Sugar pens a ‘Bitter Sweet’ memoir

Published 9:03 pm Saturday, August 2, 2014

The saying goes that actions speak louder than words. But when both are present, they can strengthen each other greatly.

Former King’s Fork High School basketball star Ta’Shauna “Sugar” Rodgers endured a difficult childhood in which she was confronted by drug activity, violence and death.BsmqBx7CQAAjIf8

She put her journey into words with a memoir entitled “A Bitter Sweet Life: Overcoming the Odds,” which she hopes to have released this month.


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Making more of an impact in the WNBA this season with increased playing time has added up to actions that underscore the point of her book.

“I just want to let kids know, there is a way out,” Rodgers said.

After being drafted early in the second round last year by the talent-laden Minnesota Lynx, Rodgers averaged only 7.6 minutes per game in the 2013 regular season.

She was traded in the offseason to the New York Liberty, which has yielded a much different experience for her.

“I actually get to play,” she said. “That’s definitely a big difference.”

While she appreciated her stint in Minnesota, Rodgers now averages 16.6 minutes per game as the backup shooting guard on the Liberty.

“She’s been getting the minutes that we thought that she should be,” said King’s Fork girls’ basketball coach Maurice Fofana.

Rodgers also noted a difference in coaching style from Minnesota and likes the way Liberty coach Bill Laimbeer has things set up on-court.

“I feel like I fit the system more,” she said, adding that when a play breaks down, she has the freedom to create for herself and her teammates, which is a way she shone at Georgetown University.

Through 26 games this season, Laimbeer gave his opinion on how Rodgers has developed as a professional player.

“Her defense is really solid,” he said. “(Her) offense is really inconsistent, and that’s what we’re working on.”

Her statistics illustrate his point as she averages 6.3 points per game, but has shown potential at times to put up the kind of point totals she was known for at Georgetown.

Rodgers said it has taken her time to adjust to her new team and city. But, she aded, “I love New York,” and she loves the opportunity to play at the storied Madison Square Garden.

“I always wanted to play there, and now I get the chance to play there every night at home,” she said.

While she progresses on-court, she has been progressing off-court with her book. She took December 2013 through April 2014 to write it. Editing took a few months more, and she received her first copy in July.

Proofing and getting permissions from those mentioned in the book are steps that remain, but she hopes to announce a release date later this month.

She does not expect to reach a million children going through difficult times, but, she said, “If I could help one, then I’ll feel like I accomplished something.”