The nickname says it all. Jeanette Lee, aka The Black Widow, is regarded as one of the best billiards players the sport has ever seen. Formerly ranked No. 1 in the world, Jeanette won the 2011 World Games gold, billiards’ highest honor — all while dressed in her signature long black dress and black manicure. She is one of our oldest and most loyal friends, having served on the WSF Board of Trustees. We caught up with Jeanette at our 33rd Annual Salute to Women in Sports in October, where she shared what her life is like outside the pool room.
1. If you could be an Olympian/World Champion/Professional athlete in any other sport than your own, what sport would that be?
2. Who is your hero? In ten words or less, tell us why.
Billie Jean King. The Women's Sports Foundation has changed my life and has inspired me to do and be more than just good at my sport.
3. You’ve just finished your biggest competition of the year. With what food or dessert do you reward yourself for all your hard work and training?
A love boat of sushi and sushimi.
4. What advice would you give to your 14-year-old self?
Work hard and work with integrity. It will give you so many more opportunities in life.
5. There is a fire blazing inside your house. What one item do you grab to take with you?
My children and then my cue.
6. What is the hardest workout you've ever completed?
Boot camp at the gym.
7. Most thrilling/rewarding/proudest moment in your career?
Winning the gold medal at the 2001 World Games.
8.. You’re allowed to spend one day as your favorite television character of all-time. Who are you?
Spiderman — I would love to have the ability to fly.
9. When did you realize you had extra-special athletic abilities?
Being a young woman in the pool room and beating grown men.
10.What is the best thing about being an accomplished, elite athlete? The worst?
Best: Having a voice
Worst: Losing privacy
11. Top three things on your bucket list?
1. Go to Australia
2. Take gourmet cooking classes
3. Launch my Black Widow Junior Camp
12. Favorite thing about your sport. Favorite thing about being a female athlete?
I love the creativity involved in billiards!
13. If you could solve a social issue, what issue/need/concern would it be?
Racial awareness in our public school system.
14. In 10 words or less, why are sports (physical activity) so important for girls to participate in?
Aside from the obvious, sports help promote self-esteem and self-discipline. Plus, it's fun!
15. Complete this sentence: “The Women’s Sports Foundation is important because:”
The WSF teaches women and girls how to become champions in line.
16. What’s your next goal in sports, in life?
To use my fame in sports to make a difference in my country and my community — to use it to do something good and give back.