Thanks to the two women who she looked up to, Filipino-American cager Chanelle Molina made herself a strong prospect in the WNBA despite being left undrafted in 2020.
Speaking to reporters in media availability recently, the Hawaii-born Molina said she is a huge fan of four-time WNBA champion Sue Bird and also admires her mother Roselyn, who moved to the US from Quezon City at age five.
“I would say Sue Bird, talking basketball-wise. I respect her so much as a player. She’s the epiphany of what a player should be,” said the 5-foot-9 Fil-Am guard. “She hustles, she’s always making extra pass, she’s very composed on the court, always communicating to her teammates.”
Bird, who was born in America and later on acquired Israeli citizenship, bagged four championships with the Seattle Storm in 2004, 2010, 2018 and 2020.
The 40-year-old Seattle great is also an 11-time WNBA All-Star as well as two-time NCAA National Champion in 2000 and 2002 before taking the professional level by storm.
In the international scene, Bird represented Team USA and took home four Olympic gold medals, another four in the FIBA World Cup and also reigned in the Russian Super League and EuroLeague with multiple titles.
A part of the LGBTQ+ community herself, Bird is engaged to Megan Rapinoe of the US women’s national soccer team, making a power couple and using their platforms as athletes to promote their rights and equality.
Aside from Bird, Molina takes after her mother’s mindset, perhaps because of the Filipino blood running in their veins.
“I feel like mindset-wise, it would have to be my mom. She’s such a hard worker and that’s where I get my work ethic from this, from her. She never rests and she’s always on her feet and always tries to accomplish the next task and I think I get that from her.”
Molina was born and raised in Kailua Kona, Hawaii to Filipino parents Roselyn and Allan, an Ilocos Norte-native.
The Washington University Cougars standout is expected to join 2012 WNBA champions Indiana Fever’s training camp in April after finishing her first professional basketball league with the Norrköping Dolphins in the Svenska Basketligan Dam in Sweden.