There’s no denying that we are currently witnessing a sort of renaissance of the WNBA right now. Through the many talented and beautiful athletes and coaches spread throughout the league, you can’t ignore Sydney Carter and everything she’s doing at The University of Texas.  

Learning from her own time as a professional basketball player who has traveled the world, she’s now helping Gen-Z athletes make their dreams come true while building her own empire. If you’d like to learn more about Sydney Carter, keep reading below:  

You were born in Dallas, Texas and attended college at Texas A & M where you played for the women’s basketball team. With the current cowboy/southern movement going on in our culture, talk to us about your Texas roots and what you love most about it.  

My roots are at the core of everything. My family still lives there, and it’s always going to be home. So many people comment on my southern accent when they hear me speak and I love it! It’s a part of me and I’m so proud of where I come from and so proud to embrace my southern-ness in everything I do. Who doesn’t love a good cowgirl boot/hat moment?

Once you graduated, your professional career took off and you played for various teams like the Chicago Sky, Connecticut Sun, Indiana Fever, and the Atlanta Dream team. What did you learn about basketball playing for these teams? Which team did you have the best memories of?  

I learned so much about the game  as a professional in each of the different cities that I played in. Experiencing the different team diameters, coaching styles, and uniqueness that comes from the different cultures, I got so much smarter and equipped with the essence and art behind the game. In addition, I learned a ton about the business aspect of the sport itself, which in turn helped me grow up and become versatile in my own skills.

I dealt with a lot of adversity in my professional basketball career. There were plenty no’s, plenty yes’s. But in actuality, I learned a lot about myself and how to handle adversity in the real world as a woman. I think my time in Connecticut and Indiana equally share the best memories. I made lifelong friends and truly felt my fit on both teams was perfect!

In the 2014 season, you began playing overseas in a small country in Northern Europe. Talk to us about your time living and playing there. Would you ever move back there?  

My time in Latvia was fantastic! It was freezing cold, but certainly a great experience. I won many championships over the course of the years that I played there, and truly had the best time playing and living the simple life as I would consider it to be. The pursuit to be or live up to certain norms that we face in the U.S. was not a stigma overseas. European fashion is high on my list of inspiration as well! Not sure I’d move back…I love the warmth here in Texas year around!

You also lived and played professional basketball over in Israel, what was that like?  

Wow, what an amazing place! Israel is so beautiful, and as a woman strong in her faith, to be able to see things and places I read about in the Bible was so eye opening and exhilarating. It was a very Americanized place and mainly everyone speaks English. I actually learned a bit of Hebrew myself!

What advice do you have for any athletes who would like to play overseas? Anything you wish you knew before moving to another country?  

Fully embrace the opportunities that you are given. Get out and live! See the world. There are so many beautiful things to see, so let the orange ball take you places that you dreamed of as a kid. Play YOUR game. Overseas is an American basketball player’s dream. They depend on you to play…so just hoop like you know how! Advice for moving to a new country….pack your own seasonings, hair products, and skincare!

Your career ended before you would have liked when you suffered from a major injury that caused you to retire from playing basketball. Take us back to this time and talk about how you got over this pain and pivoted your career.  

This was the toughest time in my career/life…I went to such a low dark place as a player and as a woman, being that what I had done for so long was taken from me. I went through a few years of doing nothing….wondering why I still didn’t have the drive that I used to have to get up and come back from the injury. That’s when I had to be a big girl, and make the tough decision to retire. I always knew that I wanted to coach and the timing worked out perfectly when I decided to retire. I prayed so hard for it and my life has been better since making that decision!

During the pandemic you became a part of the Texas A & M team as an assistant coach before joining the University of Texas where you currently are assistant coaching. Talk to us about working with both teams. What you’ve learned from your time and both teams and what you love most about your current position.  

I became a true student of the game my first year at A&M. Coach Blair (whom I played for in college) taught me the true grind of this profession and about truly loving what you do. I was making sure that I watched everyone I worked with, how they worked, asked questions to see how they thought of the game, and watched films, etc…I did it all. I was a sponge.

The difference in Texas is only that I came here with experience. I am still a student of the game. constantly looking for new ways to learn and continue to evolve so I can always be at my best. Anywhere you go, I think you learn both what you like to take and not take away with you from the experience. 

Let’s talk about your role working with student athletes. What are some things you’ve noticed that women student athletes struggle with and how have you helped them during those challenges?  

 I think mostly, they want to know you care about them as people, and not just athletes. I am so intentional about building lasting relationships with our players and consistently coming from a real, genuine place.

They know that I’m going to be honest no matter what and that it comes from a place of good intention and wanting the best from them. They haven’t experienced all that life will show them but I speak from experience and do my best to try to help prepare them as best I can.

You’ve been known to be called one of the most stylish basketball coaches in the league. Where did your fashion style stem from and what are your current favorite pieces in your closet?  

I’m so appreciative of that. I’m so grateful for the support and love. my fashion style simply stems from just wanting to look my best… I have been, what many people call “extra”, all my life…It’s never been extra to me. I started wearing my mom’s shoes in the 4th grade because I was looking for a way to make my school uniform different.

It’s just always been something in and on me! my favorite pieces currently are vests and denim shorts or jeans and a good Nike Vomero! I’m currently really feeling some 90’s photos from Princess Diana and getting inspired there!

How do you intertwine sports and fashion?  

 They go hand in hand for me. I have a passion for them both. Basketball has allowed me the platform to do so many things. It just so happens the sideline is my runway and my workplace!

Many people may know you as “The Pink Pants Coach“. Take us back to when you went viral for your pink leather pants and how you used this moment to your advantage.    

The infamous pink pants. That was an eye opening time. I couldn’t believe or understand what the negativity was about. Since coaching, I’ve always put my best foot word when it came to dressing to win…this day was no different. I learned a lot about myself in that moment and realized it was an opportunity to show that I’m not compromising who I am for the sake of others and their opinions who never mattered. 

You once said that “Women can lead and be powerful while also embracing fashion”. Do you think there is a double standard when it comes to women athletes’ overall appearance vs. men’s? 

Absolutely! How many times have you heard of someone asking a man if the worth they’re wearing is inappropriate? Most of the time (at least from my view) men’s attire is only commented on whether they’re fans of the ensemble or not.

I was criticized, and even said that I should be fined and fired. For being fully clothed. Women are under such a microscope all the time and assumed to just conform to what people try to say is professional or appropriate…I’ve never been anything but those two things.

What’s your current fitness routine? I’m sure it’s varied from your time playing professionally to now.  

Depends on the day. Haha! Right now I’m currently aiming and working out 3x a week. My fitness routine has seen better days for sure but I’m slowly getting back into it and starting off with at least walking my dog daily. As a pro…I was a machine!

With a schedule as busy as yours, what are some ways you practice self-care?  

 I make time to go and do the things that bring me peace after work…Every 2 weeks I go to the nail salon for a fresh set of acrylics and a pedi. I’m very intentional about making sure I do the things that bring me peace because it’s easy to get lost in the hustle and bustle of this life. If I have to put my phone down for an hour after I get home and take no calls, I do it. 

What’s your current skin care routine? Any products you absolutely can’t live without? 

I’m currently using La Roche Posay products. With all the traveling, my skin can have its moments but thus far these products have evened out my skin after a season long of glam. I can’t live with cleanser, toner and some grapefruit makeup wipes! 

When you think about the next 3-5 years of your life, what would you like it to look like?  

 It would look like simply having it “all” and being full of joy and gratitude. Whatever that is at that time. I would love to have a children’s book out as well as a clothing line in major retail stores and of course still being a coach competing on the biggest stage of women’s basketball for championships.

What’s next for Sydney Carter? Anything that you can exclusively share with Galore readers?  

There is no limitation on my dreams. I can’t exclusively share anything specific but I do know that my goals and the things I have planned are so attainable and WILL be achieved. I have been so blessed and I hope to continue to bless others in the process.


Feature Editor: Taylor Winter Wilson (@taylorwinter)

Photographer: Kristen Grant (@krissy.grant_)

Makeup Artist: Lia Natasha (@lianatashamua)

Wardrobe & Hair Styling: Sydney Carter

Creative Direction: Taylor Burner (@_taylorjae_)

Public Relations Firm: Aleesha Carter (@aleeshacpr)

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