Elite basketball player and high-school coach Dominique Simmons always finds the net.
By Gretchen M. Sanders, Photo courtesy of Dominique Simmons
Meet Dominique Simmons, a 6-foot tall semi-pro basketball player in Austin. The 33-year-old power forward is a top player in the Austin Women’s Basketball League, which launched in 2013 and attracts elite and recreational athletes.
Simmons, who started shooting hoops at age 5 when her parents were stationed at Fort Hood, played ball at Simpson University in Northern California where she was a key player. Between 2010 and 2018, she played in an international professional league for Mexico, Spain, Italy, Germany and Kenya.
These days, Simmons also scores points for the San Antonio Troopers, a semi-pro team that plays in national development leagues. “My midrange game is pretty good,” she says. “I have a spin move to the basket, and I finish with a layup.”
Simmons can’t get enough of the game. When she’s not dribbling down a basketball court, she’s a girls varsity coach at Regents School of Austin.
Spectators can watch Simmons play locally when the spring season of the Austin Women’s Basketball League kicks off on March 27.
Here’s how this power forward keeps nailing her jump shot:
“I wake up at 4:45 a.m. and spend about 30 minutes having me time. I will either watch motivational videos by Les Brown or Eric Thomas, journal or read from a devotional book. It fuels my mind for success during the day.”
“I play basketball four times a week. I do two open-gym workouts at Lively Middle School in South Austin, which are hosted by Becky Beaver, a basketball player and attorney here. We play five-on-five for about two hours, and anyone can come. I also work with a personal skills trainer twice a week for an hour to develop the skills I need for my position. This could mean shooting, doing speed and agility drills or practicing ball handling skills. The Troopers have mandatory practices twice a week in San Antonio during our season, which is from May through August. We practice in the evening for two and a half hours. Sometimes I don’t get home until 11 p.m. Troopers games are usually on weekends in Texas, Louisiana or Oklahoma. AWBL games are on Friday nights at the Round Rock Sports Center. We play two 20-minute halves. It’s great exercise.”
“I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2018. I’m in remission now, but I’ve changed the way I eat. I care about how food impacts my body. I don’t eat meat anymore, and I try to buy organic food. I like leafy greens and plant-based proteins. I eat three big meals every day, plus one snack, which is often a shake I make at home with spinach, kale, arugula, pineapples or berries, almond milk and protein powder. I’m known for eating on the bench during games. I’ll have a banana, strawberries or melon. I rarely drink sports drinks, unless it’s Gatorade Zero. Mostly I drink alkaline water.”
“I wear Nike basketball shorts and shoes. I like LeBrons or Hyperdunks because I have wide feet and those styles are most comfortable for me. They’re high tops, and I want the ankle support. I also wear compression socks and long-sleeve compression tops on game days to keep my joints warm. I wear a knee brace if needed. For practice, I wear goofy, bright, colorful socks and long- sleeve Dri-FIT shirts to prevent getting scratches and bruises on my arms. I prefer Wilson basketballs because I like the texture and grip. Women’s balls are 28.5 inches [in circumference]and are smaller than men’s basketballs.”
“I will play basketball until my body no longer allows me to do it. It’s fun to be on the court. I don’t think about what’s happening in my life when I’m playing. I’m in the moment, and it’s peaceful.”
“Why are you here? I’m here because I love basketball. I choose my attitude.”
“I massage CBD oil into my knees some nights after practice. It helps to reduce pain and inflammation. I watch Bob’s Burgers and fall sleep between 10 and 10:30 p.m.”