Music is my passion

Gary Dineen/Getty Images

Angel McCoughtry says she is passionate about both basketball and music.

People know me as a WNBA player and for helping Team USA win a gold medal in the Olympics last summer, but off the court, not everyone knows I'm very passionate about music, and have recorded a number of songs.

Music is very important to me, although right now it's not as important as my basketball career. I do it for fun and I've received a lot of good reviews, and some people even tell me it's inspired them. It's something I'd like to take more seriously after my basketball career is over.

It's not easy finding time to focus on my music with all the demands from my basketball schedule, so I usually take advantage of off days to go to the studio and work on it. I don't like for it to interfere with my basketball, because it is a lot of hard work and takes a lot of time. People don't realize how many days it might take to record one song. There's a lot of work that goes into it, so I take it slow. I don't like to rush it.

Some days I don't get enough sleep because I have so much in my head that I feel like I have to get it out on paper, and then I record it and send it to my man that mixes my stuff. Music is something that I have always had a passion for, but I just did not know how to even begin pursuing it.

It really didn't start until two summers ago when I was telling somebody about how I've always really liked music. They were like "Girl, please." And if you know me, you know I'm very competitive so I said "OK, watch, I'm going to start writing music." And I did. When I first started people kind of chuckled a bit, but eventually they saw that I was really serious about writing it.

I'd describe my musical style as pop. That's the type of music I like to listen to and the type of music I want to make. The types of artists I like are ones who worked hard when they were young and just starting. I like Jessie J a lot because she’s always happy and her music makes you happy. I also like Rihanna and Beyonce because of where they started from and how they got to where they are today.

Another great thing about music is it’s something I can use to vent. I spend a lot of time playing basketball and it can get tiring, and sometimes you need a break. So music is just another way to vent and get stuff off of my chest.

All I really want to get out of it right now is: I just want to be heard. I like to sing, but I'd really like to one day be able to write for a big-time artist.

So for now, my primary focus continues to be on basketball, but music is always in the back of my mind as well. And I have an EP coming out at the end of the summer, so everyone will need to check it out!