Memorable Moments: “I played power forward, among other positions, but I wasn’t a really good scorer. I was an out-of-control kind of a player, so I was actually great at playing defense and rebounding. Getting the most rebounds was kind of my deal. In my second year, we went 26-0. We went into our NWAACC Tournament, and I ended up winning MVP based on my defense and rebounding. So that was kind of cool for me.”

Basketball vs. WWE: “There are a lot of things that I learned from playing sports at a competitive level, like how to be strong-minded and work hard. That’s exactly how it is in WWE, too. If I’m not out there working hard at the gym or speaking on the microphone or at wrestling skills — I’m not going to go anywhere. It’s passion, it’s what you want — because you can’t teach passion, you know?”



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