“My value comes from who I am, not what I do.”
That’s what Jordin Canada had to write in her journal at UCLA every day after practice. The mantra has accompanied her throughout her six-year WNBA career. This season, the Los Angeles Sparks guard is averaging a career-high 13.3 points, 6.0 assists and 3.4 rebounds per game. She also has 1.9 steals per outing, just behind her 2.3 steals from 2019 when she was named to the first-team All-Defensive team.
“I carry that with me every day. It’s something I will always value, especially learning that at UCLA it’s not always about basketball,” he said. -she declared to USA TODAY. “It doesn’t define me, it’s just something I do. The values I carry as a person, my personality, the things I love off the field are what’s important, the most important. “
The guard, who celebrated her 28th birthday Friday, won two WNBA championships in her time with the Seattle Storm, where she was drafted in 2018 and played behind future Hall of Famer Sue Bird. She knew she wanted a chance to shine on her own, so she joined the Sparks in free agency during the 2022 offseason, returning to her hometown team.
“Trusting my process, trusting the work that I’ve done and getting my confidence back and, you know, getting to where I was psychologically,” she said of the reason for her success this season . “I’m just very lucky and grateful right now that I was able to get back into this space that I was once in.”
Part of her process included staying in the United States instead of playing abroad during the offseason (she previously played in Turkey, Poland and Hungary) and did a stint with Athletes Unlimited, a professional league fast-paced feminine.
“Just being able to play freely, play my game and not have to think about the X’s and O’s, but just have fun,” she said, “and I think that’s what I had need to come back is enjoying the game and the love for it, loving the work and loving the process in the offseason. I think that’s what really helped me and propelled me for this season that I am experiencing.
Jordin Canada releases Jordan Brand sneaker paying homage to the Ronald McDonald House
Another thing she learned early in her playing career was the importance of giving back. After serving as a starting point guard for four years at Windward School, she participated in the 2014 McDonald’s All-American Game, where she set the record for assists and has also established a special link with the Ronald McDonald House.
“I was really touched by these kids,” she said. “…I’ve definitely been meaning to partner with them and you know, doing some of the events that they do or just volunteering.”
She will debut a PE sneaker with Jordan Brand paying homage to the charity during the Sparks’ home game this Saturday against the Atlanta Dream. She recently spent time painting with children at the Ronald McDonald House in Los Angeles. The player’s exclusive colorway incorporates some of the kids’ paintings. After the game, the shoes will be auctioned off with proceeds going to the nonprofit, which provides housing for families who travel for their children to receive medical care.
“Honestly, they inspired me…just their positivity and their perspective. You know, they always try to stay positive, always smiling, even in adversity,” she said of the time spent with the children. “It all puts into perspective for me that I’m very fortunate and fortunate to do what I do and to be in the position that I’m in. I just want to be able to give back as much as possible. Just always have a state of positive mind, a positive attitude towards life and taking nothing for granted.”
Jordan Canada confident in Sparks rebuild
In Canada’s first year with the Sparks, the team fired Derek Fisher, their head coach and general manager, after starting the season 5-7. The team finished 13-23 and missed the playoffs for the second year in a row.
This season, the team welcomed rookie Zia Cooke, who the Sparks drafted after playing at South Carolina and veterans Layshia Clarendon and Dearica Hamby. They are also supported by the dynamic duo of sisters Chiney and Nneka Ogwumike. Los Angeles is currently 11-18 and in ninth place in the WNBA rankings, but Canada said the progress goes beyond the stat sheet.
“It’s all about process and grace in that we are so much better than last year,” she said, “but also understanding that we still have some growth and improvement that we need to have. But overall, as a team, as a unit, we’re still building our chemistry. We get along well, everyone likes being together and we’re still trying to figure it out, you know. But I think that when you do it with great people and great human beings, it makes the process so much easier. That’s what I love about this year is that everyone is trying to buy into this new rebuild and to understand that we have a way to go, but that we are much better than where we were last year.”
She said she stays in touch with former Storm coach and teammate Noelle Quinn, who also went to UCLA and is from Los Angeles. Canada said she had “been a great mentor.”
Canada joins the Klutch Sports agency in April 2022 and is a client of Jade-Li English, who had five clients during this year’s All-Star Game. The point guard calls English “a lifesaver” who encourages him by attending games and creating a team environment.
“It’s a relationship-driven profession for me and I speak with my clients very frequently all day, most of the time. » told USA TODAY before the All-Star Game. “Definitely in the group chat, but also just to really get to know what’s important to them and it helps me do my job and it helps me help them present themselves the way they want to. If you do that in an authentic way, then you have no choice but to become close.”
Jordin Canada loves to sing and is inspired by Nipsey Hussle
Canada also likes to sing. She dreams of releasing her own album and, for a while Players’ Tribune feature Last year, she hit the studio for the first time with industry veterans: producers J. Valentine and Shawn Holmes and recording engineer Travis Bruce. She recorded a sweet song that fans couldn’t get out of their heads.
“I didn’t realize how much work you put into the studio,” she said, noting that she hopes to spend more time recording when she has an offseason where she’s not playing overseas. “We were there for maybe four or five hours and I couldn’t even finish the song. It was just finding the melody and the rhythm and then laying down the hook, and it took four or five hours in itself. But I love the process of learning what it takes to write a song and the ideas you have in your head just to write it or put it on the track and it was a lot of fun. “
Music is an escape for Canada, whose father was in a band and toured the world. She discovered her own passion in middle school when she joined the school choir.
“Anything that’s not basketball related, just to get away from it and cool off and do something else. I do it as much as I can,” she said. “So, you know, singing is for the most part my favorite thing to do if I don’t do anything else.”
Other people’s music also motivates her in life and in basketball, including Los Angeles rapper and entrepreneur Nipsey Hussle, who was shot dead in front of his store in March 2019. She paid tribute to him on Instagram, using his words and the tag “TMC”, which stands for “The Marathon Continues” in her captions.
“I listen to it almost every day, just the message it represents, no matter the ups and downs, just keep your eye on the prize and be intentional in the things you do,” she said . “And not only that, but just giving back the knowledge and everything that you’ve learned and experienced over the course of your life, that you want to pass on and, you know, give to others who aren’t as fortunate as I am .
“Just hearing this message every day in his music truly inspires me to keep basketball impacting young people and the next generation and passing on what I have learned throughout my career and in life too. I always want to give back. and understand that there are always levels and you have to pace yourself and you can’t focus on someone else’s journey. Because I have my own journey to worry about.