Hoop Dreams and Donuts

A peek inside the life of Phoenix Mercury player Sophie Cunningham.

By Nicholas Bubeck

Photos courtesy of Nicholas Bubeck

It’s always cool to talk to famous athletes.

My mom recently interviewed Sophie Cunningham of the Phoenix Mercury, and my brother and I listened in on her Zoom call. Here’s what we learned about the awesome basketball player.

First, she’s known as ‘Spicy Sophie.’ This means she’s fierce on the court and not afraid to play hard.

Next, she’s 6 feet 1 inch tall — that’s really tall.

She played basketball in college at Mizzou in Columbia, Missouri, where she’s from. Her grandpa, dad, mom, and sister all played sports there too.

She’s living her dream. According to Sophie, “I always wanted to be a pro athlete and inspire the next generation.”

During the Mercury off-season, she works as a commentator at Suns games! You can see this photo of my brother watching her on TV reporting at a game.

Her favorite meal includes donuts and baby back ribs.

In addition to basketball, she enjoys horseback riding, hiking, and boating. She also likes listening to country music. Her bucket list includes going on an African safari, attending a symphony, and swimming with sharks.

Since going pro, the most valuable thing she’s learned is to show up, be herself, smile, and be grateful.

And finally, my brother asked Sophie if playing pro basketball is like playing on the playground at recess. She answered:

“I think there’s a bit more on the line than having fun at recess, but when we take the pressure off and act like we’re kids again, that’s when we play our best basketball.”