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blogs - BiPro & Athletes

Becoming a Pro with BiPro: Part 1

Rachel Banham is one of the most interesting rookies in professional basketball. Over the last two years she’s undergone season-ending knee surgery and intensive rehab, tied a college scoring record with 60 points in a game, been praised by her childhood idol and selected in the top five of the draft by Connecticut.

Throughout the year, Banham will give fans an exclusive look into her adjustment to becoming a pro on with monthly diary entries written in her own words.



UNCASSVILE, Conn. – Professional basketball player. It’s been two months since I was drafted and it still feels weird hearing those three words attached to my name. Basketball is my job now. There are no classes to attend, no tests to prepare for and no home cooking a short drive away from campus.

Just about every pro athlete says this, but I really mean it: Draft day was one of the best days of my life. Sitting in the green room, getting to know the other rookies, eagerly waiting to hear my name called. It was all so surreal.

When I found out I was picked fourth overall, it was such an emotional moment for me and my family. I set the goal to make it to the pros when I was five. At that time I played all kinds of sports with my brothers, but basketball was always my favorite. I would shoot in the driveway of our Lakeville, Minnesota home for hours every day after school. When my brothers came out, it was a challenge. They both went on to play college football and weren’t afraid to be physical on the court.

Playing with bigger, stronger boys day after day made me who I am. I thrive in an ultra-competitive environment, which is a big reason why adjusting to life as a pro has been pretty smooth so far. Practices at this level are so intense, because everyone on the court is a pro. Having to really bring it in practice every day has been tough, but I’m adjusting and really learning a lot about the game and myself.

Living in Connecticut is a huge change. I grew up in Minnesota and then went to college there. But the fans in my new home are something else. Everyone knows that Connecticut is a great state for women’s basketball and interacting with the people here up close is just different. Our fans are so invested, so knowledgeable and they really care about the game. It’s awesome to see!

That’ll do it for this month’s diary. I’ve got to head to the gym in a minute to do some icing and stretching. I go the extra mile to take care of my body, which is a big reason why I have a BiPro protein shake after every practice and game.


Until next time,

Rachel Banham 

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Rachel - Connecticut is fortunate to have you, but you made such a HUGE mark in MN, that every young basketball player (especially girls) want to grow up and be you! That is the most important part of going pro, in my humble opinion, is the "hero" status that comes with you and Kobe. It's quite an honor. You have fulfilled your life's (childhood)dream!! My daughter met you and I watched you interact at your 1st Training camp. Thank you for taking the time to talk to all those kids. Their smiles and eyes said it all. They were in AWE!! My daughter met her idol, and signed her know how that feels! Our family is loyal fans whether you are recovering or playing, you're already the best!! Stay Ground, and play it forward. Abi Jo Nelson's Mom (Kara Nelson, Bloomington, MN)

Posted by: Kara Nelson | July 28, 2016

Rachel - Like Kobe to are to my daughter Abi Jo Nelson. She met you at your 1st Training Camp, and will never forget it! Her eyes and smile are forever in my mind!

Stay grounded, and play it're the best and kids are watching with full hearts!
Kara Nelson
Bloomington, MN

Posted by: Kara Nelson | July 28, 2016