Jeff Riedel

The Interview

Just remembering where I was mentally after my injury and knowing what I was willing to do get back to being healthy. That's when I realized the human body is amazing.

Why pose for the Body Issue?

It's a great opportunity to show people that there's more to me than just basketball. When everyone thinks women's basketball, they see baggy shorts worn by tomboy types. People don't usually think about the female aspect of the sport -- the sexiness and femininity. I wanted to show a different side.

Have you ever felt self-conscious about your physique?

Yes. Growing up, I was mad skinny, and I never thought I was proportional. Back then kids used to call me Slim Jim, She Woman, Green Giant and even Shaq. When they said those things, I'd get upset and want to fight. But as I got older, I began to better understand who and what I am.

All through elementary school and the first two years of middle school I was always the tallest, always the biggest in my class. Then in eighth-grade year, I got involved with basketball, and that was it. I had been playing volleyball and running track, but when I found basketball, I felt at home.

Did basketball help change your view of yourself?

I started growing into my body and began working out with my brothers. They introduced me to weights. I learned how to train my body. I never knew about conditioning with weights. I used to think working out was just about getting up and running.

How has your body evolved?

My legs have gotten bigger. You'll think I'm cocky, but I'm totally infatuated with my legs now. They are just big, healthy and toned. My mom tells me I have a problem. She thinks I like my body too much because I'm always walking around in little shorts and a sports bra at home. But if you see my mom you'd know where the confidence comes from: She's got big hips, a big booty and a small waist. She thinks she is the sexiest thing ever!

Do you worry about injuries?

I'm kind of a bionic person. My first injury in college was a meniscus tear. It was a bad one, too. After surgery I only had 20 percent of it left. This happened about a month before we were going to the Final Four. Micki Collins -- our trainer at LSU, and the best trainer by far -- got me back to playing in two weeks. Originally, they thought I'd be out at least four to six weeks, but in two weeks, it was like I was never hurt. Just remembering where I was mentally after the injury and knowing what I was willing to do get back to being healthy ... that's when I realized the human body is amazing.

-- Interview by Morty Ain

More Athletes

Sylvia Fowles

Chicago Sky center, WNBA
  • Age

    26

  • Body stats

    6-foot-6, 200 pounds

  • Birthplace

    Miami, Fla.

  • Career highlight

    Earned a gold medal at the 2008 Summer Olympics.

  • Who knew?

    As a junior at LSU, Fowles recorded a double-double in every conference game, making her the first player in SEC history to accomplish the feat.