She's a WNBA veteran who has played basketball around the world. She is a Hernando High School graduate who has returned to the area to introduce more young women to the joys of her sport--and of personal empowerment.
She is Bernice Mosby. And after playing forward for the Washington Mystics 2007-2009 and completing an auspicious run with the Women's Chinese Basketball Association and other international teams, Mosby has come home--ready to spread her love of the sport to girls from Orlando to her hometown of Brooksville through her Bernice Mosby Academy program.
"I am pushing them to be better than I was to break my records," she said in a June 9 post. "Why have all this knowledge and keep it to myself? God didn’t build me like that."
Indeed, both spirit and spirituality drive and motivate this lifelong athlete, also a professional model.
"I discovered my love for basketball at the tender age of 14 when I first saw my sister Mable play in a game," said Mosby. "What I love most about the sport of basketball is that it never gets boring because you are forever learning the game."
Mosby says that her love of the game was nurtured and developed during her time at Hernando High School.
"I could honestly say my Hernando High coaches helped me develop by placing me on varsity my 9th grade year, and by doing so it caused me to advance in the sport of basketball at a younger age than most," she said. "They believed in my talent and they saw my potential to be a great basketball player (but) at that time the coaches couldn’t see my future, even though they could see my talent. If the truth be told, I couldn’t see my future either because at that time I was only in the 9th grade and had so many other things on my mind besides basketball."
Yet Mosby's future became evident soon enough, as she honed her skills at Kennedy Park and also in Clearwater as a player on an AAU team; eventually going on to become a basketball superstar at Florida University and Baylor University.
"I was recruited into the WNBA because I had stellar performances my entire collegiate career. I was watched by WNBA coaches from my freshman to my sophomore year," she said. "Playing on the big stages like ESPN, NCAA tournament and on the local sports channels. I can tell you above all that I was recruited by the WNBA by the Grace and Favor of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ."
"One of my proudest moments as a player, even though I have so many, was being drafted round 1 6th pick in the 2007 WNBA Draft," she continued. "To me it was an experience of a lifetime because I had the opportunity to see my dreams manifest into reality."
With the sport of basketball on temporary hold because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Mosby has come home--now sharing her dreams and her talent with young players in this area through the Bernice Mosby Academy Program; teaching personal skills training for girls in the Hernando, Hillsborough, Polk and Dade counties.
"My work as a mentor for young players is simply developing them into collegiate and professional women basketball players. That means developing them mentally, by teaching them the structure of what it takes to be a professional WNBA basketball player in this generation and time and also physically by training them through advancement and skill to achieve the perfect confirmation body," she said. "The message that I have for young girls is that if you give yourself to the game by working hard everyday it will give itself back to you in a successful way."
A look at Mosby's Facebook page reveals photos and videos of Mosby's students in action on the court, most recently featuring Heaven Chanel Lee, an 11th grader at Nature Coast Technical High School. Also featured are shots of Briahna Lopez, 10, going into the sixth grade at DS Parrott Middle School in Brooksville, both playing and praying with a basketball coach that she sees as an inspirational leader.
"I really love her, she's a great coach," said Bri. "She makes me try my hardest to achieve my goals. She is such an inspiration."
Sandra Budowski-Rojero, Bri's grandmother, agrees.
"She is definitely all about the kids and a great inspiration for our youth, and she has definitely taught her discipline and how to start to reach her goals in life being a young female athlete," she said.
That's the whole idea behind the Mosby Academy, says its founder.
"My work as a mentor and speaker for young girls is for them to develop into great young ladies in society by teaching them the importance of faith and a relationship with God, learning how to love every flaw and using it as strength, learning how to overcome life obstacles and know no matter what situation you grow up into you can overcome it and to know that they are beautiful and of value," said Mosby. "This is why I work with girls for endless hours around the world because when I see them I see me, a mind full of dreams and a heart full of hope."
A dream and a hope that Mosby wishes to spread all around the world.
"My future plan is to have a basketball camp in every state for young underprivileged girls," she said.
For further information about the Bernice Mosby Academy, call (813) 764-3009 or email [email protected]
Through the sharing of what she sees as a God-given talent, Mosby is sure to instill in many more girls a mind full of dreams and a heart full of hope.
"I love Miss Mosby with all my heart," said Briahna Lopez.