Spotlight on: Okiima Pickett

By Jasmine Rogers

This profile was written in 2012.

Today the spotlight is on Okiima Pickett, who is entering her sixth year as a D.C. Diva. She’s had a great football career so far, representing the United States of America by winning gold in the IFAF Women’s World Championships in 2010.

Pickett was recently featured in University of Maryland University College’s Achievement Magazine. The article is great; it tells the story of a single mother who faced the challenge of being a teen mom head on and overcame many obstacles to graduate college, all while still playing Division I soccer, getting her masters, and raising a very cute son. Somehow she does it all and still finds time to maintain a balance between work, raising a son, having a social life, and playing football. Pickett embodies the D.C. Diva spirit with her passion for football, family, and fun.

Spotlight on: Okiima Pickett

What is your biggest accomplishment in sports?
I still hold my high school’s record for the most goals scored in one season for either the men’s or women’s soccer teams…after 15 years!

What was your biggest adjustment to football?
Always having to mess up my hair wearing that sweaty helmet!

What is your favorite football memory/moment?
I have two…winning my first game MVP with both of my parents in the stands to witness it and winning the gold medal with Team USA in the 2010 IFAF Women’s World Championships.

What is your biggest challenge, and what do you do to manage this challenge?
Juggling 50 million things as a full-time single mommy. I’m one person with a little person who looks up to me as his everything. I do what I can the best way that I can. I put it all in the Lord’s hands…He’s driving this car, I’m just the passenger.

What was the best advice you were ever given?
God will never put anything on you that you can’t handle. If He didn’t think you could do it, it wouldn’t be on your plate.

Do you have a saying or motto that you live your life by?
Reach for the stars and when you get there, reach higher!

Where do you draw your inspiration from?
My son. I was a teen mom and I refused to stop there. I’m a single mom, so it’s up to me to show my son the way and I’m determined to do just that. Without knowing what success looks like, it’s hard to know what to look for.

What got you started playing football?
I always liked to tag along behind my older brother when I was little. The boys in the neighborhood would play tackle football – no pads or anything – and I would have to sit there and just watch. Very rarely they would let me play, but when I did, I loved it!

Tell us a fun fact about yourself.
I was a little ballerina at the age of three, and I hated it!

About Okiima Pickett

Name: Okiima Pickett
Age: 31
Hometown: Charlottesville, VA
Profession: Security Consultant with IBM
Educational Background: BS in Computer Science from Old Dominion University, MS in Information Technology from University of Maryland University College
Years playing football: 6
Sports participated in: Soccer, Basketball, Football
Family: Mother of a 13-year-old son, Zavion