Catching Up With Sheri Sam

Former Vanderbilt women's basketball great Sheri Sam updates her life and career

by Andrew Maraniss

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Part of an ongoing series, catches up with former Vanderbilt women’s basketball great Sheri Sam.

Sam is one of Vanderbilt’s most highly-decorated women’s basketball student-athletes.

A member of the 1993 Final Four team and 1996 Elite Eight squad, Sam was a 1996 Kodak All-American and two-time All-SEC selection. She played 10 years in the WNBA and won a league championship with the Seattle Storm in 2004.

Sam recently took some time for a Q&A to update her life and career: What is your occupation?

Sam: “Director of Athletics Advancement, The Bay School of San Francisco.”

How has COVID-19 affected you and your family?

“Thankful my family is healthy and safe. The hardest adjustment has been adapting to a world with no sports.”

Any good books, movies or games to recommend?

“Currently reading Kobe Bryant’s The Mamba Mentality and Stay Positive by Jon Gordon. Up next: Michelle Obama’s Becoming.

What was your all-time favorite moment as a Commodore?

“All-time favorite moment is hard! I have a few.

“Graduation – I was the first in my family of eight to graduate from college. My grandma, in her late 70s at the time, made the road trip to Nashville from Duson, Louisiana, and surprised me! Furthest she had ever traveled!

“Next favorite is the 1995 SEC Tournament. We defeated Tennessee for the championship. To quote our No. 1 fan back then, Henry Davenport, ‘We squeezed the Big Orange!’ That was just a great moment with teammates and fans!

“Next favorite would be getting the call from (former Vanderbilt vice chancellor and athletics director) David Williams that I was being inducted into the Vanderbilt Athletics Hall of Fame. This meant a lot to me. There were so many challenging times as a student-athlete. I almost transferred at one point. Coach (Jim) Foster tells the story of that moment best! But that call, that honor, signified overcoming those challenges and all the hard work, commitment and sacrifices we make as student-athletes at Vanderbilt.

“I honestly have so many more great moments I can share. The memories are plentiful!”

Any advice or words of wisdom to Commodore Nation to help us get through this?

“To Commodore Nation: We will get through this. Lean on each other. Stay Positive! Anchor Down!”