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New Perspectives

Emma Meesseman
Last updated: September 10, 2021
5 min read
New Examples

Fly High. Stay Rooted. Despite everything she’s achieved, WNBA player Emma Meesseman will always just be ‘Emma from Ypres’.

No matter how high Emma has flown, she’s always stayed true to herself. Here we discuss with her how the support of the people around her and the town she grew up in has made her who she is today. Whether she’s with her friends and family or travelling the world as a championship winner, Emma stays exactly who she is – just Emma.

New Examples

You seem like a very rooted person. How important is where you’re from?

EMMA: I think it's very important to always remember where I'm from. Because me being raised here always made sure I was down to earth. I stayed the same Emma, no matter what happened. The people that live here know me as the real me, not as Emma playing in Russia, Emma playing in America or Emma the MVP. For them, I'm just Emma. And that's what I love about home.

“The people that live here know me as the real me, not as Emma playing in Russia, Emma playing in America or Emma the MVP. For them, I'm just Emma”

– Emma Meesseman

New Examples

What would you do if a friend thought you were acting like a superstar?

EMMA: I would be ashamed, I think. I would not know what to do with myself, that's something I've been trying to avoid my whole life by just being down to earth.

And if somebody that knows me well, would say, ‘that's a side that I have never seen of you before. And it's something I don't like’, I don't know how I would act because I'm so scared. Because I don't like people who change. I see people changing after achieving things, not even like the big things, but when they think they achieve something and they act differently I don't like that about people. If somebody's changing because of that, that's somebody I don't need in my circle.

“I stayed the same Emma, no matter what happened”

– Emma Meesseman

New Examples
New Examples

You look up to your mum. What did you learn from her growing up and how big an influence is she on you now?

EMMA: I've never seen my mom play, but people were telling me ‘Oh, she was a really good player, she won a lot of prizes’ and for me the motivational and competitive animal in me was like: ‘be better than my mom’. But she never pushing me to play basketball - we really had the arrangement that she's my mom, not my coach really early in my career. And the main thing I learned from her is you keep it simple and stay who you are. Like she and my dad really made sure of that. I'm never going to be next to my shoes and stay exactly the same person.

“Keep it simple and stay who you are.”

– Emma Meesseman

New Examples

How has sport helped you in your personal life? You’ve spoken before about how your confidence as a player grew in America, is that also true for your confidence in everyday life?

EMMA: I think so. Basketball has given me the confidence in my personal life because I'm a tall and I’m a girl. I think without basketball, it would be harder for me to accept myself and my body. But now I'm a part of a world where everybody's tall and I’m achieving things because I'm tall. For me I'm pretty sure it helped me and my confidence.

“Now I'm a part of a world where everybody's tall and I’m achieving things because I'm tall.”

– Emma Meesseman

Director: Chaka (Charlene van Kasteren) @charlenevankasteren
Photographer: Jaimy Gail @jaimygail
Second Photographer: Boris Lutters @borislutters

New Examples

Join Emma and Nike on a guide to staying who you are.

Staying rooted with Emma Meesseman

“I see people changing after achieving things, not even like the big things, but when they think they achieve something and they act differently.. I would hate that” Emma told us. For her it’s all about staying true to yourself and being who you are, a relatable sentiment from a secret homebody who travels the world. Join Emma in her journey - it could be yours someday.

New Examples
New Examples

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