Health Shelf – Jenna O’Hea

Jenna O'Hea discusses some of her favourite books, from inspirational memoirs to fantasy novels.

Dividing her time between three basketballs teams – the Australian Opals, the Dandenong Rangers and the Los Angeles Sparks – it’s fair to say Jenna O’Hea may not have a lot of spare time for reading. When she does sit down with a book, it’s stories of inspiring sports people, lifestyle and fitness magazines and fictional tales of personal journeys that capture her imagination.

Here, Jenna shares some of her favourite books and magazines with us.

Every second counts, Lance Armstrong

My family is very into cycling, we watch the Tour de France every year and this is the most inspirational book I have ever read. Everything that Lance overcame, his dedication and his fight, made it a great read and I couldn’t put it down.

The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho

The Alchemist is a favourite book of mine. It’s all about how to view life in a different way and that everything happens for a reason and about finding yourself. It is a bit quirky and probably not for everyone, but I have read it a couple of times and enjoy it more and more every time I read it.

Health and lifestyle magazines

I buy Women’s Health magazine every month. It has a lot of great advice and I enjoy learning about different fitness exercises and finding new recipes to cook. My mum and I love sharing recipes. The cooking magazines my mum buys are the Super Food Ideas ones and if we find a recipe we like, she transfers it onto a notepad that is full of all our favourites.

We also spied on Jenna’s bookshelf a couple of DVDs that she watches to inspire her to achieve better health.

Miracle, (2004)

A true story about Herb Brooks, an ice hockey player-turned-coach who led the 1980 US Olympic team to victory. One of Jenna’s favourite motivational films.

Larry Bird:  A Basketball Legend, (1991)

Being Jenna’s all-time favourite basketball player, the Larry Bird DVD provides her with the perfect pre-game pump up. The DVD traces Larry’s 13-year career with the Boston Celtics, Jenna’s favourite NBA team.

Q&A with Jenna O’Hea

Biggest influence on your career?

My two older brothers, they were the ones that got me into basketball. They’re five and seven years older than me and I just always wanted to do exactly what they wanted to do, and they’ve encouraged and supported me right up to today.

Who are your sporting idols?

Lance Armstrong, what he overcame with cancer and to come back and win seven Tour de France events is just amazing. In basketball, my favourite player is Larry Bird. He is an athletic guy that just achieved so many great things and could play so many different positions. He is definitely someone I look up to.

What’s the best advice you have received?

The best advice I’ve received is from my eldest brother, and actually I think he stole it off Allen Iverson, and that’s to play every game like it’s your last.

Two career highlights?

1.   The Junior World Championships in Moscow where we got a silver medal

2.   Winning two WNBL Championships with the Bulleen Boomers and Dandenong Rangers

Who have been your toughest opponents?

In WNBL Lauren Jackson

In NBL Diana Taurasi

Biggest difference between the WNBA and the WNBL?

In the WNBA we’re all professional athletes, whereas in the WNBL pretty much my whole team works full time and then comes to training afterwards. In terms of how much practice we can do and how much time we have together, in the WNBA we’re together all the time training and doing weights, whereas the WNBL we have our training three times a week and that’s all we get.

What’s it like playing in LA?

I love it. Playing at the Staples Centre is so surreal.

What other sports do you follow?

Carlton in the AFL, who are making me blue at the moment. In the NBA, I follow the Boston Celtics and I always follow the tennis and the cycling.

Follow Jenna’s results via the WNBL website

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