Girl Much Talks With Pro Athlete and Actress Tammy “T-Time” Brawner
Beauty, Business and Brains! Tammy Brawner (also known as T-Time) is making history as the 10th female to ever play for the world famous Harlem Globetrotters. Tammy is known for her crafty ball handling ability. The gorgeous California native is the complete package and represents today’s new age of dynamic point guards who can score at will from anywhere on the floor. Tammy is not only a phenomenal athlete but she is also a model, actress, and advocate for education. Brawner, an Oakland, CA native attained her MBA in Global Business Management with the hopes of inspiring others to understand that it’s not about where you come from but rather where you are headed. She believes in not only inspiring people in general, but, especially young girls, all over the world. Tammy was kind enough to give us a look into her world and share her experiences in both the sports and entertainment industry and also how she balances both careers. Our editor-in-chief, Briea Chanel was able to get an exclusive interview with this multi-talented, young and successful icon!
Briea Chanel: What’s a day in the life of Tammy Brawner?
Tammy Brawner: I have two lives. One life is when I am in season and my other life is out of season. When I’m in season with the team my day is all about basketball. I wake up, get breakfast (if I get up early enough) and we usually drive to the next city where we will be playing at. From that point is lunch time and then all about the game. On occasions, when we are in a good city, I’ll spend the night out on the town. In the offseason my schedule is a bit hectic and can range from business meetings, photo shoots, casting calls, or working out and playing basketball somewhere. I usually like to take my Sundays and spend time with my family and friends but as my scope of endeavors expand it becomes harder to designate that Sunday for family time.
BC: How long have you been playing professional basketball?
TB: I have been playing professional basketball for 3 years but I have been playing basketball in general nearly my entire life.
BC: How was it like playing in the celebrity basketball game during BET Awards Weekend?
TB: It was a wonderful experience! I was the only lady on the court but that wasn’t too far out of my element as I am the lone female on my team playing 6 months out of the year. The rosters were stacked with some really talented people. I don’t think it gets any better than having the opportunity to play with Floyd Mayweather and Justin Bieber.
BC: What inspired you to pursue a career in modeling, acting?
TB: I was always told when I was growing up that I was too short to ever play basketball in college or professionally. People often told me that I should quit basketball and engage in other professions such as modeling. As I entered college at Cal State Northridge, those voices telling me I couldn’t play in college and professionally began to eat away at my mind and I decided to sit the basketball down and pick up the heels. Somewhere along the way I realized that I was a basketball player at heart and I had to get back in to the game. What I didn’t realize at the time was that I didn’t have to choose between basketball and high heels! I could do both but my mind didn’t allow me to envision that at the moment. While temporarily away from the game, I gained a passion for the entertainment world and it captured a piece of my heart. When I realized my heart was in both the entertainment industry and basketball, I had to figure out a way to make both of them work!
BC: What was your very first acting role?
TB: My very first acting role came at a school play at Cal State Northridge called the Hair Piece where I played a talking wig. It was one of the more difficult plays because everything was about tone, voice fluctuations, head motions, and facial expressions because no other part of the body could be used.
BC: How do you balance being a pro basketball player and acting, modeling?
TB: It is very difficult to manage, especially when you throw in family and a social life. There are many times where I have scheduling conflicts and I have to decide between which endeavors to partake in. The thing about the entertainment industry is everything comes up last minute. So I may have an event planned and marked off on my calendar 2 months ahead of time and my agency my call me up the day before the event saying, “Hey Tammy, I need you at this casting call for this movie or commercial.” Those are the moments when things become tough to balance. Other than those types of moments, my schedule stays busy but it’s all fun so I barely notice it!
BC: What do you like to do in your free time?
TB: I’m very chill in my free time. I like to play video games, hang out at the beach, and hang with family and friends.
BC: Where do you see your career 5 years from now?
TB: It’s hard to say where I will be 5 years from now. One thing I’ve learned is that you can’t plan life, you can only prepare for it. I’ve prepared myself to do all the things I want to do 5 years from now. I’ve set up a resume where I can still be playing basketball, coaching basketball, doing sports commentating, or acting/modeling. But I will say that I would be honored to have an Oscar in 5 years.
BC: Are you working on any other projects right now?
TB: Yes I am working on several projects right now including a movie that could be huge!!! My book is still in the works and is probably one of my greatest accomplishments to date.
BC: Who are your biggest inspirations?
TB: Michael Jordan and my mother. Michael Jordan has always been a huge inspiration to me. I respect greatness and greatness doesn’t come any better than MJ! In particular, the movie Space Jam, which Jordan played in, inspired me as a kid and allowed me to dream outside of my environment of Oakland, CA. My mother is a phenomenal woman who I watched raised 3 kids as a single mother. Her strength is remarkable and admires her more than anyone else in this world. And the more I live, the more impressed I become with her as I realize how tough it must’ve been to raise 3 young ladies in Oakland, CA by her lonesome.
BC: Being an advocate of education, why do you feel it’s important for people especially this generation of young people to reach higher levels of education?
TB: Knowledge is power is not just a saying. I’ve heard the debates of self-education and the power of the internet to teach these days and though I agree with the world being an open book these days I also need our young people to understand the power of that piece of paper. It validates you. If you’re the smartest person in the world, how do you prove it? How do you let someone know that you are an expert? You let them know by that piece of paper. Even more important that the piece of paper is what your degree subliminally represents. It represents that you understand and can follow systems, your discipline, you finish what you start, and you know how to find means to your ends. All of the preceding is very important qualities of successful people and these are the things that you learn that your degree infers.
BC: What advice would you give to other women trying to pursue a career in sports? Entertainment?
TB: I would tell them to follow their hearts and to do whatever is they want to do. Don’t do what other people say you should do or not do because you are the one that has to sleep with your decisions every night. But more importantly I want to tell young women that it’s okay to be a lady off the court and you don’t have to choose between being a lady or a basketball player, you can be a lady baller!