Living the Dream: Q&A with Renee Montgomery
Fresh from a title-winning season—her second in her professional career—with the Minnesota Lynx, point guard Renee Montgomery is excited to bring her championship experience to the Atlanta Dream. Ne[x]t took a few minutes to chat with Montgomery and get to know her both on and off the court.
First of all, congratulations on signing with the Dream! After winning the 2017 WNBA Championship with Minnesota, what made you decide to sign with Atlanta?
I signed with Atlanta because I’m from West Virginia and I wanted to be closer to my family and friends. I also have a house in Atlanta. So, being able to go home every day was a selling point.
How did you know signing with the Dream was the right move for you?
After speaking with Coach Nicki [Collen], I knew signing with the Dream was right for me. We spoke on the phone for quite some time, and I loved the direction she wanted to take with the team.
What do you think you bring to the team?
One thing I will always bring to the team is high energy – that’s something everyone can control, and I have this thing I say, which is, “Control the controllable.” Another thing I plan to bring is leadership, and hopefully, I’ll make some shots along the way.
What’s your favorite thing about Atlanta?
There’s always something to do. You can go to a nice restaurant, watch a comedy show, go to a sporting event, etc., and never run out of things to do.
You’ve won two WNBA Championships with the Lynx. You play overseas during the offseason, and you’ve even been invited to Prince’s estate for a private performance. Sounds like you’ve had some exciting moments throughout your career. What has been your favorite moment? (It’s Prince, right?!)
One of my favorite sports-related moments has to be getting a private concert from Prince. Yes, you read that right – I still can’t believe it happened! My second favorite moment was taking my Snook (Mom) to meet President Obama. It’s one thing to be able to experience something amazing on your own, but it’s way more fulfilling when you get to bring your family with you.
Could you tell us how you got into basketball?
I started playing basketball around nine years old because my sisters were playing. I’m the youngest and everyone knows the youngest in the family wants to do everything their older siblings do. Later on, they started cheerleading and joined the majorettes. That’s when our interests parted ways.
When did you know you wanted to make a career out of playing ball?
I knew I wanted to make basketball a career during my senior year at the University of Connecticut (UConn). I know it’s a late start, but I come from an academic family, and when I was younger my whole goal was to go to school for free. My Snook is a college professor, so academic performance was pressed just as much as athletics. I have two sisters, and one is a doctor and the other is an accountant; I guess I’m the loser on the academic side.
What keeps you motivated day-to-day?
What keeps me motivated on a day-to-day basis are the sacrifices my family made to take me on all of those AAU (Amateur Athletic Union) trips and everything when I was younger. There was no such thing as a family vacation – family vacation meant going to AAU Nationals.
What is the biggest lesson being a professional athlete has taught you so far?
The biggest lesson I’ve learned is how to be consistent in the workplace. Whether I’m sick, sad, or tired, I know that I still have to go to work and perform at a high level.
What is your best advice for young girls who are aspiring professional athletes?
My best advice is to control the controllable. Your attitude and energy are something you have control over every day. Shots might not go in, and you might make mistakes, but you can control how you respond.
What do you do in your free time off the court?
In my free time, I like to spend as much time as I can with family, but if I’m out of town, I enjoy watching movies.
If you weren’t a professional basketball player, what do you think you would be doing?
If I wasn’t a professional basketball player, I think I would be acting and/or providing commentary for games.
Georgia’s Own and Ne[x]t Magazine are all about helping our members make smart financial choices. Any tips or tricks you’d like to share with our readers about managing money?
One tip I have about managing money is that if you can’t afford to comfortably purchase two of them (excluding homes and cars), then don’t buy it – you’re not ready yet.
Just for fun – what’s something that many people might not know about you?
I’m a baby whisperer… the only problem is I don’t change diapers!