Diana Taurasi, vegan basketball player

Diana Taurasi is a national and international women’s basketball player who has achieved amazing things across a fulfilling career.

At 37 (in 2020) she plays for the Phoenix Mercury in the Women’s National Basketball Association (USA).  She has won three  Championships, one WNBA Most Valuable Player Award, two WNBA Finals MVP Awards and four Olympic Gold medals.  Known as one of greatest shooters in the game, she has five scoring titles and three FIBA World Cups.  

Diana has been selected for nine WNBA All-Star teams and ten All-WNBA teams. In 2011, she was voted by fans as one of the WNBA’s Top 15 Players of All Time, and in June 18, 2017, Taurasi became the WNBA all-time leading scorer.

She has been nicknamed ‘White Mamba’ for her ability to score in difficult situations, and ‘the Michael Jordan of the WNBA’.

Her list of achievements continues and she ranks third among all-time USA World Cup Team leaders for points (363), third for assists (92), fourth for 3-point percentage (.464) and 10th for rebounds (81) over the span of four World Cups.

Diana was ranked second at the 2012 Olympics for free throw percentage (.960, 24-25 FTs) and she holds the U.S. Olympic single-game record for 3-pointers made (6) and attempted (10), both of which came against Serbia in 2016.

She shares the record for among all-time U.S. Olympic career record holders for games played (32) and she’s second for points (379), third for 3-point field goal percentage (.464), fourth for free throw percentage (.931) and assists (76) and ninth for rebounds (96)

Diana won the 2006 FIBA World Championship’s 3-point trophy after nailing 50.0 percent of her 50 attempts.

Turning vegan

Diana’s commitment to her game is evident, and this has played a part in her discovering veganism.

 “You take for granted what you put in your body when you’re young. You feel like you can do anything,” she says in an interview. “As you get older, you get conscious of what you’re eating and how that affects your body. The way you look and feel that’s really helped me”

This led her and her partner to move to an entirely plant based diet in 2015 for health reasons. 

“I have been vegan for about three years now and I think it is something I have really benefitted from” she told Women’s Fitness in 2015.  “Just staying away from foods that cause a lot of inflammation, fats and sugars that everyone knows are obviously a little counterproductive if you eat large amounts of them. So, I have stayed more on a plant-based diet and it has really benefitted me.”

The transition did not go unnoticed by Diana’s coach Sandy Brondello. “She had to work to get her body right and it’s showing in her game and has been great for us,” Brondello said. “We’ve put her back to the point guard and she’s not just a great shooter, she’s a great playmaker and does a fantastic job for us doing that.”

It’s kept her performing at the high levels she’s achieved.  It’s something she’s fueled with an amended meal plan, which hasn’t presented a problem. 

“You know, there’s still a lot of great options,” she says. “I’ve been eating pasta and different sandwiches. I mean, you do have to search for a little bit of food but then again [veganism] opens a whole new world into different foods you never thought were possible — like the Impossible Burger!”

Diana enjoys pretty much any vegetable, although she particularly likes to include lentils (yellow and red as well as other beans, and kale.

Still strong

As 2019 closed Diana was talking about plans to return for the 2020 season (her 16th) and to fight for a place in the 2020 Olympic team (her 5th).

Diana’s Wikipedia page

USA Basketball profile

Article on Diana

Turning vegan

Talking vegan

Video – Breaking the points record

More vegan Basketball players

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