There's not much original to add, but canoe.ca, as part of Black History Month, is running personal essays all month from prominent black Canadians. The basketball player Tammy Sutton-Brown has written one. It's worth a click through, just to get a perspective on Canadian athlete who is little publicized.
The Indiana Fever centre claims, aside from her parents, her major influences are her Hall of Fame-nominated coach at Rutgers, C. Vivian Stringer, and her namesake, Tamara Dobson, Cleopatra Jones herself.
(Incidentally, Vivian Stringer's nomination caused one column in Springfield, Mass., home of the Basketball Hall of Fame, to validate the Masshole stereotype of dreaming up snubs where none exist and being kind of parochial. Namely, Rebecca Lobo, was not one of the two women's finalists over Stringer, a true builder in the women's game and, Cynthia Cooper, who actually has some name recognition among casual sports fans.
This in pretty much in keeping with the time that one Boston-based Sports Illustrated columnist referred to Howard Stern as Boston University's "most accomplished alumnus," either not knowing nor caring that Dr. Martin Luther King did his PhD at BU. C'est la vie!)